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September 18, 2012

Coach Sumlin's Tuesday Press Conference

On getting his first win at A&M:

It's a special meaning to get your first win -- it's always good to win. About 10 minutes after that, it's over with. It's who do you play next week? We don't take that for granted; winning is hard. We've got a lot more games to worry about, though.

On the team's overall performance:

Like I said right after the game, we talked about effort on offense and defense. We need to increase our effort on special teams, particularly on punt returns. Not so much on kickoff returns. Our defense was consistent, special teams helped change field position and gave us an opportunity to get up and close out the game. It was a team win and when you have a new team, things are different when you travel. I thought our guys handled it well.

On Ryan Epperson:

He was above average in the first game. I thought he was average in the second game. His net punt average is tops in the country but our coverage was very good. I thought Saturday was not his best effort, is not what he's capable of. I think that, as god our specialists were in the first week they were very average (against SMU) ... What wer are looking for is consistency. We can't have 56 yards on a punt and then a 33 yard punt. That's not picking on specialists; that's everyone across the board.

On why it's Epperson instead of Drew Kaser:

He was better during fall camp. Coming into the first game ballgame, our concerns were defensive line and specialists. They've developed some confidence now, but handling success can be more difficult than handling defeat. How you handle that speaks to your consistency level.

On if there would be a different approach this week against South Carolina State:

No. We have got to be ready to play. I don't think we can take a different approach to any game. We have to take any game very seriously.

On Christine Michael and Steven Campbell:

They're back on the team. We had a discussion with (Michael) about his tweeting yesterday.

On Toney Hurd Jr.

He's a high energy player, an effort player. You've got guys who wish they were bigger ... He makes plays. He's on kickoff coverage. He's got a high football IQ and makes guys around him better by telling other people what he sees. His biggest attribute is his knowledge and effort. I think players feed off that. He's always in a good mood; he's a great guy to be around.

On the secondary:

Deshazor (Everett) looks natural (at safety). He looks comfortable there. We've got some interchangeable parts. Otis (Jacobs) had the interception ... he stayed on top in coverage. Dustin (Harris) did a pretty good job of that. He's always been a good cover guy,but the league we play in makes corners tackle. This is not a finesse secondary league. We went from 11 missed tackles to 5 (against SMU). That's an improvement. We got a turnover. From a technique standpoint and an attitude standpoint, we did better. It's going to take that kind of consistency (to win).

On Damontre Moore:

He's always been a guy who had talent; consistency has always been the biggest challenge with him, to go out oweek to week and perform at a certain level. It's been my experience that that comes with maturity. Damontre has been challenged through the spring and two-a-days. The first week, he played well and last week he played well again. Hopefully, this will continue. Hopefully, you're seeing a guy growing up. The big thing is that he was in for all but five snaps against Florida; he was in the fifties (in plays) again this week. That's strength and conditioning. AS you mature, it's about team, and he's starting to figure that out. It's a challenge for everyone on our football team but we're starting to see guys buy into that.

On Johnny Manziel's performance:

The improvement from Johnny was the ability to throw the ball from the pocket, to keep his eyes downfield. As the season goes on, that will continue to improve.

Johnny will amaze you with his ability to improvise -- he's a guy that you saw that with in high school. What he's finding out is he's not the fastest, most talented guy on the field. A lot of players go through that, they find out what you can and can't do as you start to develop. Trey Williams is finding that out too; he was an ankle tackle away from scoring. That's the difference between Trey in high school and Trey in college. As you learn the speed of the game, you find out what you can and can't get away with. He's a very talented guy and has done a good job moving from an athlete playing quarterback to being a quarterback.

On why it's Manziel instead of Showers or Joeckel:

It wasn't that those guys didn't play well; Johnny played better.

On Mike Evens:

The first camp he came to, he looked over the wrong shoulder for the ball. He had a redshirt year last year and only played one year of high school, so he's really gaining confidence. He really hasn't played much. He realizes and understands that he's still very raw. He's got good hands, good hand-eye coordination and other things will come to him. He's a real competitor; he really competes well and a couple years from now, we'll really see something special.

On the wideouts:

We had a combination of a quarterback who didn't just put the ball down more and run and wide receivers who understood that when he takes off, that's not the end of the play. It's a two-way street as guys learn each other's styles. This is the first time that they have played together; we've got a couple of veteran wideouts who have never been in a game situation with Johnny until the last two weeks.

On the offensive line:

They were hit and miss. They protected the quarterback pretty well, and we could run it at times. You saw SMU adapt to the same scheme Florida used. When you're outnumbered, you've got to throw the football until we showed we were able to sit in the pocket and complete passes. We have to have different answers for different situations in order to be effective offensively. We got to be able to do a couple of different things. We hadn't shown the ability versus Florida to drop back and throw the football. The quarterbacks have been very careful with the ball; he's been cautious. He's got to decide where he's going to go to then cut loose with some throws from the pocket and on the move.

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