TEXAS A&M OPENS GAME-WEEK PREPARATIONS FOR 75TH AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSICThe Texas A&M Aggies began their on-site preparations for Friday’s 75th annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic with a two-hour practice Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. The co-Big 12 South champion Aggies (9-3, 6-2) wore full pads, working on all aspects of their game.
“We had our full pads on and we scrimmaged a little bit like we do at the beginning and the end of each practice,” Texas A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman said. “It was a great practice. They were very focused, very business-like with what they were doing on the field.”
No. 17 Texas A&M will square off against No. 11 LSU Tigers (10-2, 6-2), marking the 50th meeting between the old Southwestern Conference foes. LSU leads the series 26-20-3, but this marks the first time the two have met since 1995 when Texas A&M beat the Tigers, 33-17. The two teams met in a bowl game once before when LSU beat the Aggies 19-14 in the 1944 Orange Bowl.
This year’s rendition of the Cotton Bowl Classic will mark the third time the Aggies have played in Cowboys Stadium, having played in the new arena twice in regular-season games against Arkansas.
The Aggies are making their first trip to the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic since 2005. Sherman said his team has been thrilled with the reception it has received.
“Myself, the coaches and the players are very excited about the opportunity to play in the prestigious 75th Cotton Bowl Classic,” Sherman said. “Everything that we had heard previous to coming up here about the Cotton Bowl Classic – the first-class attitude that they have toward everything – has been fulfilled and I’m sure will continue that way. Our players are just in awe of everything that’s being thrown at them in the hospitality and the things they’re able to do.”
While Sherman wants his players to enjoy their experience, he also said it’s a “business trip” that he hopes will end with Texas A&M earning its tenth victory of the season.
Dallas native OLB Von Miller played high school football locally, along with three teammates, at DeSoto High School. The All-American said he grew up watching the Cotton Bowl Classic and looks forward to playing in the game for the first time in his career.
“I’ve seen a lot of great games here and I’m looking forward to playing in my first Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, where I’m from,” Miller said. “I’m really excited. It just means a lot.”
Several Texas A&M players spoke with the media after Sunday’s practice. Sherman held a press conference shortly afterward.
The Aggies will conduct their second game-week practice at Cowboys Stadium on Monday morning and will then be available for a news conference with offensive coordinator Tom Rossley and selected players from 1-2 p.m. in the Las Colinas Ballroom at the Omni Mandalay Hotel.
The 75th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will kick off at 7:27 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2010 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex. The Classic will be televised by FOX.