While the Texas A&M football team has been absent from the BCS talk over the past 10 years, one thing has remained constant—opposing players and coaches still recognize the unique atmosphere of gameday at Kyle Field.
"I heard the stadium is probably worse that Florida's stadium," said Miami quarterback Jacory Harris. "There are going to be a lot of people in maroon colors cheering for the Aggies and we're just going to go out there and have a good game."
Considering the regional rivalry between Florida and Miami, that's saying something.
But Miami head coach Randy Shannon is hoping that the experience that some of his staff brings to the table will help the Hurricanes handle the loud environment.
"Coach [Wesley] McGriff, coach [Tommie] Robinson and coach [Bill] Young have all experienced that field and there is tradition there that had been there for a long time, so it is an opportunity to go into another great football environment – what college football is all about – and play a good team," Shannon said. "[They have] very devoted fans."
The Aggies also have a very talented backfield, including Mike Goodson and Jorvorskie Lane, who were both shut down completely against Miami a year ago. But Shannon said he expects to see new wrinkles this year in the Aggies' new pro-style offense.
"They have a more pro-style offense now. You just have to run your keys and play your keys. Try to contain and control the running back," Shannon said.
While the Hurricane staff knows what to expect from the Aggies' rushing attack, they will have to guess who they're going to see under center as the Aggies enter the week with questions at quarterback.
Shannon said they're preparing for Stephen McGee and Jerrod Johnson.
"You just have to look at what they are doing on offense. Usually when you watch both quarterbacks on film they are doing the same things on offense. You can't just change how you prepare because you just don't know. You don't know who is going to show up after an open week. Guys get healed faster and some guys don't get healed. You have to plan for what you see on film."
The Aggies will have plenty of film to watch on Miami as well, which played a nationally-ranked Florida Gators squad on the road two weeks ago. The Hurricanes fell 26-3, but they claim it helped bring them together as a team and improved the pace of practices over the last week and a half, providing them with a chip on their shoulders entering the contest against A&M.
"We are very prepared for Texas A&M right now," Harris said. "We've had some very intense practices. We are going out there and kind of playing with a chip on our shoulder. We have something to prove. There are a lot of people out there doubting us, thinking that because of the loss, we aren't a great team. We are trying to show everybody and prove to everybody that we are still a great team."
While some in Florida may be doubting the Hurricanes, there are plenty of doubters in the Lone Star State concerning the Aggies as well, which should make for quite the battle at Kyle Field this weekend.
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