COLLEGE STATION -- Once Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione finished answering questions about his employment status this week, he was asked to explain why Mike Goodson missed the first half of Saturday's game at Oklahoma.
The explosive Goodson, A&M's third-leading rusher, rushed seven
times for 28 yards and caught a pass for a loss in the second half
of the Aggies' 42-14 loss in Norman. He spent the first half
holding his helmet on the sideline.
"He missed practice time," Franchione said. "If you want to
call that discipline, you can. It really wasn't that. He had some
personal family issues. He kind of was a little bit behind on
knowing the game plan."
Goodson did not attend Tuesday's weekly media availability,
though several media outlets requested him for interviews.
Sophomore Keondra Smith and freshman Cornell Tarrant filled in
for Goodson against the Sooners. Smith ran for 11 yards on three
carries and caught two passes for short gains. Tarrant had two
rushes for minus-11 yards.
Franchione said Smith and Tarrant earned the right to play ahead
"The other guys did practice and so we felt like they should
get to play first in the game," Franchione said. "We certainly
understood his (Goodson's) situation because it was a difficult one
that he needed to deal with. We felt like we should be fair to the
other guys too that were there."
The Sooners held the Aggies to 128 yards rushing, A&M's
third-lowest total of the season.
A&M (6-4, 3-3 Big 12) plays at No. 7 Missouri (8-1, 4-1) on
Saturday, the third consecutive top-10 opponent the Aggies have
THIS WEEK IN MARTELLUS: Junior tight end Martellus Bennett said
Dennis Franchione's future will probably affect his decision on
whether to leave school a year early for the NFL.
"I guess it would," Bennett said. "I haven't really thought
about that. Ain't no telling, if there was a new coach, who it
would be. Who knows?"
Bennett suggested before A&M's 19-11 loss to Kansas that he
would jump to the pros if he thought he'd be taken in the first or
second round. His comments came before reports that the embattled
Franchione was negotiating a contract buyout with the school.
Franchione dispelled the reports Tuesday.
Bennett reiterated this week that his decision will mostly be
influenced by what his family thinks. He said he won't start
analyzing what he should do until after this season.
"Really, we're trying to win these next two games," said
Bennett, A&M's leading receiver with 36 catches. "I'm trying to
get out there and do the best I can."
RUN AND DONE: The Aggies have relied on their running game all
season. The last two weeks, Kansas and Oklahoma have shut it down
and, predictably, A&M has lost both games.
Before Oklahoma, Kansas held A&M to a season-low 74 yards
rushing. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in rushing defense (75 yards
per game), and the Jayhawks are second (78 yards per game).
"We're certainly not going to skirt our responsibility, but
we've played two very good run defensive teams," Dennis Franchione
said. "It's been a challenge, no doubt about that. I still think
we should have rushed for more yards than we have."
Missouri is giving up only 117 yards rushing per game, fourth in
the Big 12 and 25th in the nation. A&M wraps up the regular season
against No. 15 Texas and the Longhorns rank third in the league and
14th in the nation in the category, allowing only 101 yards per
"They're a good defense, a great defense," senior guard Kirk
Elder said of Missouri, "just like the one we're going to see
after them, the one we saw last week and the week before."
LANE TRAIN: Jorvorskie Lane has rushed for only 52 yards the
last two weeks, but he's still flirting with history.
The 6-foot, 270-pound junior needs one rushing touchdown to tie
the A&M record of 44, set by Darren Lewis in 1987-90. With two
touchdowns, Lane will tie Lewis' school record of 45 total TDs.
QUOTABLE: "Over the last couple of weeks, there's nothing you
could really say that bothers us. We've been hearing stuff since
the beginning of everything, about five or six weeks. Everything's
been the same." - Martellus Bennett, on whether the Aggies have
gotten used to the persistent, distracting questions about Dennis