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November 26, 2013

Press Conference Tuesday

Here's what head coach Kevin Sumlin, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder and offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney had to say during their weekly press conference Tuesday:

Coach Sumlin:

Opening statement: "Obviously, we're coming off a real disappointing loss, a disappointing effort. After looking at the video, I thought out guys gave good effort, but we didn't execute well enough. I don't think we handled the environment very well; we didn't handle anything very well. That's something we haven't had happen here, and we've discussed that the last 48 hours. We go on the road for a second time as an underdog, and we're playing a team that's very good, very excited and we've got to find a way to pick ourselves up and get back going. We've got some things we can play for too. With a win here, we're in a position to be a double-digit win football team and that would be only the third or fourth time that that's happened at Texas A&M.
The good news is from a health standpoint, we're doing pretty well. Out guys understand what's at stake and will be ready to go Friday night."

On the lack of the running game: "Early in the game, we could have run it more. They had something to do with that from looks. As the game went on and we got down two scores, you start looking at time of possession and getting back on the board and doing what we've done successfully. But early in the game, we could have done some things differently and taken some pressure of the passing game. That being said, it's all about execution. Our execution early in the game created a situation where we had to play catchup and put our defense at a disadvantage, because early on, I thought our defense played well. We had opportunities early to get some things done and the execution early in the game would get better, and it just didn't. Certainly, we didn't play our best either."

On Mizzou's offense: "Matty Mauk wins games too. They've progressed their program where they have a number of guys, and they should. Both guys are really capable. I don't know how much they change; obviously James (Franklin) has been around for a while, has been in some big games and is a veteran guy. What they do really well is they've got big, big receivers that create mismatches for you and allow them to just throw it up sometimes. The running game has really been complimentary, but how well they've run it ... creates problems play action-wise. Both of them utilize it very well. They're both capable guys and both won for them this year."

On the mood of the team: "They're just really to play. I don't think anybody's mad. I drive through here at a gas station and it's like the sky's falling. We lost to LSU on the road as an underdog. It's the first time we've lost be double digits. We're playing a real season with real opponents and real games. Are where we want to be no? But is the sky falling? But people expect us to win. It's a totally different attitude then when we got here."

On the role he plays in the offense: "I try to talk to them between series. What I don't like is when people chime in between plays. We talk a little bit between series before I get over to the defense ... a lot of things are talked about before games are started; critical situations that come up. You have to make a decision, you have to do things. But play after play, run-pass, run-pass, we don't do things like that. In between series, when you have a feel for stuff and you have time, you communicate things."

On Johnny Manziel: "His attitude and approach is fine. We're playing in another nationally televised game this week. If you're a competitive guy, your attitude shouldn't be any different.

On Missouri's defense: "They've really improved from last year, obviously. They lead the league in sacks. Michael Sam's a great player and the other end is really good too. What's underrated is they lead the league in interceptions too. Their front four is a bunch of guys who have been there, and know what to do. Coach Steckel is more multiple than he's been in the past, and he's got a lot of pieces to play with."

On the rush offense: "I don't know (if it's where he wants it to be). We'll see Saturday night."

On the success of Mizzou of A&M in the SEC: "I was more shocked last year with Missouri's record than a lot of people were, just because they were a little like Florida last year, because of injuries. By the time we played them, they'd lost half their team. Gary Pinkel has a tradition of winning, and having double-digit (win) seasons and competing at a very high level. I didn't see that changing. Is it a surprise to me? No. They've that's been together, they've got a style of play that's a little different and they have a culture of winning."

On Manziel's hand being a concern: "If it was, I wouldn't tell you. That's been going on for a while. If he couldn't play, he wouldn't play. If it was to the point where I thought it was detrimental to the team, he wouldn't be out there."

On his comment about Manziel declaring before the bowl: "I was asked about the process and what takes place, and it wasn't just for Johnny Manziel, but all our third year players. After the game Saturday/Sunday, we will file with the NFL to just make sure and get what they think. That's just proper procedure. We did that last year, and between now and the bowl game, we'll gather as much information as we can for those players and their families and then, after the bowl game, usually, and the time...mid-January as when you can make that decision, so between the end of the season or the bowl game, we get as much information as we can. I guess I stopped short, because I didn't say that."

On being linked to other jobs: "I don't know. It's not a distraction for us. Our guys deal with it. More than anything else, for the team, it's not distracting. We spend so much time on week-to-week and our opponent ... what I'm worried about is our current team and recruiting. In our discussion with our players and our recruits, they understand what we're doing ... I don't see it as a distraction."

Coach Snyder:

On James Franklin: "He's a very experienced player. That's what he brings to the table. He does a real good job of running their option. If you look at the tape, he's very poised in the pocket."

On the changes to Mizzou's offense: "They're doing the same things, they're just doing it really well right now. They're just playing really well right now. They were decimated down here by injuries and this year they've avoided the injury bug."

On Henry Josey: "You see no signs of injuries or things like that with him right now. They're hitting on all cylinders."

On Mizzou's running game: "You've got to be careful as a player and a coach because they're second in the league in rushing. They've got that ability to stretch you, stick that foot in the ground and go north and south. All three of those backs are mirror images of each other."

On Isaiah Golden's performance: "I've been really pleased. He's got that mentality, 'run it at me.' That's good stuff."

On Mizzou's wideouts: "They bring a different dimension. I think their shortest guy is 6'2", and they can all leap."

Coach McKinney:

On the lack of the running game: "Early on, you wish we'd got the running game going. We didn't execute the first couple of drives, got down two scores and trying to get back quickly, running doesn't do it."

On pregame planning: "We don't go into a game looking to emphasize the pass game or the run game. We look to take what the defense gives them."

On why the offense was flat: "I have no idea why. We had some opportunities where the balls were catchable and our receivers didn't catch them. We had situations where guys were open and we didn't hit them. I don't know what it is, it hasn't happened the last 10 weeks."

On Tra Carson: "His role his been short yardage/goal line, and we didn't have any short yardage plays, we didn't have any goal line plays, so there wasn't a real need for Tra."

On facing Missouri: "We've just got to be ready to play ... they're going to be up, playing for a lot, playing for a chance to get to the conference championship game, and we're playing for our ninth win. In this league, there are no games you can take off. You've got to be ready every."

On Manziel's hand injury: "Your saying that right now is the first I've heard about Johnny's thumb (or hand). He hasn't complained about it."

Missouri's defense: "They're not as big as some of the fronts we've played in the past, but they're probably quicker than anyone we've faced. They really run to the ball."

On the lack of the running game: "We didn't have very many opportunities when we got down. I'm not quite remembering what happened against Mississippi State. Running the ball is as much as our offense as throwing the ball .. this week, we have to execute, whether we're running the ball or throwing the ball."

On the offensive line: "The offensive line graded out pretty well. We had some blown protections, but those weren't on the offensive line. That was more the running backs. We didn't have much in the running game, so we can't really give them a positive or a negative in the run game."

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