No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) at No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS), Saturday September 24th, 2011. 3:30PM EST, College Football Week 4
Kyle Field College Station, TX
By Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU +3/Tex. A&M -3
Over/Under Total: OFF
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The no. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys take the road this Saturday in an epic meeting with the no. 7 Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. It has been 4 long years since the Texas A&M Aggies captured a victory over Big 12 rival Oklahoma St. and they get the chance to end that drought this Saturday with Big 12 Championship implications on the line. Everyone around the nation knows that Oklahoma is the clear frontrunner in the Big 12, but the bigger question is what team will challenge Oklahoma for the Big 12 crown this year? That answer will likely be decided this weekend between the Aggies and Cowboys in a battle of top ten unbeaten teams.
It should not surprise anyone that Oklahoma State currently leads the entire nation in passing offense averaging a healthy 408 yards per game through the air. In fact the Cowboys offense ranks 2nd overall posting 600 yards per game through the opening 3 weeks of the season and torching defenses for 52 points per game. Those numbers are impressive to say the least. However, it was known going into the season that Oklahoma State would be an offensive powerhouse. WR Justin Blackmon is the returning Biletnikoff Award winner from 2010 given to the nation’s top wide receiver.
Blackmon has got off to another solid start in 2011 by catching 27 passes for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns. QB Brandon Weeden has also been impressive despite some few mistakes as well. Weeden threw for over 4,000 yards in 2010 and is already on a similar pace in 2011. On the year, Weeden has completed 73% passing for 1,154 yards with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The Oklahoma State offense does a good job of creating space in the receiving game and so far this season Weeden has spread the ball around to the open receiver very well. There are currently 4 different Oklahoma State Cowboys receivers with at least 12 catches on the season and that heavily favored passing attack will be in full force again this Saturday.
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On the other side of the field, the Aggies also have a very explosive offense. Currently, Texas A&M is ranked in the top 20 in nearly every offensive category racking up 487 yards and 41.5 points per game. Like the Cowboys, Texas A&M houses a quick striking passing offense that can rack up tons of yards. However, the Aggies also move the ball very well on the ground behind the sensational running threat of Cyrus Gray. Gray has rushed for 233 yards this season while picking up 4 touchdowns and he is a guy that is a homerun threat out of the backfield. If the Aggies rushing attack can stay moving, they should be able to keep the Oklahoma State linebackers honest and closer to the line. If that happens, it should open up the passing game with QB Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill is a guy that does not make many mistakes and does a great job of getting the ball in the hands of his playmakers. So far this season, Tannehill has completed 72.3% passing for 583 yards with 4 scores and 1 pick in the first two games of the year. Tannehill has the luxury of targeting two outstanding talents in the receiving game by wide outs Ryan Swope and Jeff Fuller. Both receivers combined for just less than 2,000 yards last season and can definitely make plays in the receiving game. The Oklahoma State pass defense has shown signs of weakness on separate occasions this year so it will be interesting to see if the Aggies passing attack can exploit any weaknesses this Saturday if given the opportunity.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: - OSU has given up a ton of points against some rather weak competition this season. Sure the Cowboys offense has the capability to still win even in shootout type scenarios, but I really believe the Aggies defense will make a big impact in this game. The Aggies defense currently ranks first in the nation in sacks averaging 5.5 per game. They will undoubtedly get after Weeden who has repeatedly made mistakes in every game this season. I see the Aggies defense causing a lot of trouble in this game and bringing home a solid victory. Take Texas A&M -3. Good luck!
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