Vols ready for Cotton Bowl

  IRVING, TX--The last time the Tennessee Volunteers were preparing for a bowl game in Dallas, the had to worry about a tough Big 12 quarterback.
  Nothing's changed this year.
  Much like Kansas State's Jonathan Beasley gave the Vols a fit in 2001, junior Reggie McNeal looks to lead the Texas A&M Aggies into the maroon-clad SBC Cotton Bowl with the same results...a heavy victory.
  McNeal led the Aggies to a third place finish in the Big 12 with wins over Clemson, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Colorado and a close seven-point loss to second-ranked Oklahoma.
  "He's a defensive coordinator's nightmare," said Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, whose team is 0-3 in its last three bowl appearances. "They do a great job of running different formations and making you be accountable."
  "I don't know if we've seen anybody like him in quite some time."
  Aside from problems McNeal presents, facing the tough Aggie team in front of a pro-A&M crowd in Dallas tomorrow may be a difficult task.
  "It's going to be Kyle Field North," joked A&M coach Dennis Franchione, whose fans will make up the majority of the sell out crowd. "We'll have a large contingent of Aggies."
  There will also be a decent crowd of Orangle clad Volunteer fans as well for the game.
  Tennessee hopes to see another successful outing from junior Rick Clausen, who, like his brother Casey did in 2001, will start the game.
  "If we don't bring our A-game, then they are really going to beat us bad," Clausen said. "We know the task before us in order to be successful."
  Tennessee freshman Brent Schaeffer is still listed as questionable after being ill coming into the week of practice.
  Clausen hopes to make a statement before next season's battle for the starting job with Schaeffer and Erik Ainge.
  "It will be pretty interesting to see what they do with all these guys," said wide receiver Tony Brown.
  Both A&M and Tennessee enters the game with questions in its defensive secondary due to youth, giving the impression that it may be a high scoring battle through the air.
  But each of the coaches expect to see things come down to the play on the ground.
  The Aggies will look to run some option with sophomore tailback Courtney Lewis and fullback Keith Joseph.
  Tennessee, however, will have to rely on the presense of Gerald Riggs and Cedric Houston, who combined for over 2,000 yards on the ground this season.
  "Coach (Randy) Sanders loves going against great defenses," said Houston. "We know we just want to get out there. They have played a lot of great teams down to the wire. We just have to go out there and execute."
  "Those two tailbacks are about as good as we've seen and I think we've seen probably four or five of the top tailbacks in the country," said Aggie defensive coordinator Carl Torbush.
  -The Volunteers are 2-3 all-time in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and 7-8-1 against current members of the Big 12 Conference.
  -It will be the first meeting between the two squads since the 1957 Gator Bowl, which saw the Vols come away with a 3-0 victory against Bear Bryant's last Aggie squad.
  The game airs Saturday morning at 11 a.m. on FOX WEMT.