Coming off their first SEC win, and a big one at that, the Texas A&M Aggies continue on their road to prove they belong in the SEC. Next stop on their road to legitimacy? A trip to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the Rebels of Ole Miss.
While the team searches for respect in its new conference, redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel has everything to prove he is the explosive playmaker the team needs.
Last week against the Arkansas Razorbacks, Manziel threw for 453 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 104 yards and another touchdown. The numbers show that Manziel absolutely dominated the Arkansas defense. His performance earned him SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors last week, while also being named of three co-recipients of SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
In his weekly press conference, A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talked about his star in the making, Ole Miss, and some other Aggies football topics.
On progress of team:
“I think we’re right about where we thought we would be. I think we’ve been preaching and we’re trying to be consistent in what we do. It’s hard to say that we are progressing because we are only four games in, but I’ve been pleased. I think we’ve improved every week. Everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop around here but I think we’ve gotten better every week. Everything we’ve talked about, reducing penalties and higher turnover margins, our guys are listening. Those are the two biggest things we came into this year trying to accomplish. Also, we are working on keeping the effort and intensity up. Generally speaking, those three areas are probably our biggest improvements”
On Johnny Manziel:
“Based on results, he’s been pretty good. You see him getting better. That’s all part of it. As a young guy, you have to handle success at all positions, more so at quarterback. Like me, you get too much credit when you win and all the blame when you lose. You figure out how to deal with that as a quarterback. It’s important and that comes through experience. I think he wants to be really, really good. Not just a guy that’s playing and doing some things. He wants to develop into a complete quarterback.”
On Ole Miss:
“Bo Wallace is a tough guy and he’s a bigger guy than I thought. He’s a guy that won’t hesitate to run it and he’s taken some shots. I’ve been impressed with this team’s speed. Look at what they do offensively, 23rd in the country in rushing the football. They’ve played two top-10 teams. They’ve been able to move the football on everybody. I think they’ve done a nice job.”
Chris Lionetti is a writer for Rant Sports who focuses on the SEC
Follow him on twitter at: @ChrisLionetti