Quoting Texas A&M

Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman talks about this week's match-up with Texas.

On the postgame scene Saturday: It was a little surreal. All the students came down from the stands, which totally shocked me, the bedlam that was out there. I was trying to find Coach Pelini and shake his hand, and I couldn't find him. But we did get together. The game in itself and the impact the 12th Man had was just huge. Both us and our players fed off of that. I can't thank our students, former students and fans enough for intensifying the game for us. They were a huge part in what we did.

On his burning of the Missouri game plan at practice: It was the tape and the game plan and the playbooks and everything. It was just to put things aside. These kids are not as sequestered as our staff is. I go home at night and everyone's asleep, and when I leave for work everyone's asleep. I don't read the papers or listen to talk radio. Coaches are immune to criticism, but players aren't. They have to go to class and be among the real world. The criticism that's thrown your way, and some are very justifiable, you hang on to it. I just wanted to tell them that it's okay. We didn't play very well, but just put the game behind you. I thought we played terribly against Missouri. With all due respect to Missouri, and I think they are a heck of a football team, but we didn't give them a game. That effort was just doing something to tell them that it's okay and we'll move forward. That it was a thing of the past and to just let it go. I called a bad game, we coached a bad game and they played a bad game. It was on all of us. I told them it was okay to forgive yourself. Today it's so important to be able to forgive yourself when you make mistakes. I make mistakes every day. But you have to forgive and move on. So that was part of the lesson.

On the team's growth the last month or so: I think our team has matured thru the course of the season. The offensive line wasn't gelling at that time. They're getting better. You want to peak at certain times. In college, November has to be your best month. We put a lot of effort and emphasis on November here. We cut back practices and such so they can be fresh and ready to go.

On talking to the team about what's on the line Thursday, like possibility of the Big 12 title game or keeping Texas out of a bowl: Our effort won't be to keep Texas out of a bowl game. We're trying to do something for ourselves. Not to Texas, but for ourselves and our school and our fans. That will never enter into the conversation. I think they understand the implications for beating a Texas team in Austin. I won't over-state that.

On Ryan Tannehill's job Saturday and his learning curve at quarterback: I was very excited as the head coach but as an offensive coach when you only score nine points in the ball game, the offensive coordinator side of me was frustrated. But then when I watched the tape I realized we A. didn't turn the ball over, B. had minimal penalties and C. ran the ball well. We were very efficient running the ball and controlling that part of the game. We had a pretty good game plan even though we didn't score a lot of points. We did what we had to do. Our punting game has to get a lot better. We're losing yards in the punting game. I was going to be conservative in the game, I knew the (passing) windows would be tight. We were effective enough to win that game. I didn't think it would be a high-scoring game, but I never envisioned it to be a 9-6 game though. Ryan managed the game very well. He didn't make a high-risk throw the entire ballgame. He took a sack probably when he shouldn't have, but he didn't throw the ball out there and get it picked off. I thought he did a good job. I thought he managed things well. He did what he had to do to win the football game.

On the challenge of Texas' defense: They're a great defensive team. No question about it. They lead the conference in defensive yardage. They have an excellent scheme and excellent players. It will be a challenge for us offensively, no question.

On Randy Bullock's effort Saturday: They weren't extra-long field goals, but they were field goals we had to make. I think he's responded well this year. That's a lot of pressure on a young man, when you're talking about a 20-year-old kicking in front of 90,000 and however many are watching on TV. I don't care if it's an extra point. That's a three-man team trying to get it done out there, the snapper, holder and kicker. They executed well and he's a big part of that. He's risen to the challenge.

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