- Associated Press - Sunday, September 18, 2011

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS (AP) - Texas A&M’s defense was near perfect in Saturday’s 37-7 win over Idaho.

The offense still has some things to work on before the eighth-ranked Aggies open Big 12 play against No. 7 Oklahoma State this weekend.

The Aggies held Idaho to 187 yards, but 109 of those yards came in the fourth quarter when most of A&M’s starting defense was on the bench with the game well in hand.

“We had a great defensive effort,” coach Mike Sherman said. “We are going to need one against the group coming to town next week. It’s good we have this to build off of.”

The Cowboys have the second most potent offense in the country this season and are averaging 601 yards a game. The Aggies rank 15th in the country in yards allowed with 267 a game.

The defense was focused on improving this week after allowing SMU to get within 20-14 in the second quarter of what became a 46-14 A&M win in the Aggies’ opener two weeks ago.

“We had a slow start last (game),” safety Trent Hunter said. “One of our goals was to come out on fire and keep our intensity up throughout the game. We came out this week with the opportunity to show what we are made of. We wanted to play our best.”

Texas A&M piled up 517 yards of offense, but the Aggies weren’t happy with a sloppy first quarter that included two turnovers.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a ball tipped and intercepted in the red zone on A&M’s first possession against Idaho. Christine Michael fumbled later in the quarter and the unit also had some dropped passes and penalties that didn’t make Sherman happy.

Tannehill likes the way his offensive line is working together, but knows he’ll have to play better as the competition gets tougher in conference play.

“I definitely have a few things myself I need to correct,” he said. “We are moving in the right direction. With a good week of practice, we will be ready for OSU.”

Texas A&M got another good game from running back Cyrus Gray, who had 101 yards rushing and three touchdowns _ two rushing, one receiving _ against Idaho. Gray has 233 yards rushing and five scores in A&M’s first two games.

He’s been looking forward to playing Oklahoma State since the Aggies lost to LSU in the Cotton Bowl in January.

“This is the game I circled on the calendar last year after the LSU loss,” he said. “I’m really excited. The offensive line is playing well. I’m excited for us as a team and am just ready to play.”

If the Aggies can figure out a way to limit their mistakes, Tannehill believes they will be tough to stop. Texas A&M has Michael to combine with Gray to propel the running game and a trio of receivers in Jeff Fuller, Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu to power the passing game.

The three receivers combined for 233 yards receiving and a touchdown against Idaho.

“When you have that type of talent aground you it takes a lot of pressure off,” Tannehill said. “We don’t have to throw it 30 times a game. We don’t have to run it 30 times a game. When you put it all together it makes us a good offense. It’s hard to defend a team with so many options.”

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