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Cotton Bowl 2011: LSU vs. Texas A&M Preview

Posted by on January 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM EST

cotton bowl 2011AT&T Cotton Bowl 2011 pits LSU against Texas A&M tonight on FOX.

AT&T Cotton Bowl 2011 airs  live tonight at 9pm EST on FOX networks. The game pits two storied schools with long, illustrious histories against each other as LSU faces off against Texas A&M. The game is being played at the brand new Cowboys Stadium which will also be hosting the Super Bowl in a few weeks.

Cotton Bowl 2011 will be presented tonight by AT&T and it should be interesting. First, both teams are ranked in the top 20 by the BCS. LSU, ranked 11th, nearly broke into the top ten. By appearing in the game the LSU Tigers are making school history. This is the 11th straight year that they have made it into a bowl game dating back to their appearance in the Peach Bowl in 2000. LSU coach Les Miles has a 4-1 record in bowl games. While this might be their 11th straight bowl appearance it is LSU’s 42 overall bowl appearance.

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The Texas A&M Aggies come into the game hot. They won their last six games of the regular season and shocked a lot of people by earning a share of the Big 12 South title. They started the season 3-3 and looked average, but haven’t lost since and aim to prove that they are once again a team that is worthy of a good ranking and a prime time bowl.

There is a long, ongoing rivalry between these two teams. Tonight’s game marks the 50th time LSU and Texas A&M have met. However it is the first time they have faced each other since 1995. You could say that these are two old rivals getting to know each other again.

LSU’s strong point all season was their running game. Led by Stevan Ridley and his 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns, they owned the ground. But Ridley has been ruled academically ineligible for the bowl game. The team’s second leading rusher is quarterback Jordan Jefferson who ran for 383 yards this year, but only threw for 1,253 yards. Without Ridley they could struggle on offense. LSU can lean on their defense that is led by 2010 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Patrick Peterson. He is a dynamic defensive back that also plays special teams.

Texas A&M might just have the firepower to contend with that strong LSU defense. They too have a dynamic running game and the offense has average 31.8 points and 447.6 yards per game. Their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, who took over midway through the season, is unbeaten as a starter. He is an accurate passer who rarely throws interceptions. A&M has a defensive star of their own worth keeping an eye on. Von Miller is the 2010 Butkis Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker.

With LSU a little hobbled on offense and very run dependent we could see A&M shut their run down completely. That would force Jefferson to beat them with his arm. If it comes down to a battle of the quarterbacks, I would give the edge to A&M and Tannehill.

Tune in tonight at 9pm EST on FOX to watch it all go down.



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