Texas A&M is wasting any time proving it can play in the SEC. The Aggies lost by just three points to Florida to open the season, but they’ve rattled off five straight victories since then and have themselves in the top 20 in the BCS rankings. But we’ll really get a chance to see where A&M, under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin, stands as it hosts LSU this weekend.
Kevin Sumlin joined KGOW in Houston with John and Sean to discuss Texas A&M’s big date with LSU, the play of Damontre Moore, how the season-opening loss to Florida affected the team and his team’s ability to finish games off late.
On the excitement level with the LSU game on tap:
“It’s a game our fans have been looking forward to, a lot of people have been looking forward to because of the proximity of the two schools. I think they way we’ve played, our players have put ourselves in position that not only is this an exciting game, it’s a meaningful game in the SEC West. We’re tied and in the same position. Not only is it exciting for the fans because the two schools haven’t really played in a long time … but it’s a meaningful game.”
On the play of defensive lineman Damontre Moore:
“Damontre has come light years as far his conditioning. I think physical toughness, physical condition, lends itself to mental toughness, and Damontre really worked hard. … He’s improved his strength and his stamina and has become an every-down player instead of having to come out of the game. I think he played 106 or 108 plays the other night, and he’s extremely productive. You look back at what he did in that game. He’s been known as a pass-rusher, but he had 18 tackles, a tackle for a loss, a sack and a blocked kick. I don’t know how much more production you can get out of a guy than that.”
How much do you look back on the game with Florida to open the season as you get ready for LSU?:
“I think we’re a different football team than we were six weeks ago. Really, going into Florida, we went in blind. We really didn’t know. … You don’t have anything to really compare it to. … Now, you go into this game, you’ve had like opponents, actually. Our guys have a better feel. We’ve played three SEC teams, we’ve won two of those games, lost to Florida by three. We’ve been able to have a better gauge of where we are physically. … We gained some confidence out of that Florida game.”
Do you feel like your veteran players just feel differently in the fourth quarter, that they can win games there now?:
“I think our players understand us and our attitude right now. I’ve got enough to worry about than to worry about last year. There’s a reason we do things the way we do them and I think our players understand that. I think they understand our expectations.”