TEXAS A&M PREPARES FOR CLASH WITH LSU
The No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies continued preparations Wednesday morning for their meeting with the No. 11 LSU Tigers. Texas A&M held its penultimate practice leading up to the 75th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic at Cowboys Stadium, holding a 90-minute workout in jerseys and shorts.
The Aggies (9-3, 6-2) emphasized special teams and red-zone drills and also pitted their first-team defenses and offenses against the service teams. Texas A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman said the service teams are responsible for giving the first-team units a look at what LSU (10-2, 6-2) has shown through the first 12 games this year.
“We’ve been going over LSU’s looks for the last several weeks,” Sherman said. “You can’t go good-versus-good all the time. Last week was a lot of good-versus-good. This week we’re just trying to get our assignments down.”
Texas A&M geared portions of its practice toward special teams – an advisable tactic considering the big-play threat LSU CB Patrick Peterson poses. Peterson returned two punts for touchdowns and averaged 29.3 yards per kickoff return.
“It’s the same emphasis we always have, but obviously it’s a good focus because of the personnel that they have not just with him as a return guy but they have good players on their special teams that do a great job,” Sherman said.
The Aggies are not lacking for stars themselves. Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill threw for 1,254 and eight touchdowns in five starts this season. OLB Von Miller ranked second in the conference with 9.5 sacks and fourth in tackles for loss with 14.5 while battling through an ankle injury.
Earlier Wednesday morning, Sherman and LSU Head Coach Les Miles held their press conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas.
Texas A&M enjoyed a busy Tuesday night. The players devoured 290 pounds of food at Landry’s Beef Bowl before watching the Dallas Mavericks upend the Portland Trail Blazers, 84-81, in an NBA game.
The Aggies return to Cowboys Stadium on Thursday for their 2:30 p.m. walk-through. The practice is closed to the media and there will be no media availability afterward.
The 75th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will kick off at 7:27 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2010 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. For the 13th consecutive year, FOX will televise the Classic.