College Station, Texas — When Texas A&M got around to thinking about football again after the terrorist attacks, the team discovered an angry R.C. Slocum.
"I've seen him upset but not like this," safety Jay Brooks said. "That was a different coach Slocum. He made it clear he was upset that we were not playing Wrecking Crew football."
Slocum and the Aggies (2-0) return to football today in a more security-conscious Kyle Field against Oklahoma State (1-1) in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
The Aggies had an open date last week. Slocum understandably kept football in the background during the days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Then, after studying game film, he let his defense know exactly how he felt about their play, despite opening with victories over McNeese State and Wyoming.
"I have not been pleased with the way we have played, and do not think they are either, particularly the older guys," Slocum said. "The starting point is to recognize what a good performance is."
The Aggies struggled on offense and defense in winning against underdog opponents and Slocum was particularly pointed with his defense for not playing with intensity and emotion.
"I have coached football for a long time and I know what it looks like when a player is not playing the way he should be," he said. "I have watched the tapes all week and it doesn't require someone to have to tell me when we do not play well."
Brooks thinks the defense got the message. He's certain that he did.
"He wants eleven guys out there and I want to be one of those guys," Brooks said. "You're going to see a different player in me and you will see other players different too."
Oklahoma State's game last week against Northern Arizona was canceled as were all major college games, leaving coach Les Miles with less game experience to get his team ready.
"I honestly want it to be college football, just exactly how you might expect it, no different," Miles said. "I don't want there be any other worries."
Kyle Field will have added security, including a beefed-up police presence from university and local law enforcement agencies
A&M students organized a plan to turn Kyle Field into one giant sea of red, white and blue instead of the solid maroon that usually blankets the seats.
Fans on the upper deck will wear red, those in the middle will wear white and those on the lower deck will wear blue.