#17 Aggies begin season at Clemson

Series: Saturday's game marks the 3rd contest on the gridiron between Texas A&M and Clemson, dating back to the first meeting in 1973. The Aggies hold a 3-0 advantage over the Tigers. The two teams squared off last season in College Station where the Aggies won in a 27-6 victory.

The teams: #17 Texas A&M at Clemson

When: Saturday, September 3, 2005, 7 p.m. (CST)

Location: Memorial Stadium (78,973) • Clemson, South Carolina

Television: ABC

Radio: Texas A&M Sports Network

Sellout: Saturday's contest at Memorial Stadium is sold out. It is the second preseason sellout for the Tigers, who have also sold out the Florida State game on Nov. 12.

Among the best: Texas A&M Head Coach Dennis Franchione is sixth among winningest active Division I coaches with a record of 166-86-2 for a .657 percent. Clemson's Tommy Bowden has a 62-33 record for a .653 winning percentage, the 10th best percentage among active coaches.

Tough start: During the month of September, Clemson plays three ranked teams at home — Texas A&M, Miami and Boston College — and travels to Maryland. The Tigers started last season 1-4 with a similar schedule of brutal games.

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden on Aggie QB Reggie McNeal "We couldn't tackle [McNeal] last year, so I'm going to have a lot better idea after the game how our front seven fares," Bowden said. "Right now I like them, but we're just going against each other." McNeal had nearly 300 yards of total offense against Clemson last year in the Aggie victory.

Texas A&M Head Coach Dennis Franchione on young Aggie cornerbacks: "They've earned everyone's respect with the way they've played in camp. That doesn't mean they're going to go in there and stone Clemson's receivers or anything like that ... we'll have our hands full defending those guys."

Aggies on watch lists: Six Aggies have been selected on a preseason "watch list" for a national award. Linebackers Lee Foliaki and Justin Warren are candidates for the 2005 Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker. Senior quarterback Reggie McNeal is a candiate for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Senior safety Jaxson Appel is up for the Thorpe Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. Sophomore center Chris Yoder is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy and senior placekicker Todd Pegram for the Lou Groza Placekicker Award.

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