Texas A&M Football

ESPN's Laura Rutledge talks A&M's hire of Mike Elko, Rose Bowl & more

January 4, 2024

ESPN and SEC Network reporter and host Laura Rutledge joined Thursday's edition of TexAgs Radio to detail her experience at the Rose Bowl as a part of the College Football Playoff. Additionally, Rutledge shared her thoughts on Mike Elko, A&M facing Texas and much more.

Key notes from Laura Rutledge interview

  • It's been a crazy week. I did the Rose Bowl, and we were in Pasadena for four or five days. The lead-up to that, I was covering Alabama. That was the craziest game I have ever seen, and I have done a lot a lot of games in my day. It was unbelievable for it to be on that stage with so many eyeballs on that game.
  • Credit to Alabama and Michigan, but Michigan for being prepared overall. It was unbelievable. I did that game, and I took a red-eye flight back to New York. I got in a car to get back to Connecticut and hosted NFL Live yesterday and today.
  • I am heading to Baltimore tomorrow for the Week 18 Ravens-Steelers game that we are doing. That's kind of a normal week for me at this point in the year. Very thankful to be able to do it. 
  • It's wild when you are down there. We have our broadcast obligations. If Alabama won, I was getting the head coach interview and Holly Rowe would get the player. If Michigan won, Holly would get Jim Harbaugh, and I would get a Michigan player.
  • As time is winding down, you are taking everything in and observing to potentially provide a sideline report. You are trying to think of questions for multiple people because you don't know who you will interview when the game is that close and crazy at the end. I was going through 28 different iterations of interviews that never happened, thinking what I would ask. It was one of the coolest things.
  • I don't know if I have ever been to a game where every person in the stadium was holding their breath to see what would happen. The adrenaline was rushing high.
  • When we went out on the field after Michigan won, we were trying J.J. McCarthy, the Michigan quarterback. He was trying to find a rose. If you watch the interview, he explains that he was superstitious and did not want to touch a rose all week until they won, and it's a Stanley Cup thing.
  • At one point, while we were waiting for them to toss to us, I was trying to find him rose petals because maybe that would be something. I handed him a handful, and he was like, "That's cool, but that's not the actual thing." Someone got him a rose. It's pure chaos down there, but it's so much fun.
  • I am so excited for Michigan and Washington. Michael Penix Jr., some of the throws against Texas, I keep watching him on repeat because they are absolutely outstanding. He is a player in a lot of ways, despite being a Heisman finalist, he has flown under the radar because not enough people watch those West Coast games. That's an unfortunate part of the time zones in the United States.
  • Washington is a fun and well-coached team. Against this Michigan defense that we saw confused Alabama, it will be fascinating to see how they try to attack. 
  • For Michigan's offense, Blake Corum is the best player on the field. They just don't take no for an answer. Anything that doesn't go their way, they keep fighting back. They will be a force to be reckoned with in this one.
  • I love the hire of Mike Elko. I know some people are wondering if it would be a splashy hire. At this point, with the way the contract is structured and the money, it is the right thing to do.
  • Give Elko a chance to prove he can turn this program around. He understands Texas A&M. He knows what is expected there because he has coached there before. I do think he will have success. There is no shortage of talent in College Station. There is no shortage of ability to get more talent. I am excited to see what he brings to the table.
  • We spoke to him at the SEC Championship, and he said, "That's where we want to be next year." He has lofty expectations and goals for A&M.
  • I am so excited about Texas A&M vs. Texas. I have never experienced these two teams and the rivalry in person, so to hopefully be there or be close to it, I am so pumped. I have only heard from all my A&M friends how much they can't stand Texas and vice versa from the Texas side. There is a lot of dislike there.
  • Also, there are so many storylines between these programs and connectivity being in the great state of Texas. It will give us a preview of what is to come with high stakes in the SEC.
  • I think my brain is scrambled eggs most of the time. When I am doing whatever I am doing, I do that and try not to let my brain go elsewhere. It takes a lot of focus and multitasking. I try not to perfect all the time. With all I have going on, I might not know every single detail and be as prepared as much as I can be. 
Discussion from...

ESPN's Laura Rutledge talks A&M's hire of Mike Elko, Rose Bowl & more

7,641 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by 4
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Why is she interviewing from a dark closet, lol?
How long do you want to ignore this user?
NoahAg said:

Why is she interviewing from a dark closet, lol?

I'd like to be in that closet
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