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Former Obama advisor speaks on sacrifice, White House experiences

In a lecture at the Annenberg Presidential Center Tuesday night, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, spoke on his experiences with the Obama administration. Full story

Junior cadet to be honored with ceremony Thursday night

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:10

Caleb Tate, junior university studies major and member of Company P-2, died Tuesday evening from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident, a hospital official said.

Corps Commander Eric Gil said Tate will be honored at an Echo Taps ceremony at 10:30 p.m. Thursday on the Quad.

Tate was traveling on a motorcycle northbound on Texas Avenue when a convertible, occupied by two people, pulled out in front of him from Southwest Parkway, according to a press release from the College Station Police Department.

CSPD said Tate suffered incapacitating injuries from the collision and was transferred to the College Station Medical Center. The occupants of the convertible suffered non-incapacitating injuries and were also sent to the medical center.

Echo Taps is a Corps of Cadets tradition held for national tragedies and to remember current members of the Corps who pass away. It is similar to Silver Taps, but geared more toward cadets, and takes place soon after the occurrence of the event.

During the Echo Taps ceremony, one bugler plays a rendition of “Silver Taps” at the end of the Quad and a second bugler at the opposite end of the Quad echoes it shortly thereafter. Immediately following the ceremony, the cadets return to their dorms in silence.

Though the ceremony is tailored more toward cadets, it is open to anyone willing to pay their respects.


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A&M sets sights on Auburn

Sumlin, players reflect on Ole Miss, turn attention to visitin No. 24 Tigers

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 00:10


Yomi Adenuga

Head coach Kevin Sumlin says Auburn has a "new energy" as they visit Kyle Field this Saturday.

Last season on the road, Texas A&M exacted a dominating 63-21 victory over Southeastern Conference division rival Auburn, scoring at-will throughout the night on a Tiger squad in disarray under former head coach Gene Chizik.

One season later, Auburn prepares for a Saturday visit to Kyle Field under new leadership — Gus Malzahn — and a Tiger team with many of last year’s players.

A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin compared Auburn’s current team to last year’s surging Aggie squad, which finished the season 11-2 with an upset of top-ranked and future national champion Alabama.

“They’re 5-1, and they’re ranked 24th in the country,” Sumlin said. “They’re very different than the team we played last year. It’s a bit like where we were last year. They’ve got a new coach, new energy, new players and they’re playing with confidence. It might be the same guys, but it’s a completely different football team from an attitude standpoint.”

Sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel and A&M’s offensive system produced 49 points in just over two quarters of play last season, benching the future Heisman Trophy winner for the remainder of the game.

The offense’s high-production proved a blur even for current offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney, who recalled the game’s decision only in flashes of the unit’s quick scoring capabilities.

“I don’t really remember a lot of the Auburn game last year,” McKinney said. “I thought the pregame atmosphere was probably the greatest I’ve seen when they release the eagle and the crowd goes crazy, but then we ran up and down the field on them. I don’t feel those players really wanted to play.”

A&M enters the game against Auburn — the first of a four-game home stand — coming off a 41-38, last second victory over Ole Miss on the road, which both the players and coach said helped mature the squad mentally.

Sumlin said the Aggies attempt to simulate possible situations in practice like the team faced last Saturday in Oxford, Miss., in order to be prepared for in-game crises.

“I would just say we put guys in those situations all the time,” Sumlin said. “You can’t simulate the pressure that’s in those situations all the time, but we take time to show other [games and] all the ways you can show guys what to do and how not to be ‘that guy.’”

Senior walk-on wide receiver Travis Labhart played a vital role in A&M’s success against the Rebels, as he caught a team-leading eight passes for 97 yards.

The walk-on’s performance came as no surprise to the rest of his teammates.

“If you know Labhart, that’s not shocking,” senior running back Ben Malena said. “It’s not shocking at all. He comes in and works every day and he’s a great-minded guy. Him stepping up and making catches is not surprising, but I’m really proud of him.”

McKinney said Labhart’s value came from his knowledge of all receiving positions, allowing him to step in anywhere on the field for an injured or unproductive starter.

“Spreading the ball around has to do with what the defenses are trying to take away,” McKinney said. “Take a guy like Mike Evans and the start to the year he had, so he’s got coverage rolling his way. Guys are having their opportunities. A guy like Labhart came in and learned every receiver spot, so he’s very valuable. You can put him out there at any spot and feel confident he’ll catch the ball.”

Defensively, the Aggies will face a spread offense under Malzahn with a heavy focus on the run game. As of last week, the Tigers rank seventh nationally in rushing yards per game with the backfield duo of quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Tre Mason, while only hitting 103rd in passing.

A&M senior defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. said the Aggie defense’s experience with mobile quarterbacks in practice, such as Manziel and freshman back up Kenny Hill, allow the unit an edge heading into the matchup.

“We have one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the game and we practice against him every day,” Hurd said. “We have a great scheme and Coach Snyder always prepares us for whatever the other team has to offer us.” 

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