Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Aggies wind down AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Practice
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies fine-tuned its preparations for the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners and the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic with a light walk-through at Cowboys Stadium.
With the stadium dressed up in logos and banners, the Aggies (10-2, 6-2 SEC) worked out in black shorts and t-shirts for just under an hour to take those final, crucial steps for their fourth-straight bowl game and sixth in seven seasons.
“We got some kicking game stuff done and caught some balls in the lights. This is about as late as we’ve been in here so it was pretty game-like. Everything is painted up and ready to go,” said head coach Kevin Sumlin. “Our walk-throughs are more brisk than most people’s the day before (a game). There was a lot of energy and it should be. We haven’t played in a long time. These guys have had a lot of time to prepare and I think they will play well tomorrow.”
A&M seeks its fifth AT&T Cotton Bowl victory in 13 appearances and 15th all-time postseason win in 34 bowl appearances. The Aggies have appeared in two of the four Classics played in Cowboys Stadium with their last coming in the historic 75th game, a 41-24 loss to LSU.
Sumlin said the keys to a win over the Sooners (10-2, 8-1 Big 12) will be for his team to stay true to what it has done all season and not worry about the historical significance of trying to become the fourth team in school history to reach 11 wins in a season.
“Particularly with the long layoff like we’ve had, I look at this bowl game like the first game of the season,” said Sumlin. “We have to get to game speed early and we have to execute. We have to have good ball security and take advantage of turnovers when we have the opportunity. For us it’s always the same thing -- third-down conversions on offense, third-down stops on defense to get off the field and turnovers. That’s really been the story of our success this year.”
The Aggies will enjoy another restful night in the Metroplex before making the trek back to Arlington on Friday afternoon to face its former Big 12 rival in front of an anticipated crowd of more than 90,000 spectators.
The 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be held on Friday, Jan. 4 on FOX. Telecast starts at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Gus Johnson will handle play-by-play duties with Charles Davis as the color analyst.
For the first time the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be heard around the world on ESPN Radio. Providing play-by-play is Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”. Ed Cunningham will provide color commentary and Ian Fitzsimmons will report from the sidelines.