Oklahoma-A&M Pregame Notes

The Sooners and Aggies will kickoff at 7 p.m. (CST) Saturday night on ABC. Oklahoma leads the all-time series 14-10 overall, but they are just 2-5 in College Station. See inside for more notes and quotes previewing the matchup. Pictured: Allen Patrick stretches the ball during his 28-yard touchdown run against the Aggies last year in Norman. (AP Photo)

7 p.m. CST. -- Kyle Field (82,600) -- College Station, Texas
Saturday's game will be televised regionally by ABC. Brent Musberger (play-by-play), Bob Davie (analyst), Kirk Herbstreit (analyst) and Lisa Salters (sideline) will call the game.

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The game can be heard on the radio in Oklahoma on KOKC 1520 AM. It is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 155. To listen to the OU radio broadcast live on the internet with Bob Barry, Sr., Merv Johnson and Mark Rodgers, click the link below and then click the top photo on the page.

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The Matchup
The Aggies come into Saturday night's matchup 8-1 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play, but that record was established against only the 76th-toughest schedule in the nation according to NCAASports.com. The Sooners' 6-2 overall mark and 3-1 Big 12 record has come against the 40th-toughest schedule.

A&M holds wins over The Citadel (35-3), Louisiana-Lafayette (51-7), Army in San Antonio (28-24), Louisiana Tech (45-14), at Kansas (21-18), Missouri (25-19), in overtime at Oklahoma State (34-33) and at Baylor (31-21).

The Aggies lone loss came at home against Texas Tech, 31-27, on Sept. 30. Since then they have won four Big 12 games, but only by an average of only five points per game.

Former Texas A&M and Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill says the matchup favors Oklahoma.

"The Oklahoma-A&M game really fits the mathhup for Oklahoma in two categories," Sherrill said. "One — A&M has been running the football and Oklahoma's defense has gotten better and better. What I see with their defense is they're really chasing the football now and their linebackers are having a chance to make plays. So there's a bigger step, a faster step. Their getty-up is a little faster defensively.

"Offensively, they're running downhil," Sherrill continued. "A&M's defense up front in the front seven, is nowhere in comparison to Oklahoma's. So I think that Oklahoma has the advantage in this game. Certainly, if they don't turn it over I would say that Oklahoma would come out with a win. Although, you're playing at Kyle Field."

The Series
Oklahoma leads the all-time series 14-10, but they are just 2-5 against the Aggies in College Station. The Sooners have won three in a row and six of the last seven meetings.

The Rankings
The Sooners are ranked No. 18 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Polls, while the Tigers are No. 21 in both polls.

Last Meeting
Oklahoma beat A&M 36-30 last season in Norman. The Sooners erupted for 28 first quarter points behind two Adrian Peterson touchdown runs, a Rhett Bomar touchdown run and a 28-yard touchdown run by Allen Patrick that gave them a 28-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

But the Aggies were sparked by by backup quarterback Stephen McGee, who came into the game and rushed for 67 yards on 10 carries. The Aggies would cut OU's 21-point lead to 30-24 with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and then to 36-30 with two minutes left, but that would be as close as they would get.

A&M's option running back, led by McGee, rushed for 292 yards on the day, but the Sooners outgained the Aggies 509-450. Backup running back Allen Patrick finished with 42 yards on three carries, while Peterson ran for 135 yards on 27 carries. Malcolm Kelly caught five passes for 118 yards and Juaquin Iglesias added three catches for 62 yards. Paul Thompson played in the game as a receiver catching two passes for 11 yards.

The Coaches
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is 81-18 in his eighth season in Norman and 6-1 against A&M. Aggie head coach Dennis Franchione is 24-20 in his fourth season at A&M and 179-93-2 overall in 24 years. Franchione has spent previous head coaching stints at Pittsburgh State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama. He is 0-4 head to head vs. Stoops.

About Texas A&M
Offensively, the Aggies currently rank 16th nationally in scoring offense (33.0 ppg) and 16th in total offense (422.78 ypg). They are 47th in passing offense (209.11 ypg) and 8th in rushing offense (213.67 ypg).

Defensively, A&M is 42nd in scoring defense (18.89 ppg) and 52nd in total defense (315.0 ypg). They are 42nd in rushing defense (117.67 ypg) and 58th in passing defense (197.33 ypg).

Punter Justin Brantly averages 46.8 yards per punt (long of 62). Kicker Layne Nuemann is 7-for-9 on field goals (long of 35) and 21-for-22 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

About Oklahoma
Offensively, the Sooners currently rank 20th nationally in scoring offense (30.88 ppg) and 35th in total offense (376.0 ypg). They are 62nd in passing offense (197.63 ypg) and 23rd in rushing offense (178.38 ypg).

