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The Battalion

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Sumlin: QB position still up in air

Coach+Sumlin+and+a+handful+of+football+staff+and+players+gave+their+opinion+on+A%26amp%3BMs+defense+and+the+status+of+their+quarterbacks+going+into+Saturdays+game+against+Ball+State.
Photo by Lawrence Smelser

Coach Sumlin and a handful of football staff and players gave their opinion on A&M’s defense and the status of their quarterbacks going into Saturday’s game against Ball State.

After an eventful Saturday, coaches and a handful of players gave their thoughts about the impact of Kirk and the defense, the status on the quarterbacks and the game at hand Saturday.
Sumlin took to the podium first Tuesday afternoon to address his team’s approaching home opener Saturday versus Ball State University in the newly renovated Kyle Field. 
The Aggies are riding a 38-17 upset of formerly ranked No. 15 Arizona State in which freshman wide receiver Christian Kirk announced his presence to the Aggie nation. Kirk produced 224 yards of total offense and two touchdowns through his efforts at the receiver position as well as returning punts and kicks. Sumlin, in addition to lauding Kirk’s performance, praised the player’s unique maturity level.
“He’s a guy, he’ll make a mistake, and you just talk to him and that’s it,” Sumlin said. “He caught one punt, chased him back inside the 10 to the six yard line. And you walk over there and before you can say anything, he says, ‘I screwed that up coach. That ain’t gonna happen again.’  He’s always thinking, and very rarely do you have a guy that mature, that can communicate, that can play at that level in that environment.”
Kirk and the rest of the receiving corps worked with two Aggie signal callers. Despite Kyle Allen being the man to deliver the Aggies down the home stretch, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he was impressed with the composure displayed by true freshman Kyler Murray.
“Like any true freshman would have handled it, he was a little wide-eyed at the beginning,” Spavital said. “But, his athletic ability, he got to make some plays out there. I think he scrambled for around 75 yards. He wasn’t very comfortable in the pocket, as you guys could probably tell with that, but he made a lot of plays with his feet.”
Whether or not the A&M faithful can expect to see a multi-quarterback system deep into conference play will depend solely on how Allen, Murray, and even sophomore transfer Jake Hubenak perform in the next two ball games.
“I think that has to do with how they progress through these next two weeks,” Spavital said. “I’ve got to see a lot more efficiency and quarterback play to play multiple guys. And I think these next two weeks, you give ’em all three a chance just to go out there and see what they are capable of doing. And we’ve got to keep getting these questions answered, but if they both are playing at a high level, then I can see us definitely packaging some things in with both of them.”
On the other side of the ball, the Aggies impressed in their first game under defensive coordinator John Chavis’ system. The Aggies held Arizona State to 291 yards of total offense — which was much better than the 450.8 yards per game the Aggie defense allowed last season — ranking 102nd in the country. 
Chavis refused to place a letter grade on the results from his unit Saturday night, but maintained that the overall effort level was, for the most part, exceptional.
“The one thing I will tell you is this — we had outstanding effort,” Chavis said. “One of the things that we do, and we’ve kind of put a little bit of that, or most of it, on the players. We grade effort tougher than we do technique.”
Looking ahead, Sumlin said he will lean on the maturity level of some of his returning players to assure that A&M does not suffer the same fate as last year’s team, which started off its season in a similar fashion with an opening victory at South Carolina.
“A lot of those guys that played well Saturday were sophomores and juniors,” Sumlin said. “And the challenge is — for those guys — is to say, ‘Alright, we’ve been through this before, you know, let’s make sure of where we are every week.’ It’s not ‘See the big picture.’ Let’s make sure we are doing what we need to do every week to be able to play at least as well as we played last Saturday night.”
Texas A&M, now ranked 16th with the release of Tuesday’s latest AP Poll, squares off with Ball State at 6:00 p.m. Saturday at Kyle Field.

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  • Kyle Allen and a handful of football staff and players gave their opinion on A&M’s defense and the status of their quarterbacks going into Saturday’s game against Ball State.

  • John Chavis and a handful of football staff and players gave their opinion on A&M’s defense and the status of their quarterbacks going into Saturday’s game against Ball State.

  • Tra Carson and a handful of football staff and players gave their opinion on A&M’s defense and the status of their quarterbacks going into Saturday’s game against Ball State.

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