Texas A&M heads to Oxford, MS to play this Ole Miss Rebels this week after coming off of a 41-23 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The biggest stories from the game were Kyle Allen's three pick-6's that helped seal the game for Alabama, the excellent play of the Texas A&M defense's youngest new additions, and the way the team is handling the loss in the locker room.
Members of the media met with Texas A&M coaches today at their weekly press conference, and asked them about these topics.
Kevin Sumlin on Interceptions:
"In a game like that, for young quarterbacks it's important to know that we're not going to score every time. I know our fans want us to. Against that defense, flipping the field and playing a field-position game is OK. You talk to our guys, they pressed a bit trying to make things happen and forcing things that weren't there. It's a terrible time for it, but it's a learning experience and these two guys will learn from it."
Jake Spavital on Kyle Allen's demeanor after Saturday:
"He's dinged up. Everybody saw that. He took some shots out there, and that's going to happen in big games. But he knows this is the SEC and he's going to take some shots, he's just got to get as much treatment and recovery as possible and be ready for Ole Miss.
Emotionally ... I told him after the game, 'You can't let this define you. It's not going to be the last time you throw three interceptions in a game.' And of course you don't want that to happen, you don't want to turn the ball over, but I told him on Sunday someone was going to throw three interceptions and sure enough Peyton Manning did.
He takes it hard, it means a lot to him, but he's not going to dwell on it now. It's time to move on and correct the mistakes and get this offense back to where it should be."
Kevin Sumlin on Otaro Alaka's injury:
"Otaro Alaka is out for the season. It's been a tough time for him. He dislocated an elbow in fall camp, had a serious illness in the family, came back and had a torn labrum, about three quarters of it. The decision was made to just have him have surgery and he'll fall under the time frame that we'll apply for a medical redshirt, I think he'll get this year back and it's a time for him to get better mentally and physically. With the surgery being this early, we'll have the opportunity to get him back for spring ball and we'll need him."
Kevin Sumlin on Richard Moore:
"Richard Moore came in and I thought did a pretty good job. He gave us some juice. Everybody was a little bit nervous, I was a little bit nervous, obviously Richard wasn't. He flew around, he made some mistakes, but he made his presence known. Had some solo tackles, chased some guys down from behind. You worry about young guys being overwhelmed, he was not overwhelmed by the atmosphere. He was excited to play."
John Chavis on Zaycoven Henderson and Daylon Mack:
"We talked about it even before, in terms of getting those guys in. Both are physical, big, explosive, and they have fast-twitch other guys may not. Both of those guys played well for us and they'll continue to grow. Coach Hagen has done a great job preparing those guys and they showed up big for us."
John Chavis on the defense's performance against Alabama:
"In some of their double-tight formations we didn't get to some checks we had built in. That's communication, that's me. We let them get on the perimeter in there. We didn't fit a run or two good. You take away three or four of those plays I'm talking about, we don't have that first quarter. ... But I'm proud of our football team. I've been in this league for a long time, and for three quarters I don't know if I've seen a defense fly around and compete as well as we did for the final three quarters. These kids, they've got something to them."
John Chavis on Richard Moore and Claude George:
"That certainly gave me more confidence in them. They understand that if they're going to play they've got to be productive and understand what they're doing. We can't just put them out there and let them do their own thing. Richard missed a lot of practice time. Coming into the fall I thought he could make a strong contribution to this football team and Saturday was the first time he was healthy enough to play. And we're glad to have him back."
John Chavis on his defense's growth following the loss to Alabama:
"First of all, and I don't mean this wrong, I don't care what anybody thinks. It's about us. It's about our football team. They've all had the ability to sit down and watch that film. Give Alabama credit, they're a very good football team. But we showed that we can play. Now we have to do it consistently, and if having a chip is what it takes, then we'll make sure we put those chips there. Because that's the way you play defense."
Jake Spavital on Kyler Murray's growth:
"Kyler keeps coming along ... I think he gets better every day in practices. He's got to realize that SEC defenses are going to play him differently than they do with Kyle Allen. With him in the game they put three linemen in and dropped eight just trying to contain the quarterback. With a kid who can make plays outside the pocket you try to keep him in the pocket and make him beat you that way."
Jake Spavital on Ricky Seals-Jones having a breakout day:
"I thought he was coming along in Mississippi State. But all year I've talked about how he doesn't get the credit he deserves at times because he's downfield blocking and he's helped tremendously with the toughness on the perimeter and he's gotten much better in that regard. He became a comfort zone for Kyle because he made tough catches and was physical on the perimeter."
(Author's Note: Watch that play again. Forget the interceptions. That's why Kyle Allen is the man.)