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

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

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

THE showdown

On Friday, No. 5 University of Texas and No. 22 Texas A&M will meet on the gridiron for the 111th time, battling not only for a much-needed victory, but for pride, honor and that added sense of satisfaction from taking down a hated rival.
Texas (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) will be attempting to keep its BCS hopes alive, and A&M (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) will be scrapping to earn a spot in the Cotton Bowl, a step up the ranks from the Aggies’ projected Holiday Bowl bid.
The Aggies enter the contest with the hope of a storybook ending to a marvelous turnaround season under second-year head coach Dennis Franchione. Not every game has been perfect though: A&M’s last four games have come down to the last play, three of them going to overtime. Franchione said the extra time off between the last game and Friday’s game is more than welcomed.
“I could tell the last week or 10 days that we needed a little physical healing and a little emotional time to get away a little bit and recharge,” Franchione said. “I think it’ll help us to have a day or two to let the guys get away from practice and the regiment of practice, refresh a little bit before we get started again on our game plan.”
Texas head coach Mack Brown will present a threat to the Aggie defense that Franchione typically enjoys dismantling opponents with – an extremely mobile quarterback. Vince Young will start under center for the Longhorns, and similar to A&M’s Reggie McNeal, Young is extremely dangerous with what Franchione calls “hold-your-breath” speed.
“One thing we may do these next few days is work a little more against each other than maybe normal because of similarities in quarterbacks and styles and some of our offense and their offense and some likeness to it,” Franchione said.
Although McNeal has put up numbers outranking Young’s, the Texas quarterback saved his team’s BCS hopes against Kansas two weeks ago, mastering a last-minute, come-from-behind touchdown drive that included a fourth-and-18 in which Young kept the ball and scrambled for the first down himself.
A&M’s main defensive game plan will come down to stopping not only Young, but also the Longhorns’ senior running back, Cedric Benson.
A&M has played well against big-name rushers this season however, holding three of the nation’s best backs to well below their season average. The Aggie defense shut down Kansas State’s Darren Sproles, held Oklahoma State’s Vernand Morency to 63 yards lower than his season average and limited Oklahoma freshman phenomenon Adrian Peterson to 103 yards, his lowest of the season prior to Kyle Field.
Brown said the game will be extra special this year because of bowl implications for both teams.
“My focus, like our team’s focus, has been on A&M because we understand that we wouldn’t be in any scenarios in the BCS if we don’t beat A&M,” Brown said. “(The team) is really impressed with A&M, so it has excited our guys about the game.”
The same feelings exude from the A&M locker room.
“This is the biggest rivalry in the nation,” said A&M senior wide receiver Terrence Murphy. “Everybody watches this game, so it will be good to go out and get a win and gain some momentum going into our bowl game.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *