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November 5, 2013

Press Conference Tuesday

Coach Sumlin:

* In a discussion about Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak's mini-stroke at halftime of Sunday night's game, Sumlin says his stress level has not changed from UH to A&M. "Winning's winning. The stress level in this job is hard to describe. A lot of people think it's just what we do Saturday ... I was listening to Herm Edwards the other day, and he said it's like Vegas. There's no clock. You work until you think you've done all you can that day, because you owe it to your team."

* Says he has a physical every year, "when I'm at my worst" -- right after a vacation when he did nothing.

* "Unlike any other job, you're judged on 36 hours a week. And that creates a stressful environment."

* On corner Devante Harris: "He's got a lot of confidence, and sometimes that gets him in trouble. He's got to be more consistent in his play and approach the off field part of the game -- his strength and conditioning, his weight -- to be come a truly great player. To take that next step, he needs to take that next step off the field to become the player he can be, and that's as good as any player in the league."

* On Johnny Manziel: "He's playing football ... a lot was made of some things in the offseason and the scrutiny he was under was unlike any other player in the country and maybe any player ever." Adds that Manziel is playing better than he did in his 2012 Heisman season.

* Compares his decision to start Case Keenum over Blaine Joseph to Showers vs. Manziel: "Sounds similar to here, doesn't it? Thankfully, we've made the right decision."

* On Mississippi State: "They're one of the larger teams we're gonna play this year, including Alabama and LSU, from a size standpoint. What you see is a team that is operating one of the better offenses in our league ... defensively, they've got a huge defensive line and they rotate a lot of guys. We don't have the quality depth they do. You look at them offensively, they've got a lot of weapons ... (Prescott) is a big strong guy who can throw and can run through people. They're confident in what they do; they moved the ball against South Carolina and turned it over. On defense -- they held South Carolina to 1 of 11 on third down. They've been one of the best third down conversion teams in the SEC, especially over the last five weeks. It'll be a big challenge for us."

* On Ben Malena: "Ben has seen a lot in the time he's been here, and had some great moments. He's been a real emotional leader for us...particularly in practice time and in the offseason. He's been a leader by example, but this year he's been vocal. It'll be an emotional moment for all of (the seniors), but I can see it being especially for him."

* on Senior Day and the changes coming to Kyle Field: "This will not only be the last time we take that walk, but this will be the last time Kyle Field will look like this. After 5:30, Kyle Field will look totally different forever. Jake (Matthews) walked over to me and said, 'I didn't think about it like that. I think I'm gonna cry.' It's a historic moment."

* On the defense: "What I'm looking for is we've looked pretty good on defense the last two weeks -- now we learn how much we've really improved."

* On finishing with a bye, then at LSU and at Mizzou: "I don't think I've ever done that (finish on the road) before".

* Says Cedric Ogbuehi and Alonzo Williams will return.

* On tight end Cam Clear: "He's playing very well. His time is coming. He understands where he is and what he's doing and the big scheme of things. We've been in so many spread sets with Malcome and Mike Evans and recently Labhart, there's only one football."

* On underclassmen declaring for the draft: "We try to give our juniors or third year players as much information as we can. Fortunately, we have a lot of contacts in the NFL. We sit down with the families ... we sat down with Luke and Jake and their families. We'll give you all the information we have and if you ask, I'll tell you what I think."

* On Tra Carson: "It was a sprained neck, which sounds painful...He was a neck brace yesterday; he's improved today. We'll see. He wants to play, but we'll see where the doctors say he is at the end of the week. He looks like he was in a car accident."

* On the pressure from the defense: "The pressure was there, but the quarterback escaped in the early part of the year. The guys understand that they need to keep gap containment and that's what happening."

* More on Malena: "Any time he wants to talk, he gets to talk. That's not the case with everyone on the team. I think halftime of the Vanderbilt game was one of those moments. I came back in there at 5 and 4 (minutes in halftime) and the team was already huddled up and Ben was reading them the riot act. I just sat there and listened. He said, 'let's go,' and I said, 'What he said.'"

* His favorite moment at Kyle? Coming out for the first time as head coach vs. Florida.

Coach Snyder:

* On Howard Matthews: "He's played really well. He's kind of our captain back there and he's starting to see more things, so I'm starting to blitz him more and he's becoming a bigger part of our gameplan."

* On the performance against UTEP: "We still saw some freshman mistakes, but you saw them get corrected. They understand the consequences of making those mistakes against really good teams and you saw them fix it, especially Isaiah (Golden)."

* On Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott: "He's almost as big as our front. He pushes the pile for 5 or 6 against everyone they're playing. They do it all with him. He's got a hose. He can throw it a bit. He can spin the ball."

* On Mark Hagan moving to the sideline: "It's really helped the linebackers. We mulled it over for a day or so, and it was a good decision to make. It's been a good move for us. The kids are comfortable with him being down there. They've come to us and said so."

* On the defensive improvement: "You feel guys getting more comfortable with Darian. He's the voice, he's the mouthpiece."

* On the last three games: "Let's continue to improve...let's put a game plan together that they can do, which is getting broader...let's not play too fast."

* On Devante Harris: "Last week we brought him into our office and sat him down. He's got so much talent, but it's consistency, on the field and off the field. That first touchdown was on him. He got an interception, so I told him, 'we're even."

* On Noel Ellis: "He's going to be the guy (at nickel) next year. We're trying to get him ready to roll."

Coach McKinney:

* On Mississippi State: "This is probably the biggest defense across the board. They have linebackers that are 6'4", 250; we have linemen that aren't that big. It's going to be a big challenge for us."

* On yards after the catch: "We don't monitor that. We worry about first downs and touchdowns...We chart drops."

* On Manziel: "He's done the things we've asked him to do, and we only expected him to do those things. I heard he tweeted this or that; I never saw that. When we've asked him to be here, he's been here and did what we've asked of him."

* On the starting O-line: "It'll be really good to have them back this week to play this big defensive line."

* On the young players: "Really good to see Kenny get some snaps and run the offense so he'll be ready when it's his turn. Our running backs -- they're young, but they're playing a lot for us. And Laquvionte (Gonzalez) -- we got to see what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands."

* "It's really helpful to have more than one guy (at running back) ... It's unfortunate that Tra went down, but the next guy up is just as good if not better. That's a good position to be in as a running backs coach."


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