Defensively, Oklahoma is 17th in scoring defense (15.13 ppg) and 19th nationally and tops in the Big 12 in total defense (278.38 ypg). The Sooners are 31st in rushing defense (110.25 ypg) and 29th in passing defense (168.13 ypg).

Punter Michael Cohen averages 39.9 yards per punt, while Mike Knall averages 33.6. Kicker Garrett Hartley, who is fourth in the nation in field goals made per game and 14th in scoring, is 14-for-15 on field goal attempts (long of 46) and a perfect 29-for-29 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

Bob Stoops on A&M
"Another big challenge that we're excited about and fired up about — to have the opportunity to go down there and compete. We're just focusing on making the improvement we feel we can make here this week.

"They (A&M's offense) give you multiple sets. They're going to run the option in a lot of different ways. It's like playing Air Force. You've got a triple option and you've got to be able to cancel gaps and all the different options.

"You've got to be able to read them out and be really disciplined at it. They're much different in the way they're running it option-wise, than any of these other teams. "They make you really work to cancel all those gaps. That's what they want to do first and foremost, is run the football. That's the deal with them offensively, and then not allowing them to get anything cheap behind you. You've got to be disciplined in all those areas, like you would any time you're playing a triple option team.

"Defensively, very sound structure-wise in what they're doing. Very solid base structure, mostly zone coverages and 4-2-5. Basic four-man front that you see from a lot of people. Physical up front, big guys. They're playing well. "Same as a lot of places — the energy they create and the noise (on how tough it is to play at Kyle Field). But that isn't unlike any other place that holds whatever it is — 80,000 people. We're in that environment a lot. If they (A&M's fans and cadets) start playing, then I'll start answering. I haven't seen them out there."

Kevin Wilson on A&M's Defense
"They're really pretty sound and very good in what they're doing. They've got coach (Gary) Darnell that's coached a number of years with a strong track record and coach (Bill )Clay (former OSU defensive coordinator).

"They're a little bit different than the Oklahoma State time when coach Clay was there, with the back end with what they're doing. You can tell they really understand the structure of their defenses and weaknesses. They work really hard to make it tough for you to take advantage of their weaknesses and passing opportunities.

"They've got a big, strong front and are playing much better at linebacker. Because they're playing playing pretty good run D, they're not really involving a whole lot of safety play to stop the run. They're moving a lot up front, they're big and their strong and they're solid up front.

"They blitz, but they pick their spots to blitz. They're not blitzing to stop the run. They're playing very good run defense out of the front (four), and with that they're able to play maybe a little bit more sound pass alignments. Even though you have seen some teams make plays or have the opportunity to make plays, they're very sound in their alignment and make you execute to make the big play."

Brent Venables on A&M's Offense
"They do a lot of good things to complement each other in the run-pass, probably better than most people. And as a result, they create a lot of big plays in that regard.

"They have designed or called (option plays) where they're just going to give it, not read it. But that's probably not the norm. He's (A&M QB Stephen McGee) reading (the option).

"Last year, that's (A&M QB Stephen McGee) kinda what lit their fire. I think, now that you look back at it, it was indicative of the style of player and the capability that he has as a player and a leader.

"He (McGee) went down to Texas the next week and about beat them. He ran up and down the field on their defense and has shown the ability to be an awfully good player this year. I don't know what they're ranked statistically compared to everybody, but he is a quality player.

"He's completing 65 percent of his balls — one interception, only taken 10 sacks. The balance that they have — 422 yards a game — throwing it for 215 and running it for about 215 give or take. He's an awfully, awfully good player. For a young quarterback, he's really maturing fast."

Dennis Franchione on Oklahoma
"I don't know how to quantify it. It's neat to be at the center of the college football universe for a day. I've been in this situation before, but these are frills. They're just extra benefits. We've got to stay focused on what on what we have to do to get this team ready to play Saturday night.

"But I'm most excited about what that stadium is going to be like Saturday night. I will almost bet, I will bet, that I will have not seen Kyle Field like we're going to see it Saturday night since I've been here. And I've seen it pretty good sometimes.

"I have a feeling Saturday night is going to be special. I'm really as excited about seeing our stadium Saturday night as anything. It's great to have those guys here because they are acknowledged as some of the people that know college football the best.

"We're certainly looking forward to the game. Oklahoma is playing very well on both sides of the football. Their defense is probably the best one we've seen this year and they're running the ball downhill and playing very well on offense. We know it will be a big challenge. They're playing with a lot of confidence.

"They still have a lot of talent (without Peterson). I was hoping the offensive line wouldn't be playing as good as they're playing, but they're playing pretty good. They've got good, quality receivers and I've always thought Paul Thompson was a good quarterback. When you've got Adrian you need to utilize him, and now that he's gone they're utilizing their other talent. And they do have other talent.

"He (Allen Patrick) looks like he's running downhill very well and very confidently right now. He's breaking some tackles and making a guy miss. I think the biggest thing is he's just running with confidence and taking it more North and South."

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