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VIDEO: Mario Cristobal | Postgame Press Conference vs. No. 23 Texas A&M

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MIAMI HEAD COACH – MARIO CRISTOBAL

Opening Statement…

“How about them Hurricanes? So far, the reports that we have on [Kamren Kinchens] are that everything seem to be relatively normal, so I’m going to head over there right after I get done with the press conference and see how he’s doing. I think we’re going to be fine. Obviously, aside from that, it’s hard to talk about the game when something like that happens, but the guys played really hard. They overcame a lot of mistakes and self-inflicted wounds and found a way to just keep making one more play, get one more stop, another explosive. Special teams finally hunkered down and did some good stuff for us. The kickoff return was massive and certainly a swing in the momentum. Andy [Borregales], with his long field goals, helped us out, as well, a ton. And Tyler [Van Dyke], the receiving core, Xavier Restrepo, he’s back there right now and I’m sure he’s exhausted, the offensive line, the defense; it was just a complete team effort. I’m certainly proud of these guys. We played a really good game against a really good football team, a really talented football team.”

On the resilience after the first quarter…

“Well, I think it’s credit to the players because that’s always been the goal. When you change regimens and change cultures, you always have a choice to make and you can stick with what you believe in and sometimes it’s ugly, cause last year was. But if you believe in it and make sure that the right people continue to grow and stay and you bring in people that are like-minded and hard-working and that’s a nice combination and that leads to better culture, better atmosphere, better environment, better programs, better businesses, better organizations.  That’s what we feel we are headed toward and today was a big step in the that direction.”

On the performance of the offense…

“[Tyler Van Dyke] was outstanding. Credit to him. Credit to the offensive line. Credit to the wide receivers. I mean all those kick returners, they all made plays. He’s been an absolute awesome leader. He had a lot of autonomy going into this game to do things. The matchups, we felt that we had good matchups. We felt that the receiving core has worked really hard and they’ve proven themselves in practice and did a lot of good things in game one and certainly, [Texas A&M] is loaded up in the box, it’s hard to run the ball against them…We had some success, but not much, so the passing game, they were awesome.”

On the growth of the Hurricanes over the last year…

“I think that’s a better Texas A&M team than we faced last year, quite honestly. They’ve got better pieces. Their quarterback is a great player and their receivers are outstanding. For us, I would say, culture, talent acquisition, strength and conditioning, player development and leadership counts. Guys like Xavier [Restrepo] going the extra mile to be a great leader…The scout team; one of the tell-tale signs of a good football program is to take a look at what the scout team looks like. And the scout has legitimate football players on it, guys who were legitimate high school stars who are still trying to find their way into the lineup, and that usually tells you that you have a good front line. We are working our way there. We are nowhere where we want to be. We’ve got a couple of guys who are nicked up, banged up, and we’ll see what that looks like but all in all just a massive step for the program. They are a really good football team. They’ve recruited everyone in the country over the last few years so they are loaded to the gills, but we work hard, we practice hard, we train hard, we prepare hard. We felt that if we eliminated mistakes we’d be able to take over the football game and we did.”

On the importance of a win like this…

“Everybody wants to see progress, right? The offseason is so long and that’s what is hard about football. After nine months, what are you going to do? What are you going to be? What is it going to look like? Everywhere we’ve been, we’ve had a blueprint that has been successful. We came to Miami because, besides the fact that we love Miami, we knew that when Miami is done the right way, it’s the best one of them all. We are taking steps in the right direction. We are progressing. We are nowhere near arrived. We are nowhere near where we want to be, but today was a big step in the direction we want to go and I’m just extremely proud of everyone in that locker room.”

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