Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

What Josh Heupel, Tennessee Coordinators Said About Texas A&M

Tennessee Football
Vols HC Josh Heupel at Tennessee Football Practice. Photo by RTI.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel and coordinators Tim Banks and Joey Halzle met with the local media early this week before the Vols host Texas A&M in a critical SEC game at Neyland Stadium.

The trio discussed Texas A&M’s midseason change at quarterback due to an injury, the Aggies fantastic front seven and much more.

Here’s everything the trio said about the Aggies this week.

Josh Heupel

Opening statement

“Really good football team that we are playing. You look at them in all three phases of the game, they have scheme and players that can change the way the game is played. Defensively, playing as good as anybody in the country. Offensively, a veteran quarterback and skill players that can make a bunch of plays. On special teams, extremely dangerous as well.”

On game planning against Texas A&M’s run defense

“They are good at stopping the run. They are good at getting after the quarterback, too. First of all, they have really good skill, and when I say that, I am talking about their big skill up front, too. They are physical, they are dynamic, they are thick, they play strong, they are multiple up front. They have created a bunch of negative yardage plays in the run game, and that has given them the ability to go get after the quarterback, (creating) second-and-long, third-and-long, too. You have to do a great job in communication. You have to win some one-one-ones when you are in a one-on-one. Your double teams have to be good enough to change the way the line of scrimmage looks, too. So, big test for us up front and across the board offensively.”

On the characteristics of a Bobby Petrino offense

“First of all, I have said it already: they have really good personnel. Quarterback is a smart decision maker; he is able to extend and make some plays with his arm, but he always has some balance in what he does, too. So, we have to do a good job in the run game and be able to handle all the different pass concepts that you are going to see from them.”

On Texas A&M quarterback Max Johnson and if he sees a difference between him and Conner Weigman

“Not a ton of difference in them. Both of them were able to extend and make plays. I don’t think they philosophically have changed what they are doing. Max is a guy that has played a lot of football, has played in a lot of different environments, does a really good job of taking care of the football. He has the ability to extend and make plays and throw the football down the field when the play breaks down or when he has pressure on him, so we have to do a great job of matching guys out on the perimeter.”

Defensive coordinator Tim Banks

On if Texas A&M is different offensively with Max Johnson at quarterback instead Conner Weigman

“No, I think they’re the same. Honestly, I knew the quarterback got hurt, but I didn’t realize how many snaps Johnson has played in his career. I mean, this kid is a veteran. He’s extremely poised. They’re running their offense, and some of the plays that he’s made under duress just kind of speak to his confidence and the confidence they have in him as a quarterback. I don’t think they’ve really missed a beat. I think that they’ve tried to play to his strengths, he’s a lefty. But at the end of the day, I think they’re very similar.”

On the challenges Texas A&M’s offense presents

“I think the gap schemes that these guys run and all the pin-and-pull plays. They’re a physical group. They want to run the ball downhill. They have a pretty healthy amount of running backs that are interchangeable that they’ll bring in there. You don’t see a lot of two-back run games from a lot of people, and those guys have the ability to get into some two-back situations. They’ll try to ‘out-gap’ you with a true fullback. It’s a tough scheme to get ready for, particularly in this day and age of football because you don’t see a lot of that. We know we’re going to have our hands full, and we’ll need every single practice to be able to get ready for it.”

On Texas A&M’s receivers

“From the running backs to the skill guys on the edges, they have really good players that have shown up on tape against everybody, week in and week out. Those guys do a really good job, with their coaches putting in situations for them to be successful, and when the ball is in those guys’ hands, we have to do a great job of tackling. It is going to be a tremendous matchup, it really is. I feel really good about our back end and our secondary and the direction that we are headed. Just like every SEC opponent we’ll see, these guys are no different. They have a tremendous amount of skill over there, and we will have to play at a high level in order to be successful.”

Offensive coordinator Joey Halzle

On Texas A&M’s front seven

“They are really talented up front. They have a good group of guys who have been playing together for a while, and what they do on defense, they go from three-down to four-down—pressure to drop eight. So, they change the picture up on your front. On your ID calls, they change it from snap-to-snap, and then they have talented players up front that they turn loose to go after the football. So, they present a unique challenge this week.”

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us