orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

January 3, 2013

Cotton Bowl Preview Capsule

DALLAS — Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2), 8:10 p.m. (Fox)

Line: Texas A&M by 3½

Series Record: Oklahoma leads 19-11

WHAT'S AT STAKE

First bowl matchup between former Big 12 rivals, and both five-game winning streaks. Oklahoma is trying to win 11 games for the 10th time under coach Bob Stoops, who is going for his 150th career victory. The Aggies haven't had an 11-win season since 1998, the year before Stoops got to Oklahoma. Texas A&M is wrapping up its first SEC season after leaving the Big 12.

KEY MATCHUP

Quarterbacks, young and old, of high-scoring offenses. Oklahoma senior Landry Jones is the steady record-setting veteran making his 50th career start (16,368 career yards passing and 122 TDs). The Sooners are averaging 40.2 points per game, less than Texas A&M's 44.8 a game. Johnny Manziel, the Aggies' exciting dual-threat player known as Johnny Football, is the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. He has an SEC-record 4,600 total yards while accounting for 43 TDs.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas A&M: WR Ryan Swope needs 79 yards to break the Aggies' career receiving record. He has 244 career catches for 3,013 yards and 23 TDs. Swope has four 100-yard games this season, and 13 overall.

Oklahoma: S Tony Jefferson has a team-high 113 tackles and is the sixth defensive back in school history with a 100-tackle season. He needs eight tackles to surpass Rodney Rideau's record for DBs set in 1999. He is 11 tackles shy of the Big 12's overall leader, Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager (124). No Oklahoma player has ever led the Big 12 in tackles.

FACTS & FIGURES

Oklahoma is playing in only its second Cotton Bowl. The Sooners beat Arkansas on New Year's Day 2002. ... Texas A&M is 4-8 in the Cotton Bowl, and had lost six in a row since beating Notre Dame 26 years ago. ... The Sooners are 11-2 against Texas A&M under coach Bob Stoops, including a 77-0 win in 2003, the most lopsided loss ever for the Aggies. ... Oklahoma's two losses this season are to top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 7 Kansas State, while Texas A&M lost to No. 4 Florida and No. 9 LSU. ... A&M is 0-4 at Cowboys Stadium. ... Oklahoma is 4-0 in the state of Texas this season. ... SEC teams have won against Big 12 teams in the last four Cotton Bowls.

 

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