COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Texas A&M (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) head coach Dennis Franchione met with members of…
"A little bit of a swagger back"
"Strange night. You know, you wait two hours after pre-game warm-up to play the game. But both teams did that. I didn't think we got off to a very good start in the first quarter offensively, but defense did a good job of hanging in there and getting stops when they were playing with a short field, and finally gave us time to get our offense going."
"Third quarter we were really good. We came out and scored three times in the third quarter -- got stops. I challenged our guys all week to come back and win the kicking game, and I think we did a pretty good job of that with Kerry [Franks] and his returns, and Layne Neumann was good tonight. And our kickoff coverage was pretty good. Justin Brantly had another good night, though somehow we managed to run in and rough the punter there early in the game. But other than that, there were a lot of good things."
On keeping the team focused during the 2-hour delay
"Fortunately in my coaching career I've been through this before. Not for quite two hours, but we had a game when I was at TCU where we had to wait in the locker room for a long time. But the more difficult part of that was that was our first game and it was the opponent's second game, so the anxiety was a little higher. This team is more mature. They did a great job of staying focused. The coaches did a great job of meeting with their players and kind of keeping them on-task and keeping them as ready to play as they could, under the conditions. I did all I could to kind of let them know exactly what the time frame seemed to be so that we weren't too ready to play too soon or too late, as best we could. Both teams played under the same conditions, so I'm not saying that we had any disadvantage or advantage. It is something that is unique for a football team to go through though."
On this team handling adversity better, as compared to last year's team
"I think there's certainly no doubt about that, up to this point. You know, getting behind early and struggling in the first quarter a little bit tonight, and the situations we were put into. They kept battling, and they are more mature. We've got more kids that have played, even though we don't have a lot of seniors. We still have more that have played that are more comfortable when they get into situations like that."
"I really liked the offensive kids. When I went to the bench to talk to them. They were saying all the right things – ‘Keep your poise. Let's don't get frustrated. We'll be fine. We'll get going.' I was pleased when I went back there and I heard them saying the things that I was going to say to them."
On the defensive play against a passing team
"I haven't had a chance to look at all of the statistics well. We gave up one down the middle that hurt, but for the most part, not too bad. I felt pretty good about it. We had our hands on a lot of balls and did not get an interception. We're going to need to get some of those. But all in all, another pretty solid defensive effort."
On the slow offensive start
"We didn't start very good. I just asked Kirk Elder, ‘What was our deal in the first quarter?' He said, ‘Coach, I think we were a little uptight.' I said, ‘What do you mean?' He said, ‘We wanted to play good so bad that I think we struggled a little bit and over did it.'"
"We didn't have very good field position, and we just didn't execute very good. Once they got going, I think we got it going with the passing game I think, more than anything else. Jorvorskie's first touchdown was on a good read on the option play. But the passing game kind of set up where we wanted to go tonight."
On a great goal-line stand
"It's certainly great to see. Every time our defense does something good, it's exciting right now. That's two weeks in-a-row [with] a stop inside the five-yard line, and that's impressive. Hopefully we'll have some more left in them."
On Stephen McGee
"We had eleven different players catch passes, which ties a school record. I guess last week everybody wondered where the pass was, and this week they'll probably wonder where the run was. But that's what we hope is the beauty of our offense – multiplicity – to be able to run and throw and do what is needed, when it's needed."
"We felt like we could have thrown it more last week, and this team was very committed to the run early in the game. And our guys finally did a good job and protected Stephen. It was an excellent game for him. The young man is getting better each week. We're able to do more and more things, and he's kind of caught up with that injury that he had earlier where he didn't get as much passing time early. I think we felt like it would take us the month of September to get caught up, and I think he has now. The thing I liked about him tonight is that he pulled the thing down and ran for a couple of big plays, which I was really proud of him for, and ran out of bounds, which was a miracle."
On the state of the team, heading into conference play
"We got to here, 4-0. We've stayed relatively healthy. We've gained confidence. We have a belief system. Our defense, that was probably our most emotionally-fragile group after last year, I think has a little bit of a swagger back –- a lot more confidence, especially with the goal-line stands. We've gotten to play a lot of players, and we've gotten to do a lot of things. When I say a lot of different things, a lot of areas that we can build on, and hopefully make us better as this season goes on."
"Really, if someone would've said, 'This is where you would be,' after the first four, before we started the season back in August, I'd probably have been pretty excited. But I'm a coach, and I'm greedy and want more. I can always find things that could've been better. But all in all, I think we've done a nice job in the first four."
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