One-On-One with Kevin Matthews

Aggie Websider's Taylor Hamm sat down with the starting center for the Ags on Monday for an exclusive interview. They touched on the KSU defeat, the mood of the locker room, how his father helps him through hard times, and much more. Read the transcribed interview in the tailgate!

As a veteran, do you feel the need to step up and provide extra leadership after this weekend?

"Definitely. Being a senior, I go out there and you know, I'm not much of a talker, I don't like to get in the big crowd and be the verbal leader. What I like to do is I'll put extra emphasis on every little thing that I do practice wise. When I make my block, make sure I finish, and then make sure the rest of the O-Line is finishing. I'll just start from back there, work with the O-Line and branch my way out. Hopefully guys see that they build off of your intensity. If you go out to practice intense, they'll feed off of it. So I'll just go off of it that way. It's always been my way of trying to be a leader."

Does the mixing and matching on the offensive line mess with the chemistry?

"I wouldn't say so. We are really close, all those guys, we spend so much time together. I know everybody's tendencies, how they kind of play. When Patrick Lewis gets in there, being a true freshman, sometimes I might make sure he knows exactly what he's doing. But you know, that rarely happens. We all know what we are doing. It can be like that sometimes being that young, Patrick will learn through experience. Playing next to each other, if it's Evan next to me, or Matt Allen, or Patrick Lewis, it really doesn't bother me because I know they are all great athletes and I know we will get the blocking done right."

How do you guys bounce back from last week?

"One way or another, you get beat bad, you get beat by a point, it's all the same thing. It's a loss. We didn't expect to lose against Oklahoma State, we didn't expect to lose against Arkansas, we didn't expect to lose against Kansas State. Everybody is really focused and ready to work. We're going to go out and have a good Monday practice today. I feel like there is nobody on this team that isn't committed to the football team, and the coaching staff, and us as players. We are all committed to each other so I feel like there is no doubt in anybody's mind that the season is lost. We are only half way through the season, we can go on and win the next 6 games and still wind up 9 and 3.

What do you know about Tech's defensive front and what problems they might cause you next weekend?

We haven't gotten to watch much film on them yet, but I know they are very physical up front. We must do a better job protecting Jerrod. I'm anxious to get back out there and show our fans that we are much better than what we looked against Kansas State.

You were around your dad during his long career that had it's up and downs. How did your father deal with disappointing games like this, and how did he teach you how to rebound?

"My dad never brought his football home with him. If he had a bad game, which I can say didn't happen very much for him, but if he had a bad game or they had a bad loss he never came home with a pissed off attitude. He wouldn't sit there and sulk and moan. So that's kind of something I learned when I was younger. I went to all those games and I'd be upset but then I'd see my dad. To be a great player, you have to be able to get past the adversities that you'll face. If you have a bad play and you focus on that bad play, you'll end up having more bad plays throughout the game. The difference between a good and a great player is that they will be able to get past that adversity. I called him after the game, I told him how I was feeling. He asked how everybody else was doing and he told me that it was a learning experience and to get out there, have a good week at practice, and get after it. That's what we are going to do."

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