Aggies have hands full with Cowboys

Updated: October 24, 2003, 10:27 PM ET

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione wishes he could devise a defense for Oklahoma State wide receiver Rashaun Woods and feel confident that the Aggies could handle the No. 18 Cowboys' prolific offense.

He knows that wouldn't solve the Aggies' dilemma. What about quarterback Josh Fields? What about tailback Tatum Bell and the rest of the Cowboys offense that beat Texas Tech, the top-scoring team in the nation, 51-49 last week?

"You can't scheme to Rashaun Woods, you wish you could," Franchione said. "If they didn't run the ball so well, you could maybe do some things. There's not an easy way to defense these guys, they're a real challenge."

The multitalented Cowboys (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) will march into Kyle Field Saturday trying to boost their winning streak to seven in a row after a season-opening loss to Nebraska.

Wood, Fields and Bell will face one of the weakest Aggie defenses in years.

"I look at A&M, and they're a tremendously talented football team," said OSU head coach Les Miles. "But they have not played as well as I'm sure their coaches would want them to play. It can be a difficult place to win, and we understand that."

Woods leads the Big 12 Conference in receiving and he's ranked No. 3 nationally, averaging 114.86 receiving yards per game. Woods needs 260 yards to become the eighth player in NCAA history to reach 4,000 yards in receiving yards.

Bell rushed for 236 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns against Texas Tech and earned conference offensive player of the week. It was the second time this season Bell reached 200 yards rushing and he's had 100 or more yards in five of his last seven games.

The Cowboys' big playmakers have the attention of Aggie defensive coordinator Carl Torbush.

"They have an outstanding tailback in Tatum Bell but he's not the only pretty good tailback they have," Torbush said. "Bell has great speed. He can take it all the way if you don't get him at the line of scrimmage."

And Woods? "We've played against some great receivers and we're going to play some more and he matches up with all of them," Torbush said.

The Aggies (3-4, 1-2) are in danger of having their first losing season since 1982. The offense has been productive with sophomore quarterback Reggie McNeal and an improved running game led by Courtney Lewis and Derek Farmer.

A&M lost wide receiver Jamaar Taylor for the season after injuring his knee in last week's 48-12 loss to Nebraska.

The Cowboys have a 10-game home winning streak but they haven't played well recently on the road, with a 4-8 road record under Miles. The Cowboys haven't won a game at Kyle Field since 1983.

"To be successful in any league, you have to be able to go on the road, you have to be able to win big games like this one coming up," tight end Charlie Johnson said. "We just need to be focused and not worry about external things on us, we just need to worry about what we can do as a team."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index