COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M (7-3) will travel to face No. 4 Georgia (9-1) on Saturday afternoon in their second to last game of the regular season.
The Aggies are coming off a dominant win against South Carolina at Kyle Field, while the Bulldogs took down Auburn on the road last weekend.
Here's what junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon had to say when he met with the media on Monday:
Q: What are your thoughts on going to play Georgia for the first time?
A: It's always a fun time when you go out there and compete against the other side of the conference at an away game. The last time, we played Florida my freshman year and that was a really fun game and a cool experience. They're a great team. It's a great opportunity for us to show what we can do. I'm excited for it.
Q: You've played teams that are the same caliber as Georgia this season. What can you take from those games that will help you this weekend?
A: I think I learned versus Clemson and even Alabama that you want to win the game so bad, you want something so bad that you kind of mess up sometimes. You are kind of scared to mess up. If we can learn how to not make the moment bigger than what it is and not see any rankings, just see yourself out there playing football and competing against another guy, we'll do a really good job.
Q: With that being said, is there some excitement going into these last two games against Georgia and LSU?
A: It's hard not to say there isn't. There definitely is because of the opportunity. But from our past we try not to. Those things come and go. You don't want to make the moment too big. I'm telling you, you'll look up and the game is over with. Just take it play by play and don't focus on the scoreboard or any outside pressure. Just focus on the game and what you're doing on the field.
Q: Do you wish you guys had a chance to play some more of these cross-division games?
A: No, we have enough opponents to play. I think we've played a good number of people. We've got a great opportunity this year in terms of schedule, so I don't think I would ask for any more different kinds of opponents.
Q: How much better is this team from when you played Alabama?
A: We've matured a lot and learned a lot. Learned how to take over games and how to start fast. How to finish games and how to step on the opponent's throat and don't let up. We've definitely matured and come a long way.
Q: What are some things you can point to that you know the offense is doing better than a month ago?
A: Penalties for sure. A false start or a holding on first or second down can put you back a lot in a drive. In the first five games, we had a bunch of those self-inflicted wounds. The past three or four weeks we've been doing really good in practice and in games with penalties, and that's a huge part of our game.
Q: As a wide receiving group, how much pride do you guys take in blocking?
A: We take that very seriously. Coach (Dameyune) Craig definitely emphasizes that in practice. We work on that a lot. … If we aren't catching the ball, we definitely want to be involved in the play. We get graded on run and pass plays, so at the end of the game if you don't block your defender, you get a point off and you get low points. We take that very seriously.
Q: Why do you think Isaiah Spiller has been so productive in the last month?
A: I think he's just learned, and it's a confidence thing. When he had those two fumbles in back-to-back games versus Auburn and Arkansas, he was really down during and after the game. We told him, ‘It's unfortunate you had it back-to-back, but everybody has mistakes, and you have to learn from that. But you're just as good as anybody we've ever seen before, and you can compete with these guys.' I think his mentality has just changed. He doesn't really see himself as a freshman anymore.
Q: Were you surprised to see Cordarrain Richardson have that breakout game?
A: I was very happy for him, I'm not going to lie. He deserved that. He's worked hard, and he's been patient. He had a torn labrum coming in here. I went through some rehab with him on my foot, and just seeing him get that is amazing. I'm not surprised. He's a very intelligent guy. He can see the field. It slows down for him. … He understands the game at a different level.
Q: How does it help the run game when you have an added element like the breakout performance Richardson had?
A: It's huge. It's hard to scheme against when you have multiple guys you can throw in there with different kinds of strengths. That can affect the defense and affect the offense.