The Ottumwa Courier

Iowa Sports

October 25, 2008

Struggling Cyclones, Aggies to face off

AMES, Iowa (AP) — There’s a reason why Texas A&M; and Iowa State are winless in the Big 12, and it starts with a “D.”

The Aggies and Cyclones are the only teams in the league to have allowed more than 200 points this season. In Big 12 play, they’re worse. Texas A&M; (2-5, 0-3 Big 12) has allowed a staggering 47.4 points in conference games, while Iowa State (2-5, 0-3) has given up 108 points in its last 10 quarters.

But things could be looking up for the Aggies and Cyclones when they square off on Saturday night in Ames.

Each will get their best shots yet at a conference win —if only because they face each other. And Iowa State coach Gene Chizik and Texas A&M; coach Mike Sherman, both in the early stages of rebuilding efforts, could both use the pick-me-up.

Iowa State got thumped in what appeared to be a winnable game for the second straight week, losing to Nebraska 35-7. Texas A&M; took a 23-20 halftime lead against No. 8 Texas Tech last week, but their offense fell flat in the second half of a 43-25 home loss.

It was the fourth time in five games that an opponent beat the Aggies by scoring more than 40 points, but Sherman praised his team for the passion and cohesiveness they showed in defeat.

“We put an awful lot into the ballgame, we had a great week of preparation, and we made an investment and it didn’t pay dividends necessarily ,” Sherman said. “But from my standpoint we took a big step as a football team. So I want to see how they handle the loss and how it will help us this week in preparation for Iowa State.”

The Cyclones are about as low as they’ve been under Chizik, who took over before the 2007 season. Sure, they were 1-8 at one point last season, but they bounced back with two Big 12 wins and seemed to be building a decent head of steam by opening this season 2-0.

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