COLLEGE STATION - Coach Sumlin and members of the Texas A&M football team & staff met with the media on Tuesday in the Bright Complex.
Video from the press conference is available through the links to the right. Audio in mp3 format and selected quotes will be available below.
Download audio of Tuesday's press conference here:
- Kevin Sumlin (mp3)
- Mark Snyder (mp3)
- Clarence McKinney (mp3)
- Malcome Kennedy (mp3)
- Ben Malena (mp3)
- Cedric Ogbuehi (mp3)
- Travis Labhart (mp3)
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 – College Station, Texas
Texas A&M Football Weekly Press Conference
HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN
"It's a bye week and it comes at a good time for us. Anytime you win, it makes that two-week period easier to stomach. We met and practiced yesterday and gave them today off. We'll practice again Wednesday and Friday. We gave them the weekend off for the first time in a long time. These guys get a little time to themselves. It comes at a good time for us. Our final two games are on the road against two quality opponents and highly-ranked teams. We sit here at 8-2 with two games to play that are meaningful. It gives our guys a lot to play for. This is a week of getting healthy and catching our breath and maybe getting a jump on LSU and a little bit of recruiting. That's really what this week is about. We can use it. I thought Saturday, we didn't always do everything right. We played pretty well as a team in spurts. We played great or we played poorly. Consistency is something that you really strive to get as a coach. With youth, that's the biggest struggle. I thought at times we were really good on defense and at times, we were really bad. The same thing happened on offense. We had third and long more than we've had all year. We converted a bunch of them which is a positive. Either we scored in two or three plays or it was a three-and-out. Really good teams don't act that way. There are some positive things on video that we can say 'here's who we can be all the time.’ I thought all in all, it was another really good performance by our special teams unit. We blocked a punt and a field goal. We had a great kickoff return. All those things helped us win that football game. Across the board, we did some things that were really good, but I thought our special teams unit was exceptional.”
On playing walk-on players and them having success…
"I don't think it's as important to prove it as for those guys to have success. We have less problems than other places because I don't have a hidden agenda. If we don't win, they're going to get rid of me. Why would I come here and play mind games to try and make a point? When you make decisions as a coach, you base it on what's going to make that individual better and help the entire team. When you start making decisions that way, the guys understand it, whether they were five-star recruits or walk-ons. Whoever we can trust to play hard and give us the best chance to win. That’s not just on Saturday. It's a combination of practice and playing well on Saturdays. You’ll have some guys who practice really well, but can’t get it done once you turn the lights on. You’ve got to be reasonable. Production matters. Production in practice matters as long as you’re consistent as a coach. I tell guys all the time, 'don't ask me why so-and-so is playing; ask me why you aren’t playing.’ My job is to get the best kids on the field to help us win.”
On the offensive line…
"They're a little rusty, playing at different positions. Everybody thinks if you’re a lineman, you’re a lineman. You're moving from guard to tackle and back to guard and haven’t played a couple weeks and come back against an SEC opponent. That’s tough. I don’t know if you noticed, but Mississippi State was a pretty big team. We've got some issues. That's what recruiting's all about. This week is a good week for everybody to heal up and work back together.”
On postseason awards…
"Anytime you talk about any type of award, it's about a complete body of work. You’ve got your plusses and your minuses. When you compare players and stats, I think style of play matters, but you evaluate people on plusses and minuses. Everybody has at least two more games to play. I think after that it’ll get figured out.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MARK SNYDER
On the fourth quarter of the Mississippi State game…
"The fourth quarter was the story of the game. We played a really good half of football. We challenged the kids to come out and start fast. In our four game breaks, they scored on the first two possessions of every game. We got off the field in the first half and early in the second half. Those last 20 minutes were ugly. We didn't put them away. To their credit, they pounded the ball with Dak Prescott to end the game. They had to do what they had to do. The last 20 minutes is what we're focusing on this week. We have to play a four-quarter game. We had a chance to put them away several times and we just let them hang around."
"Competition makes us all better. Coach Sumlin does a great job with that. It doesn’t matter your age. The guys that are producing are going to play. Anytime you have competition, it makes everyone better."
On the bye week…
"The bye comes at a great week. We’re pretty healthy. Because of our youth, we'll get back to fundamental things this week as we prepare for LSU. It comes at a really good time, especially with the next two offenses we’re going to go up against. They’re really good.”
On what he does during the off week…
"It's about relaxation and family time. I get to go home in the evenings and spend time with my daughters. It takes some of the stress off because it is a little bit of a grind.”
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CLARENCE McKINNEY
On when he realized the run game wasn’t working…
"It was last Sunday when we watched the film. They were probably the biggest, most athletic defensive line we faced all year. The field didn’t help. That was the eighth game on Kyle Field and we wore it out a little bit. It was tough sledding as far as the run game goes.”
On leaving points on the field…
"It's been like that each week for us. We feel like we’ve left a ton of points out on the field. We haven't put together a perfect offensive game yet. Hopefully that game is coming for us.”
On Ben Malena…
"He's kind of like Superman and Clark Kent. You don't notice him in meetings. You don't notice him at practice. He doesn’t say a whole lot, but when the lights come on and it’s time to play, he’s a different person. He’s a vocal leader. When we're in practice and we're in meetings, you don't even know he's there."