Cotton Bowl Familiar Territory for the Aggies

For the Aggies, playing in the Cotton Bowl on January 7 will be like home and not just because of the close proximity to College Station.

When it comes to going bowling the Texas A&M football likes to do it in the Cotton Bowl the most. Of the 31 bowl games that they have played in dating back to their first one, the Dixie Bowl in 1921, the Aggies have played in the Cotton Bowl the most.

The game on January 7th will be the 12th time the team has played in the Cotton Bowl, second only to the Texas Longhorns who have played in it on 22 occasions.

The last time that the Aggies played in the Cotton Bowl was in 2005 (as part of the 2004 season), a 38-7 thumping by the Tennessee Volunteers. For a win the Aggies have to go back a bit further to the 1988 edition of the game when Texas A&M beat the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame 35-10.

However, since that win the Aggies have played in the Cotton Bowl five more times and failed to come up with a single win, failing to score a touchdown in two and only being competitive in two others. That is a trend that the 2010 Aggies Football team would like to stop this time when they face the LSU Tigers.

The success of the Texas A&M team is remarkable in that the team benched their starting quarter back after six games, Jerrod Johnson, for back-up QB and wide receiver Ryan Tannehill. The move ended up saving the Aggies’ season. With Ryan at the helm the team has yet to lose.

Johnson had gotten the team off to a 3-0 start before losing the next three to fall to 3-3. With the season on the line head coach Mike Sherman had a tough call to make. Should he replace the school’s all-time career passing leader or ride out the losing streak on the strong arm of Johnson?

Over the course of the losing streak Johnson had become turnover prone, often killing drives that could have made a difference and often setting up the other team with good field position.

Sherman made the switch and it paid off. The team embarked on a six game winning streak beating rival Texas along with a pair of ranked teams, Oklahoma and Nebraska (who were both No 8 when they played Texas A&M).

Tannehill transitioned well from someone catching touchdown passes to someone throwing them. In those six games he threw for more than 1400 yards with 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

The Aggies will need him to continue to perform to a high level when they face the No 11 LSU Tigers. LSU has been stingy when it comes to letting teams in the end zone (9th in the nation), but have been soft against the pass (107th).
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