Bowl Season

Big 12 vs. SEC Arlington, Texas
Cowboys Stadium
Jan. 7
8 p.m.
Robert Cessna, of the Bryant/College Station Eagle was nice enough to answer some questions about Texas A&M.

BS: It was a big year for the Aggies finishing 9-3 and being in the national spotlight. How big a step was this season in putting Texas A&M in the same breath as Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska?

Robert Cessna: Those victories made the season a success for A&M, no matter what happens in Arlington. The Missouri game was the lone time the Aggies didn’t show up, and winning six straight games more than made up for that. A&M will end the season in the Top 25 and start it maybe in the Top 15, depending on what does happen in Arlington, though a bowl game shouldn’t make for that big of a swing.

BS: The offense is 18th in the country in passing. Aggie alltime passing leader Jerrod Johnson was replaced by Ryan Tannehill. What has he done to jumpstart this offense and who are some him top weapons?

Robert Cessna: Tannehill has that intangible to make big plays when needed and he also seems to make players around him better, which is a great combination. The offensive line also seemed to mature during the last six games of the season, even though the unit lost its most experienced player in junior guard Evan Eike. Running back Cyrus Gray has had six straight 100-yard rushing games. Many thought A&M was in trouble with Christine Michael was lost to a season-ending injury, but Gray had already won the starting tailback spot.

BS: The defense has done a great job, especially in the second half of the season. Talk about DC Tim DeRuyter's defensive philosophy and who are the defense's most key players?

Robert Cessna:DeRuyter reminds me of a younger Dick Lebeau of the Pittsburgh Steelers. DeRuyter is a master at bringing pressure from the 3-4 alignment. Other than Butkus winner Von Miller the Aggies are very young, which means the unit will just get stronger. A big surprise has been the line play, which has allowed Miller and senior inside linebackers Michael Hodges and Garrick Williams become stars alongside Miller. A&M also is solid at cornerback with Coryell Judie, Dustin Harris and Terrence Frederick.

BS: If you could choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Robert Cessna: I think Tannehill and Ryan Swope are going to have to play well. I think A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller will find few openings against Patrick Peterson, while LSU’s run defense will focus on Gray. That means Tannehill will have to manage the game, finding out receivers, most likely Swope who is having a big year.

Thanks a lot to Robert Cessna. Check him out at

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