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Dallas – The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies made the three-hour drive from College Station to Dallas in private vehicles to begin their week of preparation for the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners and the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
"We had practice this morning in College Station and the guys handled themselves well coming up to the Metroplex on their own. There were no issues that I am aware of,” said head coach Kevin Sumlin. “We are excited to be at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and the hospitality is already outstanding. We are looking forward to a great week and look forward to playing a storied program such as Oklahoma in an outstanding venue."
Texas A&M (10-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) comes into the matchup with the Sooners (10-2, 8-1 Big 12 Conference) seeking its first 11-win season since 1998 and its fourth in program history. The Aggies will have to achieve the feat against a familiar foe in Oklahoma, but in a different setting as the two teams are clashing for the first time in a bowl game. The former Big 12 foes faced each other every season from 1996-2011 with the Sooners holding an 11-5 advantage in conference games. Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 19-11.
Before the teams square off for their 31st meeting on the gridiron, the A&M contingent of coaches and players settled into their AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic home for the week, the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
"The hotel is great and the people have been tremendous,” said senior DL Spencer Nealy. “We are looking forward to a great week of hospitality and when we practice we will be focused on our preparation."
The hospitality begins tonight at the official welcome dinner and party for both teams at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. On Sunday, A&M begins its official game-week preparations with its media day with Sumlin and selected players in the morning and its first practice on the stadium turf later in the afternoon.
The 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be held on Friday, Jan. 4 on FOX. Telecast starts at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Gus Johnson will handle play-by-play duties with Charles Davis as the color analyst.
For the first time the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be heard around the world on ESPN Radio. Providing play-by-play is Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”. Ed Cunningham will provide color commentary and Ian Fitzsimmons will report from the sidelines.
OKLAHOMA ARRIVES IN NORTH TEXAS AHEAD OF 77TH AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC:
Grapevine, Texas – Players and coaches for the Big 12 Co-Champion Oklahoma Sooners arrived in North Texas today in preparation for their showdown against the Texas A&M Aggies in the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
Sooner players and coaches arrived at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine Saturday afternoon. The Gaylord will serve as the team headquarters for OU during their stay in North Texas.
Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops said his team is looking forward to the week. “The Cotton Bowl people are first class,” Stoops said. “We played in it several years ago and I thought they did things in a great way, a first-class matter. It’ll be a special bowl game and we’re looking forward to it.”
No. 11 Oklahoma (10-2, 8-1 Big 12) will be facing No. 9 Texas A&M (10-2, 6-2 SEC) and Heisman Trophy winner QB Johnny Manziel for the first time since A&M joined the Southeastern Conference. Their last meeting was a 41-25 OU victory in Norman.
Their 2013 appearance marks only the second time ever at the Classic for the Sooners. Their only other appearance came in 2002, when Oklahoma defeated Arkansas 10-3. The Sooner defense that day held the Razorbacks to 50 total yards (37 rushing, 13 passing).
Sooner players and OU Senior Quarterback Landry Jones are looking forward to seeing the high-flying Aggie spread attack up close.
“They have a very explosive offense,” Jones said. “Manziel, obviously has done a lot of great things for the game of college football, won the Heisman this year and was an All-American so it’s going to be a big challenge for us and the defense.”
Tonight the Sooners will attend their first official event, a special welcome dinner and party at Cowboys Stadium along with their opponents from Texas A&M.
The Sooners will hold their first official practice tomorrow afternoon with Head Coach Bob Stoops and select players addressing the media beforehand.
The 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be held on Friday Jan. 4th on FOX. Telecast starts at 6:30 p.m., with kickoff scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Gus Johnson will handle play-by-play duties with Charles Davis as the color analyst.
For the first time the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be heard around the world on ESPN Radio. Providing play-by-play is Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”, Ed Cunningham will provide color commentary and Ian Fitzsimmons will report from the sideline.
Boomer Sooner. Make us proud and finish with a big win.
I believe that Spencer Nealy is the son of Ed Nealy, the NBA player from Kansas State. Spencer turned out to be a pretty good player.
We need to win this game.
Sounds like both teams are practicing at the stadium all week. Thought the Sooners might use Southlake Carroll's place sine they have top notch indoor/outdoor facilities
Is anyone surprised at ATM's travel arrangements? Seems to me like a bunch of college kids with their own vehicles in Dallas could be a recipe for trouble.
"Burnt orange makes me puke!" - Mother Teresa (unverified)
2012-13 College football bowl season: Officiating crew lineup
Gamedayr | December 14, 2012
Here’s the officiating crew lineup for all 35 bowls of the 2012-13 college football bowl season.
ACC: Fiesta, New Mexico, Little Caesars, Cotton
Big East: Rose, Independence, Outback
Big Ten: Sugar, Military, Sun, Chick-fil-A, GoDaddy.com
Big 12: Gator, Capital One, Russell Athletic, BBVA Compass
Conference USA: Las Vegas, Holiday
MAC: Poinsettia, Meineke Car Care, Music City
Mountain West: Kraft Fight Hunger, Liberty, Famous Idaho Potato
Pac-12: BCS Championship, Pinstripe, Heart of Dallas, Buffalo Wild Wings
SEC: Orange, Belk, Armed Forces, Alamo
Sun Belt: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s
WAC: New Orleans, Hawaii
riley, what top notch indoor facilities are you talking about. The only one that know is the indoor practice field at the Senior High School, that is not that big and couldn't handle OU needs. Of course we have been away for the last 4 years and they may have built siince then.
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