Texas A&M - Players to Watch
Offense - Ryan Swope
The last time the Aggies played at Kyle Field Wide Receiver Ryan Swope had a huge game catching 11 passes for 206-yards and four touchdowns. He only caught 4 passes last week for 40 yards against Iowa State. Another big effort from Swope Saturday would be big for Texas A&M and should help open up their field for other receivers like Jeff Fuller and Uzoma Nwachukwu. For the season Swope leads the team with 44 receptions for 659 yards and six touchdowns.
Defense - Spencer Nealy
Defensivley, the big boys up front will be improtant in trying to slow down the Missouri offense. Lineman Spencer Nealy has been playing some good football lately. For the season Nealy has 19 tackles, including five and half tackles for loss. He has also recorded half a sack and forced a fumble. Nealy is also an emotional spark on this team. He is always enthuastic according to his team mates.
Aggies - Keys to the Game
Nealy and the Aggie "D" will have to stay solid against the run Saturday. The Ags lead the Big 12 in rush defense giving up just under 80 yards a game but Missouri leads the league in rushing averaging 238 yards a game on the ground.
Missouri can throw the ball as well but if the defense can continue to pressure the quarteback that could slow down the Tigers. Texas A&M leads the Big 12 in sacks this season with 28.
When the Aggies have scoring chances they will have to get points. Missouri is third in the conference giving up just under 24 points a game so points may be hard to get Saturday.
Missouri - Players to Watch
Offense - James Franklin
Missouri Quarterback James Franklin leads a balanced Tiger attack. He has thrown for 1,672 yards and 11 touchdowns. Franklin has also run for 445 yards and a team high 8 touchdowns.
Defense - Luke Lambert
Defensively, Linebaker Luke Lambert is a player to keep an eye on. Lambert is second on the team in tackles with 43. He has recorded seven tackles for loss picked off a pass and recovered two fumbles.
Tigers - Keys to the Game
Missouri will have to keep the Aggie defense off balance Saturday to move the ball and they have shown the ability to do that. The igers are averaging over 230 rushing yards a game and 250 yards passsing which makes it difficult to figure out what to key on.
The Tigers will have to limit their turovers Saturday. A week ago against Oklahoma State 4 Mizzou turnovers led to 21 Cowboy points. That is not a good recipe to try and win on the road.
Missouri will have to be better against the run than they have been this season. For the year the Tigers are giving up 124 yards a game. If they let the Aggie ground game get going it could make for a long day.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M enters Saturday's contest with some momentum. The Aggies are on a three game winning streak. Two of those wins came on the road inculding last week against Iowa State in Ames. The Ags beat the Cyclones 33-17. The win here at home during the streak came two weeks ago agianst a Baylor team with an offense similar to Missouri.
"The passing game is a little different, but Baylor was committed to running the football," explains Defensive Coordinator Tim Deruyter.
"They were running it for about the same number of yards per game I believe and throwing or a ton of yards as well. It's probably the closest as far as a team committed to doing both, where other teams want to run it for 150 yards and thorw for 350 these guys are closer to 50/50."
Missouri comes to College Station with a 3 and 4 record. The Tigers are 1 and 3 in Big 12 play but their three losses have come to Kansas State, Oklahoma and last week to Oklahoma State. This week marks the first of four straight match-ups for Mizzou against Texas teams. To get the stretch started off the right way, the Tigers will have to face an Aggie defense that is good against the run.
"Their run defense numbers are very good," says Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel.
"First of all, I think you should give them credit because they are doing a good job against the run. I think also, when you get a team that is a sack leader, a tackle for loss leader, all those yards come off the rushing game. So that's where it filters down -- you have to go back and do the math a little bit. They have a really good scheme. Porter, their linebacker, is really an impact player, and they bring him off of the corner all the time. He's got a bunch of sacks and tackles for losses."
Saturday is the 12th meeting between Texas A&M and Missouri on the football field. The Aggies lead the all-time series 7 to 4 but the Tigers have won four of the last five meeting including a convincing 30-9 win last year at Kyle Field. The Aggies last win in the series came back in 2006 in College Station. Texas A&M knocked off Missouri 25-19 in that game. A Mike Goodson third quarter touchdown run and Stephen McGee two point conversion proved to be the difference.
The 12th man for Saturday's game will once again be C.J. Jones. This will be the seventh straight games Jones has worn the number 12. He has recorded seven tackles this season including two last week against Iowa State.