Capitals

No. 22 Texas A&M learning to finish games

No. 22 Texas A&M learning to finish games

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M may have finally figured out how to close a game.

The Aggies went 7-6 last season, blowing many a lead along the way. The led Florida in this year's season opener and lost 20-17, raising fears that their problem had returned. Last weekend, the 22nd-ranked Aggies finally finished a close game, rallying from 10 points down in the fourth quarter for a 30-27 win over Ole Miss.

It's a victory that's given this team confidence heading into Saturday's game against undefeated Louisiana Tech.

Coach Kevin Sumlin believes his team's last victory was even more impressive considering the Aggies overcame a season-high six turnovers to get it. It was the first time since 1995 the Aggies had won a game where they had six turnovers.

``There are all kinds of situations that presented themselves in that game that told you we should lose, whether it was six turnovers, not being able to get off the field on third down, driving 99 yards or being down by 10 with eight minutes left to go,'' he said. ``Our guys had to deal with that and then win the football game. It really creates confidence in each other. Until you are in that situation, the growth of your team doesn't happen.''

When freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel connected with Ryan Swope on the game-winning touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining last week, it helped the Aggies move past the memories of a 2011 season where five of their six losses were by a touchdown or less.

``It's an overwhelming experience,'' junior defensive end Damontre Moore said of the win. ``It means a lot to help us build confidence in ourselves and realize that we're not the same team that we were last year. It was such a trending habit for us last year, it's good to see us break it.''

Along with the overall growth of the team, the Aggies saw Manziel continue his development last week. Manziel didn't have a turnover entering the game, but fumbled and threw a pair of interceptions against the Rebels before regrouping to lead A&M to the win.

``He's got a short memory and you have to have that,'' offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury said. ``As you can see, he went back and played great when he had to. He was just being young ... he's hard on himself but he gets over it quickly. He knew he would make mistakes and he wanted to go out there and win it for his teammates. He never blinked.''

After Manziel put the Aggies on top last Saturday, the defense secured the win with an interception by Toney Hurd, Jr. The play was another example of a change in Texas A&M's play this season. A year ago, the Aggies had just seven interceptions all season. Texas A&M already has six in its first five games this season.

``We were in the position a lot last year and we just couldn't finish it,'' defensive back Steven Terrell, who has two of A&M's interceptions. ``Every defense has to work on getting interceptions in practice. It's just been coming to us this year. We've been working really hard on it and focusing on it ... it's the little things like that in the game of football. You change the little things and it can make a big impact.''

Closing out the game at Ole Miss was probably more important because the Aggies upcoming schedule where they play four of their next five on the road, including trips to Auburn and top-ranked Alabama.

``It gives the team confidence that they do have enough talent and that they have the players on the team so they can win any time, no matter the situation,'' Sumlin said.

Quick Links

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

caps_extra_icon_01.png
NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

A bombshell article published Friday morning by Pat Forde and Pete Thaamel of YAHOO Sports details potential NCAA violations involving more than 20 schools and 25 players.

Among some of the biggest names and programs in college basketball includes former Maryland Terrapin, Diamond Stone.

According to documents and bank records that are part of an FBI investigation, Stone received $14,303 while a freshman at Maryland, a clear violation of NCAA rules. 

Former NBA agent, Andy Miller and his former associate, Christian Dawkins of ASM Sports were dishing out the incentives. Included were cash advances, entertainment expenses and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Other player's included in the documents include Dennis Smith who played at North Carolina State, Isaiah Whitehead from Seton Hall, DeMatha star Markelle Fultz who played at Washington and Edrice Adebayo who went on to play at Kentucky. 

Player's and their families from Duke, Michigan State, USC, North Carolina, Texas and Alabama are also included.

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season before declaring for the NBA draft. He was selected 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Stone did end up signing with a different agency.

While this is still under investigation, large consequences for the NCAA can be expected.

The NCAA released this statement following the news. 

These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND