Texas A&M's Peterson Ready For Redemption Against Tech
Thursday, October 11th 2007, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) _ Texas A&M cornerback Jordan Peterson took a matter-of-fact approach to getting beat for the winning touchdown against Texas Tech last season.
Senior Robert Johnson leaped to catch Graham Harrell's pass over Peterson, then a freshman, in the end zone in the final minute of the Red Raiders' 31-27 victory at Kyle Field.
``It happens,'' said Peterson. ``That's the way I looked at it. You use it as a learning experience and move on.''
Peterson gets a chance at redemption this weekend when Texas A&M (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) faces Texas Tech (5-1, 1-1) in Lubbock. In retrospect, Peterson would've probably dragged Johnson to the ground last year and given up a 15-yard penalty instead of the deciding score.
``Thinking about it now, yeah, of course,'' he said. ``At the time, he had a window of like a foot to get it in there. Pretty good pass.''
Teammates rebuilt Peterson's confidence with encouragement after the game, and Peterson had an interception and a fumble recovery before last season ended. He picked off another pass against Louisiana-Monroe this season and returned it 54 yards.
``I couldn't have been prouder of a young man through that whole process,'' A&M coach Dennis Franchione said. ``We all, as coaches, were concerned and hoped that he would deal with it as he did. Jordan's a very intelligent, mature young man, and I think he was the epitome of how to deal with something that happens like that.''
Peterson is also the Aggies' punt returner, averaging 7.4 yards on 13 returns this year.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Texas A&M's trip to Lubbock starts the brutal second half of the schedule the Aggies have been hearing about for months.
The Aggies play at Nebraska next week followed by Kansas at home, then go to Oklahoma (Nov. 3) and Missouri (Nov. 10) before the home finale against Texas.
``The key is always taking a good team on the road and hopefully we're going to take a team that's good enough and can master and manage,'' coach Dennis Franchione said. ``Manage is more the right word _ the intangibles it takes to go play in settings like this.''
A&M was drubbed 34-17 in Miami in its only road game this season, but the Aggies went 5-0 away from Kyle Field in the regular season last year.
``I think sometimes when you've done that, it gives you some confidence and knowledge how to do it,'' Franchione said, ``and so hopefully that will help us.''
Quarterback Stephen McGee said the key to winning on the road is cutting down on mistakes.
``You've got to go in there with the right focus and the right mind-set,'' said McGee. ``More than anything, you have to be another notch better in your practice and your preparation.''
TOUGH SLEDDING: The Aggies haven't won in Lubbock since 1993 and since Dennis Franchione became the coach, the scores haven't been close.
Texas Tech has won by an average score of 30-14 in the six meetings since A&M's last victory. In 2003 _ Franchione's first season _ the Red Raiders won 59-28. In 2005, Tech ripped A&M 56-17.
Franchione can think of several reasons for the lopsided outcomes.
``First off, they've been pretty good since I've been here,'' Franchione said. ``They have been scoring lots of points. I think that's always a big part of it. I really think their stadium has created a nice atmosphere for the home team. A lot of energy there is provided for their team and I think their team feeds off of it very well.''
SIMULATION STATION: Dennis Franchione has raved about the benefits of a new indoor practice facility built next to Kyle Field.
Add one more _ the turf inside the McFerrin Athletic Center is almost identical to what the Aggies will play on this weekend in Lubbock.
Franchione said the Aggies were going to practice this week with crowd noise blaring through the facility to further simulate the conditions at Jones AT&T Stadium. He laughed when asked if he would also have assistants pelt his team with foreign projectiles, a hazard the Aggies expect to face from the moment they enter the stadium.
``I haven't thought about that,'' Franchione said, ``but we may need to prepare for those kinds of things.''
QUOTABLE: ``I don't have time to worry about T-shirts right now. I got to try to slow them down.'' _ Franchione, on whether he was aware of T-shirts, produced by a Texas Tech student, bearing the likeness of Michael Vick hanging Texas A&M's dog mascot.