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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 press conference

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Ishika Samant

Head coach Jimbo Fisher questions a referee’s call during a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Texas A&M football team recorded its fourth loss in a row, this time at the hands of No. 15 Ole Miss last Saturday, 31-28. Despite one of the best offensive showings this season, the Aggies came up short once again.
With only four games left this season, it’s up to the maroon and white to win three out of those four in order to keep the season going into December. Many questions were answered last Saturday and new ones arose going into the final stretch of the season.
On Monday, Oct. 31, freshman defensive lineman Albert Regis, junior offensive lineman Layden Robinson and coach Jimbo Fisher met with the media to answer questions leading up to the Florida game this Saturday.
Here are four takeaways from Monday’s press conference:
Younger players must step up
The Aggies have been using their younger players to their advantage all season after facing several key injuries in the upperclassmen.
Following senior wideout Ainias Smith’s season-ending injury, the receiving core had no choice but to rely on wideouts such as freshman Evan Stewart and sophomore Moose Muhammad III.
Fortunately for the Aggies, the transition has been made relatively smoothly as Muhammad has done a great job at filling in the offensive gaps, Fisher said.
“It’s huge because Ainias [Smith] was such a big part of play making and what you did in the middle of the field,” Fisher said. “He’s been a great emergence, and there’s great players here. Sometimes somebody else’s misfortune becomes somebody else’s fortune. He’s taken advantage of it and I’m proud and happy for him.”
Looking forward, the sophomore still has the ability to grow and could be a top target for these last few weeks, Fisher said.
“We always knew that Moose [Muhammad] is a very gifted guy and has really good hands, and there’s still a level he can go to,” Fisher said. “He’s making really good plays, making contested catches and we feel very comfortable going to him in all situations.”
Praise for Weigman
True freshman quarterback Conner Weigman had a fantastic first career start that could’ve only been better had he got the win over Ole Miss. Despite this, the Cypress native has seemingly won over both the coaching staff and the 12th Man as the new starter.
“In the last couple weeks, you can see it in practice,” Fisher said. “I’ve always felt that [ confidence level] about him, and he was going to that. He’s a hard worker, and he has a natural knack to do things. He has a feel for things and an instinct of part of the game. He’s played one game, so let’s let him be a freshman and play his second game.”
From the offensive line, it was clear to see Weigman’s poise during the pre-snap, Robinson said.
“He brought energy to the huddle,” Robinson said. “He brought that excitement on the field and was ready to attack. That’s always good coming from a quarterback, and he has confidence.”
Overall, Weigman’s performance was great, and his ability to step up when called wasn’t a surprise, Robinson said.
“He did step in and did a great job,” Robinson said. “He stepped up when he was needed, and you don’t expect anything less from him. He’s a great person and a great asset for this team.”
Blocking out the noise
During the matchup last Saturday, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin spoke directly to A&M players from the sidelines which angered many fans. However, Kiffin insisted that he was merely “having fun with them.”
Ignoring comments such as Kiffin’s is a key part of playing on a football team, and coaches shouldn’t be making comments in the first place, Regis said.
“I block it out,” Regis said. “We’re the ones playing, and he’s the one coaching, so I just block it out, and I keep it that way. You can run your mouth, but at the end of the day, you probably played before, but now you’re just coaching. I respect what you do, but let’s keep it like that. We don’t need to have coaches bickering at other players because that shows no class.”
Meanwhile, Fisher chose not to comment on the situation and said he would let others handle the matter with a sly smile on his face.
“I’m not going to get into all of that,” Fisher said. “I’ll let the league and everybody else handle how they’re going to handle that. I’ll be quiet.”
Bowl eligibility is critical
Saturday’s loss lessened A&M’s chances at playing during the postseason as now the Aggies have to win three out of the last four games to become bowl eligible.
The last time the Aggies haven’t been bowl eligible was during the 2008 season back during former head coach Mike Sherman’s first year. A&M missed last season’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl following numerous COVID-19 issues and season-ending injuries, so becoming bowl eligible is of utmost importance.
In the locker room, the players are continuing to fight and come together as a team to hopefully win out, Regis said.
“We’re putting in everything,” Regis said. “Yes, we want to fight for bowl eligibility, but at the end of the day, our plan is to win out. If things may not go accordingly to that, nothing is going to change.”
Making a bowl game is one of this season’s most important goals, and it’s one that is imperative as the end of the regular season draws closer, Fisher said.
“It’s always important,” Fisher said. “You always want to go to a bowl game; that’s one of your goals. That gives you 15 more practices, and that’s time for your guys, anytime you play you get better. You always want to be in a bowl, that’s one of your goals. That’s one of our goals and we need to do that.”

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Ishika Samant
Ishika Samant, Former Photo Chief
Ishika Samant served multiple roles at The Battalion as photo chief, managing editor, multimedia editor and social media editor through her tenure from 2021 to 2024.
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