Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin addressed the media on Tuesday to preview the Aggies’ next opponent — the mighty Crimson Tide of Alabama.
Sumlin said A&M’s emphasis will be on itself, and having a game plan that will give the Aggies a chance to win.
“Our emphasis and what we’re doing here is not going to change because of the opponent. We’ve got goals every week internally that we’re trying to reach, and this team responds to that by getting a little bit better every week,” Sumlin said. “… Whether or not that will be good enough, we’ll see.”
Sumlin spoke about what has made Alabama so good in the SEC over the years.
“Time and winning, and winning over that time. That’s what it is,” he said. “Player development, recruiting, you name it. Nick [Saban] does a great job of player education and having guys understand what third and fourth years are about … They do a great job of development, scheme and coaching.
“The other thing Saban has done a great job of is not just player evaluation and retention and development, but coach development and retention,” Sumlin added. “He’s lost a lot of guys. A lot of them are head coaches in this league now. He has been able to replace them with other talented coaches and they haven’t missed a beat.”
The A&M head coach noted that teams have had a lot of trouble blocking Alabama up front.
“They’ve been tough in the front seven, but they’re always like that,” Sumlin said.
He also acknowledged Alabama’s offensive talent.
“Calvin Ridley is explosive and fast. He’s the shortest receiver, I think, that they’re playing,” Sumlin noted. “It seems like they have three or four of him now. He’s a really good route-runner. He can make the big play and get yards after the catch.”
Ridley, the Tide’s top receiver, is a real problem downfield, he added.
Tide QB Jalen Hurts is another impact player.
“He’s never too high or too low,” Sumlin said. “He’s learning in the RPO packages and taking more shots down the field. He continues to get better.”