Big D's Keys to Success - Kansas

All the Aggies have to do to win is follow Big D's keys to success. Two weeks ago, they were only 2-for-5 and lost--badly. Last week, A&M was 5-for-5, and demoralized Nebraska. What are Big D's keys to success against Kansas?

Series Record:
Texas A&M leads the all-time series 7-1
Series Notes:
• The Aggies are 5-0 against Kansas ince the formation of the Big 12 Conference.
• A&M didn't lead in last year's game until scoring the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds remaining.
• Kansas is attempting to improve to 8-0 since 1909.
BigD03's pick:
Texas A&M (+3)- The Aggies will run the ball on a Kansas defense that will get exposed. If Kansas pulls off the win at Kyle Field, it will be close.


Five Keys to Success
1. Run the ball
The Jayhawks defense enters the game ranked No. 7 in the nation in rush defense, but they haven't played anyone with a backfield like the Aggies. A&M has shown over the past two years that they can run the ball on anyone, and they'll look to prove that again this week. On the other hand, Kansas is sick of hearing about their weak schedule and they'll look to silence their critics. It's a lot easier to talk about tackling Jorvorskie Lane than doing it though, especially since he's only one rushing touchdown from tying the school record.

2. Win the turnover battle--again
Yeah, yeah, I know. This is always a key, but in a game that may come down to a play or two here and there, a key turnover could swing the game one way or the other, and for the Aggies, that seems to be a trend. In fact, turnovers seem to be the biggest stat during the Franchione era at Texas A&M. The Aggies are 24-3 in games with a turnover margin, and 7-22 in games with an even or minus turnover margin. In 2007, the Aggies are 6-0 when they win the turnover battle, but 0-2 when even or minus.

3. Engage the 12th Man
Kansas has struggled on the road and the largest crowd they have played in front of was 51,900 at Colorado. They've won both of their road games be less than one possession with the home team driving for a chance to win in the fourth quarter. There will be 82,000-plus in attendance on Saturday at Kyle Field, and the Aggies need to jump on the Jayhawks early, make big stops on defense and keep the 12th Man doing what it does best.

4. Sound special teams
Kansas kick returner Marcus Herford has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averages 31 yards per return. Jayhawk punt returner averages 12.1 yards per return and returned one punt 77 yards for a touchdown. A&M kickers need to play keepaway on kicks and Matt Szymanski needs to be solid on field goal attempts. Every point will be critical for the Aggies.

5. Stay in front of the chains
The A&M offense is not designed to convert in long yardage situations--see Miami. They've got to get positive yardage early and not allow the KU defense to get too comfortable. Kansas is No. 7 in the nation in tackles for loss, averaging 8.71 per game (61 TFL on the season)


Five Huskers to Watch
1. James McClinton, Defensive Tackle – This guy will be playing on Sundays next year, and he'll be key to stopping the Aggies ground attack.
2. Todd Reesing, Quarterback – He's averaging 257.9 passing yards per game with 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He's efficient.
3. Scott Webb He's 11-for-12 on the season in field goal attempts and doesn't miss from less than 40. If it comes down to a kick, he wants the opportunity.
4. Aqib Talib, Cornerback – He's got three interceptions on the year, returning one 100 yards for a touchdown. McGee needs to avoid him.
5. Marcus Henry, Wide Receiver – He's a big target at 6-foot-4 and leads the team with 29 catches, averaging 78.9 receiving yards per game.




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