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Aggies bowl opponent will have starting RB

1/3/2011

LSU running back Stevan Ridley was declared eligible for Friday's AT&T Cotton Bowl matchup against Texas A&M.

He was declared ineligible on Dec. 22 for a one-time academic violation, which cost the Tigers their leading rusher for their bowl game. Miles, however, said he planned to appeal the decision.

The Tiger provided more information to the NCAA and the decision was reversed. That gives LSU its 1,042-yard rusher who finished with 14 touchdowns to take on the Aggies.

Texas A&M said it had prepared for LSU with or without Ridley.

"I don’t think they change their personality because the quarterback in the read option is a major staple for [reserve running back] Alfred Blue. They’re good backs. I’m sure they’re a lot like us, we lost Christine Michael and we had a guy to step up. They have guys to step up," Aggies coach Mike Sherman told reporters at Sunday's media day before the report of Ridley's appeal broke. "Taking nothing away from Ridley and his 14 touchdowns, he’s had a phenomenal season, but their offensive line is good, they block well for those guys. I’m sure they’ll have somebody ready to go if [Ridley is ineligible]."

You'd like Texas A&M's chances a lot more if Ridley was forced to sit, but this was going to be a physical game decided on the line of scrimmage regardless. The Aggies have defended the run well all season, leading the Big 12 and ranking 15th nationally at just 117 yards per game, and LSU figures to be another major test on Friday night.