Running From The Canes

By Adam Caparell - September 20, 2007

Texas A&M heads into its matchup with Miami this evening as a 2.5 point underdog despite the fact that the Aggies are the No. 20 team in the nation and that the Hurrcanes haven't exactly looked like favorite material so far this season.

But the slight of hand, or blatant lack of respect - depending on which school of though you subscribe to - is of no consequence to A&M coach Dennis Franchione.

"Right now nothing surprises me in regard to whether we're favored or not," Franchione said. "We're just going to play the game."

We'll see one of the better running teams in the country, in Texas A&M, matchup with what was supposed to be one of the better defensesm, in Miami. Everyone knows the Hurricanes were embarrassed by the Sooners two weeks ago, but the Canes only allowed 116 yards on the ground on 45 carries. The Aggies enter the game averaging 296.3 yards per game on the ground and happen to be one of only three teams who have three rushers among the nation's top 100. So what's going to give?

"They are a very talented team, very athletic," Franchione said. "They are the fastest team that we have faced obviously and maybe as fast as we will face this year. They have some great players. Their defensive end, (Calais) Campbell, 6-foot-8, 280, he's the real deal."

The Campbell vs. A&M QB Stephen McGee matchup is the one to keep your eye on. The Aggies are going to run the more times than you can count and if the Hurricanes let McGee scramble all night long they'll be playing from behind. And we all know Miami's offense is not the type that can readily come from behind.

"Everyone is trying to come in and run the football. Every time we play somebody that has a scrambling quarterback - Marshall had one, FIU had one - we have put up stops the way we do best," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "We have to stop the running backs. When we get them in passing situations, we have to make sure the guys are in their pass-rush lane and keep the quarterback contained."

So can the Hurricanes, in search of their first win over a BCS school this year, stop the Aggies or even knock them off in their first meeting since 1944? There are some encouraging signs.

First off, the Aggies have had big problems stopping anyone. They've been out-gained in each of their first two wins and allowed 399 yards to Fresno State in a triple-OT victory. Second, thunderstorms are predicted in south Florida tonight. Running teams don't have a great history in the Orange Bowl when it's been wet and muddy. Anyone remember the 1982 AFC Championship game between the Jets and the Dolphins?

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:32 PM on September 20, 2007
Comments (1)


The statement "...but the Canes only allowed 116 yards on the ground on 45 carries" is misleading because 42 yards were lost on one play when the Sooners hiked the ball over the punter's head. This was subtracted from the rushing total, so look at how many yards the OU RBs REALLY gained on the "U".

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