Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin‘s comments at his news conference after Saturday’s 29-24 win over Alabama:
–On what it is like seeing everybody after the game: “It is exciting. There’s a lot of work that goes into that and a lot of emotion. I said on the field afterwards, I am happiest for the seniors and the experienced players that have been through a lot in their career. You think about it, they came to Texas A&M and probably never thought about playing at Alabama for a regular season game, and being a conference football game. To come in here and play them with them being number one in the country, and us being a part of the conference, it is just a tribute to those guys. They bought into what we ask them to do and then they went out and executed and lead our football team. I am happiest for them because they have been through a lot with coaching changes and close football games. To go on the road and win like that for those guys, it will be moment they will never forget.”
–On how this compares to some of the other great victories in his career: “It is big, for us and our first year in the league, we haven’t talked a lot about it. We are the new guys coming in and we have to prove ourselves and we have to continue to prove ourselves week in and week out. I said all week, ‘we have gotten a little bit better every week.’ The past two weeks we have played pretty well on the road and our guys are playing with a lot of confidence. For these guys and this group and what they have accomplished in 10 weeks. From the spring and all the changes they have been through, it is a big deal.”
–On whether this could be one of the biggest wins in school history: “I can’t say that it is that, we just got here. You have to check back to see what has happened. Coming into this year, I think the attitude around our program has changed certainly from the spring, to the summer, to the first part of the year. On Monday, I said early that these guys had played well enough to put us in a position to play meaningful football games in November. If you can do that, particularly with the first year in the program and guys start to build confidence, things like this happen. We have still got some games to play and who knows. These guys are enjoying playing football right now, whether we are at home or away. They play with a lot of confidence. And like I said, I think our seniors had a lot to do with that.”
–On whether he envisioned things like this happening when he took the job: “I don’t know, as a coach you always think that you are going to be able to win. We said from the beginning, and everybody kind of laughed, I didn’t know we were going into the SEC when I took the job, we knew that. There’s a lot things that go into a win like this, particularly on the road. We are a different team in week 10 than we were week one, particularly with the young guys in critical positions handling the ball, from wide receivers to kickers. But, our seniors, like I said, are the ones I am happiest with. They are in the locker room and when there is a change and things like that, the quicker you have the buy-in from the experienced players, the quicker you can have success. That’s why we owe a lot to them.”.