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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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The referees and starting lineups of the Brazilian and Mexican national teams walk onto Kyle Field before the MexTour match on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Spavital: ‘Kyler is capable of handling it all right now’

Kyler+Murray
Photo by Photo by Kathryn Perez
Kyler Murray

Without further explanation, head coach Kevin Sumlin announced this year’s quarterback competition has been indefinitely closed during Tuesday’s news conference.
When asked by a reporter if the competition is still open on a week-to-week basis, Sumlin replied, “No, Kyler is going to start this game.”
Freshman Kyler Murray cemented his status as starting quarterback after leading A&M to a 35-28 win over South Carolina. Murray passed 20-for-28 for 223 yards and one touchdown, and rushed for 156 yards and a score on 20 carries. He also finished the day turnover-free.
Despite it being Murray’s first college start, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he is confident in his new starter.
“I think Kyler is capable of handling it all right now,” Spavital said. “I don’t think anything phases him. He’s been great. He had a great week of preparation. The way he handled the situation was great and I thought he performed at a very high level. He’s going to continue to keep getting better.”
Sumlin said he was not only impressed with Murray, but also with the other players on offense such as Ricky Seals-Jones, Josh Reynolds and the offensive line leading the way for Tra Carson.
“He did a good job operationally and he’s got talent — I think everybody can see that,” Sumlin said. “The tempo we operated at for three quarters was effective. Our players did a good job of that. Kyler is comfortable with that. What was important was it wasn’t just about Kyler, it was about the other 10 guys on the field too.”
The A&M defense helped as well, as Donovan Wilson recorded 2 interceptions — one of which was returned for a score. Defensive coordinator John Chavis said people would be surprised how detailed the focus is on generating turnovers in practice.
“We do turnover circuits, but the biggest thing is stripping the football,” Chavis said. “We practice even things like pulling the fingers off the football, we go into that much detail. We need to create turnovers, that’s the easiest way to get off the field. Then you’ve got guys doing it and it becomes contagious.”
Sumlin also addressed why Jake Hubenak entered the game instead of Kyle Allen last Saturday when Murray’s helmet came off. Sumlin said he thinks Allen’s helmet was on the bench and Hubenak was standing close. Sumlin said he will find out where Allen and Hubenak are by the end of the week.
“They’ll share the reps this week and based on that we’ll see what happens at that position,” Sumlin said. “The reality is, you don’t plan on your quarterback’s helmet coming off in a series, and if it does, it’s usually a really wicked hit and you have time to get snaps from the guy.”

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