College Station, Texas The vibe has changed around Texas A&M.
Players and coaches said the team bonded and had its best practice week of the season leading up to the Oct. 18 game against Texas Tech. A&M lost, 43-25, but the new sense of unity stayed intact.
The togetherness carried over to last week's game against Iowa State, and the Aggies won, 49-35, giving coach Mike Sherman his first victory in the Big 12. The Aggies (3-5, 1-3 Big 12) can take another step forward this today, when they face Colorado (4-4, 1-3) at Kyle Field.
"For us to have that win under our belt, we now have some fuel for our train," said freshman safety Trent Hunter, A&M's third leading tackler.
Hunter admitted this week that the Aggies were a splintered group at the start of the season, with many players uncommitted to team goals and acting selfishly. Now, he said, everyone seems focused on helping Sherman restore the program.
"There's a feeling of a team in the air," Hunter said. "It was Coach Sherman. He came in and he was talking about being passionate and playing for your brothers. That whole team aspect, it's starting to come around now.
"Right around Game 3 or Game 4, people started to buy in, one by one, little by little," he said. "That Tech week, that's when the big change (happened)."
Sherman sensed that the victory in Iowa added to the positive momentum.
"I do think we came home a more confident team," he said. "I hope it plays out well this week."