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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

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4 takeaways from Monday’s football press conference

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

A&M will compete for its fourth straight bowl win on New Year’s Eve.

As the regular season comes to a close, Texas A&M football is faced with one final challenge — a night game in Death Valley.
On Monday, Nov. 22, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher and his No. 14 Aggies met with the media to discuss their success against Prairie View A&M and the Saturday, Nov. 27 road matchup at LSU.
Here’s what we learned:
Orgeron’s last game
Headed into Death Valley for the last game of the regular season, LSU remains in a vulnerable position. The battle may be coach Ed Orgeron’s last game as an LSU coach and last game in Death Valley. These emotions could overwhelm the team and provide an incentive to play hard for Orgeron. Sophomore cornerback Jaylon Jones said LSU is a tough environment to play in, but the Aggies will head into the matchup with what seems to be the same year-long team motto — the opponent is faceless.
“We have a certain standard that we play by,” Jones said. “This is another [Southeastern Conference] game, which means it’s another tough game. It doesn’t matter who we play; the opponent is faceless. We’re going to go out and do what we’re supposed to.”
Fisher’s promises
In last week’s press conference, Fisher addressed the LSU head coaching rumors again, asserting he is staying in Aggieland. Junior wide receiver Jalen Preston said the team loves Fisher’s loyalty to A&M and is excited to see this program continue to develop under him.
“It makes us really happy,” Preston said. “Coach Fisher is building a special place here. With all the guys coming in and all the guys that are already here, you can tell it’s going to be special. It’s already a special team.”
When Fisher heard the news his players were excited about his loyalty to A&M, Fisher jokingly said, “You sure?”
He went on to say those kinds of decisions make players believe in him and what he wants to achieve.
“There’s a trust [between us],” Fisher said. “I am coaching the guy you can be, not who you are. You have to learn to be uncomfortable to be a great player. After you get done chewing them out and getting on them, you put your arm around them when they are walking off and [explain] why I did that. We are developing each and every day.”
Room to grow
Due to injuries and the loss of last year’s seniors, the Aggies have been forced to roll with young athletes on all sides of the ball. Players like freshmen center Bryce Foster and cornerback Tyreek Chappell have played in all nine games this season, heavily contributing to the overall success of the team. In addition, freshman right tackle Rueben Fathree II, who just turned 19, has played in eight games this season. Fisher said having young guys come in and play at a young age can benefit a team in the long run.
“They are 18-19 years old,” Fisher said. “[Fathree] has done an outstanding job. He is very intelligent … and a very conscientious young man, who wants to do good.”
No bias on bowl games
Since A&M already has bowl eligibility, discussions of potential bowl game matchups have begun. With Georgia and Alabama headed to the SEC Championship, A&M is favored in a collection of different bowl games, including a couple of New Year’s Six game predictions. Defensive back Antonio Johnson said the team does not care which bowl game it plays in; it is just another game for the players.
“We had aspirations of being in the elite New Year’s Six bowls, but it doesn’t matter which bowl we get,” Johnson said. “We are going to put on a show for sure.”

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