Texas A&M at Texas: Quick glance

For the 111th time in history, Texas A&M and Texas will square off on the gridiron, making the Lone Star Showdown the third longest in college football. The stakes are high for Friday's contest in Austin, as both teams continue to shoot for higher bowl status.

The teams: Texas A&M (7-3, 5-2) at Texas (9-1, 6-1)

When: Friday, November 26, 2004. 2:30 p.m. (CST) kickoff.

Location: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (80,082) • Austin, Texas

Television: Nationally on ABC. Broadcast crew: Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Bob Griese (analyst) and Lynn Swann (sideline).

Radio: Texas A&M Sports Network

Series: "Lone Star Showdown." The Texas A&M vs. Texas rivalry is the third longest in college football. The 2004 game will be the 111th time the teams have faced each other on the gridiron. Texas leads the all-time series, 71-34-5. A&M holds a 12-8 advantage of the Horns over the past 20 meetings.

Rankings: The Aggies are ranked #22 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' polls. The Longhorns are #6 in the AP poll and #5 in the coaches'. Aggies Head Coach Dennis Franchione on Texas RB Cedric Benson: "I don't think we have to remind them. When you prepare to play this game, you know you're going to face a great running back. They know what he's capable of. We're all from the same state here. They know that we have to defend the run or we have no chance to win the football game. We can't let him have that kind of day and win the game. I shouldn't say no chance but we certainly diminish our opportunities."

Franchione on QB Reggie McNeal's start against the Longhorns: "You could light Reggie's hands on fire and I'm not sure he would do much more than flinch a little bit. He's preparing like I've seen him prepare every week. I think when you will notice the difference in Reggie will come Wednesdays practice, Thursday and then Friday. I think the last 48 hours of his mental preparation has been his biggest improvement. We've talked about his maturity but to me his last 24 and 36 to 48 hours have been so much better than last year in preparing for a game and that's when I watch Reggie as much as anything for any kind of change. He's been steady as a rock on that all year."

Longhorns Head Coach Mack Brown's overall impression of Texas A&M's football team: "Reggie McNeal is playing as well as any quarterback in the country. Like Vince, he can hurt you with his feet. He is throwing the ball so well. Courtney Lewis is really a good running back. He is already over 1,000 yards. Terrence Murphy will be one of the first picks as a receiver in the draft next year. Their offensive line is really good, and maybe their most improvement is on defense. Carl Torbush has done a great job with their defense, and those guys are making a lot of plays, they are doing a great job stopping the run, they are giving up about 119 yards rushing a game. They are taking a lot more chances. They are blitzing about 40%, more than any other team we have seen blitz all year. I'm sure they are going to get after us and try to force us into some bad plays."

Brown on McNeal: "[McNeal] is taking care of the ball better this year. Reggie has had a real high touchdown ratio to interceptions, and instead of throwing he ball into coverage, he pulls it down and runs it. He has done a great job. He is so fast. I think he ran 10.5 100 meters in high school. He was one of the fastest guys in the 100 meters in the state. That is phenomenal for someone as big as he is."


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