Bears have momentum against reeling Aggies

Updated: October 10, 2003, 1:09 AM ET

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- There may have been times Texas A&M could have taken Baylor lightly. This isn't one of them.

In a surprising role reversal, Baylor (3-2, 1-0 Big 12) takes a three-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Kyle Field. And the Aggies (2-3, 0-1) have lost three in a row for the first time in 23 years.

"It's in a fragile state in the fact that ... if the leaders don't step up and lead this team in the right direction, things could get worse," Aggies offensive tackle Alan Reuber said. "You can't just give them (Baylor) a loss."

Still, the Aggies are three-touchdown favorites for the 100th meeting between the former Southwest Conference rivals. Even after their 59-28 loss at Texas Tech in their Big 12 opener last week, on the same day Baylor upset Colorado 42-30.

Texas A&M leads the series 61-29-9, with 12 straight wins and a 17-game unbeaten streak.

Baylor will try to avoid a repeat of last season, when it lost 41-0 against the Aggies the week after winning its Big 12 opener. That started a season-ending seven-game losing streak in which the Bears were outscored 334-58.

"The process now is can we get them to believe they can go to A&M and beat A&M," said first-year Baylor coach Guy Morriss. "(Beating Colorado) was just one little step. It would be a shame to have such a nice win and then go lay an egg in College Station."

A key for Baylor will be Big 12 rushing leader Rashad Armstrong, who is also ninth nationally with his 118 yards per game.

Not only did the Aggies give up a Big 12-record eight touchdown passes and 505 yards to Tech quarterback B.J. Symons last week, they are 87th nationally against the run (170.2 yards per game). They are uncharacteristically 96th in total defense, allowing 421 yards per game.

Last week, Armstrong's 55-yard TD run capped a 97-yard drive that was an indication to the Bears of how much they have improved since last season.

"I think now they understand they can do it against a quality opponent," Morriss said. "I'm not sure they really thought they could. We've been telling them every day, 'You can do this, boys.' But if they don't believe it, it doesn't really matter what I think."

The Bears have lost 15 straight road games. And they are just 1-34 against South Division opponents -- and 5-52 overall in conference games -- in the Big 12's eighth season.

Texas A&M can hope that history is on its side this week, considering a stretch of games upcoming against No. 10 Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Kansas and No. 1 Oklahoma.

"This is the same thing as last year, we lost to Tech and they got their first big win against Kansas and they came in all hyped up and we beat them 41-0," Aggies safety Jaxson Appel said.

"I'm not saying that's going to happen again, but we've been in this situation before and I'm confident we'll come out and handle it well."

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