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October 13, 2013

Press conference highlights after A&M's win

OXFORD, MISS. -- Here are comments from Texas A&M players and coach Kevin Sumlin, as well as Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, after the Aggies' 41-38 win at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Kicker Josh Lambo:

* Has a sense of humor. When he came in to the room, he asked, "How's everyone?" I replied, "How was your night?" His reply: "Not bad. Sort of boring."

* Said he was "all confidence" when it came time for the final kick. Said he knew he'd get a good hold from Kaser and a good snap from Matthews (honestly, Kaser did a great job getting the hold down).

* Said that he'd planned on doing the soccer goal slide if he ever had the chance to kick a game winning field goal. I asked him if he'd ever had the chance to do it before and he said, "as a goalie? no chance."

* Called the situation that brought him into the starting job "unfortunate", but said he was going to be the best kicker he could. If his shot never came, he was going to be the best backup in the country.

* Said, "I'm not just here for football," noting that his classwork came first.

* Honestly didn't realize that Ole Miss had a time out left that they didn't use to freeze him.

Wideout Travis Labhart:

* Asked him about the rapport he had with Manziel tonight, as he caught a career high 8 passes for 97 yards. He said he and Manziel have had a rapport since they were on the scout team together and they were good friends. Said he wasn't quite sure why the connection was working so well tonight, but felt really good the whole night.

* Said there was no doubt that, once Manziel got the ball back, that A&M was going to win. He said that when Ole Miss went back up 38-31, he and Johnny started laughing because they knew they'd go back and score again.

* Said that Manziel sat and watched the Texas-OU game with him this afternoon and was just as relaxed and funny as he could be, and then when he got to the stadium, he was all business.

* Said that when he scored his touchdown against SHSU, the coaches gave him crap about celebrating. "They said, 'act like you've been in the end zone before.' I said, 'But I haven't.'"

Coach Sumlin:

* I asked him if he thought this season's game was similar to last year's, and he said he really didn't think so. "Both teams played hard; they didn't do everything right, but they gave great effort. Someone had to win, and fortunately it was us."

* Said he was as happy for Lambo as anyone on the team for the win. "I think he's a great example for everyone on our team...here's a guy that, a year ago, nobody knows who he was. He's also an example for our program that, if you keep at it and do things the right way, the best players are going to play."

* Was asked about Manziel's injury. "I don't know (what it was), and I wouldn't tell you if I did."

* Said he asked Manziel if he was 100% and he said yes, so he put him back in. Manziel wouldn't have asked back in if he wasn't fully ready to go.

* Said the difference in the game was 3rd down conversions. A&M was 8 of 13 and Ole Miss was 6 of 14. "That's the game right there."

* On the defense: "In the first half, I thought we gave up one big play. It was a little bit of a different story in the second half. They made some adjustments, particularly in the third quarter by them, and obviously in the fourth quarter we made enough plays to win."

* On two cardiac games in Oxford: "I'm just glad that, unless the screw the schedule up again, we're not coming back here next year. Hopefully the commissioner's listening, but I don't want to get fined."

* On the special teams: "We missed one early that had an impact on the end of the game. (Lambo) made all his extra points and drilled one when we had to have it. Special teams is more than the plackicker; I thought the return teams did well. We gave up a couple of big returns, but these guys are as good a returners as anyone in the country. We've got real good returners. We punted one time, and when we asked him to punt he knocked it down at about the 13 yard line."

* Thought the team did well giving Ole Miss long fields to work with, except for the turnover.

* "One thing about our guys: they don't quit. That's become their trademark over the last 18 months and they play to the end."

* On Trey Williams: "you can tell he's getting healthy. He's a hard guy to tackle when he's healthy."

* On Manziel: "What makes him different is he's one of the greatest competitors I've ever seen."

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze:

* "It really boils down to we had a chance to make some plays and didn't and we did. There were a lot of things that could have happened but didn't. We were so short-handed that we couldn't go with a lot of our defensive packages. We really on had one option there at the end. I couldn't tell you how many folks were down on the defensive side. It was so many that we couldn't go into our 'money' or 'dime' packages."

* On Serderius Bryant, who was taken immobilized and taken off the field in the fourth quarter: "We haven't heard. When I got out there, he had been knocked out. It looked like he had some movement to me. We're hopeful and we're praying for him."

* On the play calling on the last three and out: "The first play was a run-pass option. We could second guess it, but the next play we had a guy wide open and it hit him in the chest. You have to make plays."

* On Bo Wallace staying the starter: "I think so. The game was on the line and he made a nice throw on the run pass option. The next one was a strike. Barry did some nice things also."

* On the team's game plan: "I thought the plan we had worked, and gave us a chance. We want to formulate a plan that gives us a chance in the fourth quarter to win the football game. We had the ball and had a chance. We didn't get it done."

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