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The Battalion

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The Battalion

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Aggies look to move past pick sixes in Alabama game

Aggies+look+to+move+past+pick+sixes+in+Alabama+game
Photo by By Bryan Johnson

In the aftermath of Saturday’s 41-23 home loss to Alabama, the solid defensive and special teams play of the Aggies was overshadowed in the discussion at Tuesday’s weekly news conference by the poor play at the quarterback position.
Little time was wasted by reporters at the conference Tuesday as questions surrounding the four combined interceptions of Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray’s were brought to light. It was one of the first things A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin addressed, and according to him, even though it was ugly, it was a learning experience for both his young quarterbacks.
“There is no doubt we need to play better at the position. I think [Murray and Allen] will be the first to tell you that,” Sumlin said. “We had done a great job with ball security leading up to the game but for whatever reason, that happened. It was a terrible time for it, but it’s a learning experience, and it is one that [Murray and Allen] will learn from.”
During the Alabama game, it seemed as though Allen was struggling with a lingering shoulder injury that potentially played a factor in his uncharacteristic play. However, as Allen noted Tuesday, the injury did not affect him as the game progressed in the second half.
The physical part of the game has proven to take a toll on players, but the mental part of the game is often referred to as the most challenging aspect of football. Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital touched on both aspects in regards to Kyle Allen.
“Physically, he’s dinged up,” Spavital said. “I think everybody saw that. He took some shots out there, and that is going to happen in big games. Emotionally, that’s a tough deal for the kid … I talked to him after the game and told him, ‘You can’t let this define you’ … Of course you don’t want that to happen, and of course your goal is to not turn the ball over. It’s time to move forward, put it behind him, and get this offense to where it should be.”
Three pick sixes are hard to overcome in a game and pretty rare to see.
“As a joke to him, I told him I don’t think he will ever be part of three pick sixes again for the rest of your career. That’s a first for me as well,” Spavital said.
As the Aggies head to Oxford to take on Ole Miss, the message from the coaches and Spavital to Allen is simple — it’s time to move on.
 “You have to address the problems and understand why it happened,” Spavital said. “Just from talking to [Allen], he was upset … You can see the frustration on him … We focused on him in film and he now understands why he threw those interceptions, and now it is just time to move on from it … For how mature of a kid he is, I think he’s ready to move on and put it behind him.”
Allen and the offense will try to leave their woes from last week in the past in their first trip outside the state of Texas all season. A&M and Ole Miss square off in a top-25 showdown at 6 p.m. Saturday in Oxford, Miss. on ESPN.

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