Texas A&M Head Coach R.C. Slocum talked about Oklahoma and this Saturday's showdown in College Station at his weekly press conference Monday.
On getting the team prepared for Oklahoma after back-to-back losses
"From a motivation standpoint, it really shouldn't be that hard. If you like to play and like challenges, this should be an easy one to get up for. Our biggest challenge has been a few bumps and bruises so we're trying to get healthy guys lined up on the field. We know we're playing a great team. I have huge respect for them. I think they're a better team than they were two years ago. I think they're better offensively. They're more balanced than they were. Two years ago they were pretty much a one-dimensional team. They ran the ball some, but they threw the ball a lot more than they throw it now. It looks like they've moved from an all-out passing team to a balanced two-back offense now. We have a great challenge. Nothing to do but look forward to it and get ready to go play."
On if they can take anything from their near win over Oklahoma in 2000 to help Saturday
"I think you can. You can look at that game and say no one really gave us a chance in that ballgame. We did and came very close to beating them. We beat Pittsburgh and they went into Virginia Tech last weekend and beat them. Most people would say that OU is certainly the odds-on favorite to win the game. We know that, but we also know how football works. You get into games and things start going your way. If you're geared right mentally, you look forward to these types of games. We'll fire our best shot and who knows, we might @#%$ something. That will be our approach. We'll go out there to play. You see it every week in the NFL. You see the (St. Louis) Rams go 0-5 and now they've won three in a row. That's football. That's the way it works. We certainly understand that and look forward to going out there this week and seeing what happens."
On if Kyle Field has lost its mystique after three home losses this season
"It's still a great place to play. The fans are still factors in the game. They still create some momentum, but it's not a guarantor of success. We've won a bunch of games at Kyle Field, but the two teams still have something to do with it. If the game is even, I think it gives you an edge. But you don't take a real bad team and beat a real good one just because you're in Knoxville or Tallahassee or wherever."
On Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin
"I really think he has to be one of the best college football players in the country. He plays all the time for one thing; he never misses. I don't know of him ever being hurt. He handles himself - his quotes and watching him on game tapes. I admire the way he handles himself. He plays with great enthusiasm. When they start talking Heisman Trophy winners - to me, I've always thought that award goes to the best player in college football. That kid ought to be in there somewhere. This young man is a very consistent player who's had a big impact on his team. He's a heck of a player."
(Quotes courtesy of Texas A&M Sports Information Department)
Slocum says Sooners are better this time around
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