After an idle week, the Miami Hurricanes will take to the road for the second time this season, traveling to Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M.
“It’s an opportunity to go into another great football environment, which college football is all about, and play a good team,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “We are excited for this game. It would really good for us to go there and get a win.”
This will be the Hurricanes’ (1-1) first trip to Texas A&M’s (1-1) Kyle Field, also known as the “12th Man.” Nevertheless, the Canes have already faced a hostile atmosphere at The Swamp in Gainesville.
“That place will be rocking all day,” freshman defensive tackle Marcus Forston said. “They say it’s one of the top five crowds. But we’re already adjusted to a huge crowd on the road. We are going to block the crowd out. They’re nothing but fans screaming. They’re not lining up in front of us.”
The all-time series between the Canes and the Aggies is tied, 1-1. The Aggies won the first meeting back in 1944 with a 70-14 win at the Orange Bowl. However, last year the Hurricanes embarrassed a then-ranked Texas A&M team on national television, with a 34-17 win at the Orange Bowl.
Miami held Texas A&M to only 38 yards in the first half, taking a 24-0 lead. The Canes scored 10 points off three Aggies turnovers in the final minutes before halftime.
Then again, this is a new season.
The Hurricanes are coming off a tough in-state loss against nemesis Florida, 26-3. But fortunately for the Canes, since 1999 they have always rebounded with a win after losing to a top five opponent.
As for the Aggies, they are also coming off a bye week, but they haven’t looked impressive at all this season. They dropped their opener against Arkansas State at Kyle Field and subsequently struggled to beat New Mexico.
Two weeks ago, quarterback Robert Marve took the helm for the first time in his career, completing 10 of 18 passes for 69 yards. He is still looking for his first touchdown pass, but more importantly, he is looking for his first win. He knows it won’t be easy against the Aggies.
“They have a great defense,” Marve said. “They have a whole bunch of athletes over there. We’re going go to be ready to play a good game against them.”
The Hurricanes will be without running back Javarris James for at least two weeks due to a high ankle sprain. This means Graig Cooper will be the guy in Miami’s backfield. Derron Thomas and Shawnbrey McNeal will also see plenty of carries.
The Canes will rely on the defense to dictate the game against the Aggies. Through the first two games this season, the Canes rank sixth nationally in first downs allowed (12) and 18th overall in total defense.
If quarterback Stephen McGee isn’t healthy for the Aggies, then Jerrod Johnson will take his spot. Johnson is a six-foot-five, athletic quarterback.
Shannon believes his team must stay focused and remember that Aggies first-year head coach Mike Sherman will have his team ready.
“They are still a big time program,” Shannon said. “When you go down to Aggie land the fans are unbelievable, and the support they have is unbelievable. It’s going to be a great challenge down there.”
Said Cooper, ” We can not overlook them at all. We’ve got to play our game.”