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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M aims for struggling KSU

Playing on the road in the Big 12 conference is never easy, but for the Texas A&M football team, anything will be easier than swallowing their 31-21 loss to the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Aggies will face another tough road matchup Saturday, when they travel to Manhattan, Kan., to take on the Kansas State Wildcats.
“This week is a new week,” said A&M football head coach R.C. Slocum. “We have got another great challenge ahead of us.”
The Aggies (5-1, 2-1) come into the game after last Saturday’s last minute setback to the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs returned a fumble for a touchdown with under a minute left to seal the victory in Boulder.
“You can’t control what is in the past, so you might as well put it behind you,” said junior quarterback MarkFarris. “But at the same time you have to move on. We have five games left in the regular season, and we are going to take it one week at a time.”
Just three weeks ago, the Wildcats (2-3, 0-3) were No. 11 in the country and contending for the Big 12 North title when they went into Norman to take on the Sooners, which was the start to the three-game losing streak.
“Even on paper and on film, they have got a lot of talent,” said A&M junior linebacker Brian Gamble. “All it takes is one week of practice for them to get their act together, and then they are dangerous again.”
The Wildcats are coming off a 38-19 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock. Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury lit up the Wildcat secondary for 409 yards and four touchdowns to lead Tech to victory.
Farris, who racked up 334 yards in the Aggies’ loss to the Buffaloes, will look to continue his aerial assault against the Wildcats Saturday. Kansas State ranks last in passing defense in the Big 12, giving up an average of 215 yards per game.
The Wildcats came into the season with sophomore Ell Roberson taking the snaps, but due to a sprained ankle, junior Marc Dunn got the start for Kansas State against the Red Raiders.
“He [Roberson] adds another dimension to their running game — being able to run the option.” said A&M junior linebacker Brian Gamble. “He really makes their offense tick.”
Dunn passed for 197 yards on 16 completions and was also sacked five times by the Raider defensive unit.
Sophomore Jamaar Taylor and freshman Terrence Murphy come into the game leading the Aggie receiving squad with solid performances against Colorado.
Both receivers combined for 298 yards and three touchdowns against Colorado.
Wildcat senior running back Josh Scobey has had success on the ground this season. Scobey has had three 100-yard rushing performances this season, and has 466 yards in 2001.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Aggies will start junior linebacker Jarrod Penright, who is leading the Big 12 in sacks with nine on the season. Penright, who was sidelined last season by injury, also leads the conference in tackles for loss with 12.
“Last week, I was back in coverage a lot,” Penright said. “We had to be a little more subtle because of the pass. Hopefully, I can have the opportunity to blitz and chase the quarterback this week.”
On special teams, the Wildcats have one of the most dangerous kick returners in the nation in senior Aaron Lockett. The wide receiver averages 36.6 yards per game returning kicks, good for second in the nation. Lockett has returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season, one of just 19 division I-A players to do so this season.
The Wildcats, looking for their first win since Sept. 22, and the Aggies will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
“If they were undefeated right now, or if they lost one or two, I feel like we are going to get their best shot,” Slocum said. “Our games have been very competitive, and I am sure this will be no different.”

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