The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 1, 2013

Just another opponent

IRVING, Texas — Texas A&M just wrapped its first season in the SEC and there’s little doubt it’s the toughest conference in college football.

However, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder admitted the Aggies will see something they have not seen all season on Friday in the AT&T Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

“This is the best group we have faced,” Snyder said about the Sooners. “As a group this is the best group of receivers we have faced this year as a whole. It is a heck of a challenge. It (the height advantage of OU’s wide receivers) could be an issue, there is no doubt. Jalen Summers isn’t very long, but he is quick. He is pretty good.”

Texas A&M has only faced two teams that rank in the top 40 in passing offense this season. The Aggies dominated Arkansas (No. 21) in a 58-10 victory on Sept. 29. However, Louisana Tech (No. 3) threw for 450 yards when the teams met on Oct. 13. The Aggies still won, 59-57.

Same players, different scheme: Just about all of OU’s offensive players went against Texas A&M last season. It’s the same case with the Aggie defenders. The biggest change is Texas A&M switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 alignment this season.

“It’s actually pretty different with that four-man front but they’re very versatile on defense. They can jump back into that three-man front that they’ve run for a while,” OU center Gabe Ikard said. “They give you all kinds of different looks that are difficult to adjust to and you’ve just got to be able to diagnose what defense they’re running and make your defense and calls. They’re definitely a difficult matchup on defense with all the different looks.”

Little animosity: OU coach Bob Stoops said on Sunday that OU seems to have a lot of rivals. Wide receiver Kenny Stills said on Monday that facing Texas A&M was never high on his rivalry list.

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