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Dolphins Vs. Texans Preview: Ryan Tannehill Debuts In Home State

The rookie QB will take his first career NFL snaps a short ride down the road from where he starred at Texas A&M.

Aug 29, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 29, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins rookie QB Ryan Tannehill will likely have a big cheering section in his first career NFL start, as the Dolphins open the 2012 season with a road game in Houston.

Tannehill grew up in Big Spring, a small West Texas town near the panhandle, but he went to school at Texas A&M, which is only a hour down the road from Reliant Stadium.

The Texans lost Mario Williams in free agency, but they'll still be a stiff test for the rookie, who many thought would need to sit in his first season in the NFL. In their first year with Wade Phillips as a defensive coordinator, they were ranked No. 4 in the NFL in run defense and No. 3 in pass defense, even with Williams missing most of the season due to injury.

On the other side of the ball, the Miami defense will be tested by a Texans team many think could be a Super Bowl contender. Houston features both a dominant running tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate and an explosive passing offense headlined by Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.

For more coverage of the Dolphins, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay and the Phinsider. Battle Red Blog and SB Nation Houston have everything you need to know about the Texans.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.