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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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3 takeaways from Monday’s press conference

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher looks through a playbook from the sideline during A&M’s game against Florida at Kyle Field on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

With the first six-game losing streak since 1972, Texas A&M now finds itself out of bowl contention and directionless. Now that the postseason is a guaranteed no-go, the Aggies look forward to trying to finish off this season without another loss in the books.
Here are three takeaways from Monday’s press conference:
Missing the bowl appearance
The Aggies haven’t missed a postseason berth since 2008 which only adds to the dismay of many. For the seniors and graduate students on the team, this was the last opportunity to make this underwhelming season count for something.
“It’s disappointing,” senior wideout Jalen Preston said. “We didn’t have the year we said we were going to have, but being with my teammates and going through that has been kind of hard, but it helped us grow together as men.”
Having a season like this is something new for some players but offers life lessons, senior defensive back Demani Richardson said.
“I’ve never really lost like this,” Richardson said. “It makes you realize that everything won’t be as good always. Everything isn’t always good, sometimes there’s going to be hard times, so we just have to push through it. It gets like that in life sometimes, so it’s a good life lesson to have.”
Despite the loss of bowl contention, there are still two games against Massachusetts and LSU to close out the season that offer a small opportunity for redemption.
“We’re playing to get this chip off our shoulders,” Preston said. “We’ve been losing, and we’re just trying to prove something and prove we can do it. With UMass coming up, hopefully we can come out here and dominate them. With LSU, hopefully we can piss in their cornflakes. That’s what we want to do.”
The future lies with young players
This entire season underclassmen have dominated the starting lineup which has been both an advantage and a disadvantage. These young players are gaining game experience, but the lack of experience has shown as well.
Watching these younger players grow and prosper in the face of adversity has been exciting to watch, Richardson said.
“They’re going to be really great players in the future,” Richardson said. “I can’t wait to see those guys grow up and see what they keep on doing in the future. I’m happy those guys are here and we’re definitely lucky to have those guys.”
With the current state of the team, it could be easy for this freshman class to be discouraged and desire immediate results, but that’s not the path to go, Richardson said.
“No matter where you go, it’s always about the process,” Richardson said. “Don’t always expect something to happen right away. If you transfer, the things you expect to happen won’t happen. As long as you put in the work and grind, you’ll get what you want. Things don’t always go the way you expect them to.”
Working with such a young team with little to no veterans has been a difficult process but one that is still ongoing, head coach Jimbo Fisher said.
“You have young players and some situations that you have to fill in with key injuries at different points in time, but that’s no excuse,” Fisher said. “You have to have it and you’re always fighting for inches. As a young group of players with a mix of older guys, we just haven’t found that perfect mix yet.”
Where to go from here
Now that the season is down to its last two games and a bowl game is out of the question, many are asking what the team is focused on and what lies ahead in the future.
For starters, coming out this Saturday with a big win over UMass is the first place to start in order to get back to where the team should be, Preston said.
“It’s very important to come out here against UMass, and we just want to dominate them,” Preston said. “We’re coming off a couple losses and it just doesn’t sit right with the whole team. We want to go out these last two games and play Texas Aggie football.”
Getting into a rhythm early for both sides of the ball is something that is expected for the team and crucial to success this Saturday, Richardson said.
“We should definitely get rolling on all units,” Richardson said. “Even though UMass won’t be easy, we still have to go out there and play good defense, offense and special teams well. We have to go out there and execute and practice hard this week. The opponent that we play doesn’t matter. It’s always about playing ourselves, executing the right way, executing the way we know how to. It’s about what we do, not what other teams do.”
Looking past the end of this season, recruiting efforts have been a widely talked about subject in regard to where A&M stands with high school recruits. However, things are still running smoothly, Fisher said.
“It’s not in disarray,” Fisher said. “We’ve got very good players, and we’ll keep coaching. We’re in good shape in recruiting and what we’re doing. There’s other ways of recruiting like signing a full class, portals and different things. We’re not in disarray in recruiting or on our team. Our guys are playing their tails off and playing hard, and we have to continue to help them play better.”
As for what this team is playing for, the answer is simple, Fisher said.
“We’re playing for each other and Texas A&M,” Fisher said. “You have Texas A&M on your jersey, and you play for your teammates and yourself because you’re sending a message of who you are and what you are.”

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