Texas A&M Aggies (5-3 SU, 2-6 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS), 3:30 p.m. EST, College Football Week 10, Saturday, November 5, 2011, Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma, TV: ABC
by Scotty L, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Texas A&M +13.5/OKL -13.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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The Texas A&M Aggies make the short trip to Norman to face the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies are 5-3, coming off a tough loss to Missouri. Oklahoma, meanwhile, recovered from a shocking loss to Texas Tech to starch unbeaten Kansas State by 41 points. If A&M is going to spring the upset, they will need to contain one of the more potent offenses in the nation–led by prolific QB Landry Jones.
Bettors will surely be looking at the fact that Oklahoma is 2nd only to the cartoonish Houston passing attack in terms of total yards. Combine that with the fact that Texas A&M has the worst defense against the pass in the whole nation, and one might be inclined to predict an Oklahoma blowout. If Landry Jones plays like he did last week, how can A&M stop him? Already this season, the Aggies D has given up 438 passing yards to Oklahoma States Brandon Weeden, 510 to Arkansass Tyler Wilson, 391 to Texas Tech QB Seth Doege, and 430 to Baylors Robert Griffin III.
Their secondary is the only reason the Aggies arent having a much better season, especially with an offense that boasts of great balance and ability, led by QB Ryan Tannehill. The A&M offense ranks 16th in both passing and rushing. Even with a faltering defense, the offense has had them in all their games this year, with the exception of last week to Missouri–their only conclusive loss of the year and that was only by a touchdown. In their other 2 losses of the season, A&M lost to Oklahoma State and Arkansas by a combined 5 points. Watching them nearly beat Oklahoma State after squandering a lead makes one think that their lousy secondary doesnt necessarily mean they get blown by good pass-oriented teams.
MAKE THE SOONERS A +6.5 UNDERDOG BY PLACING
THEM IN A 20 POINT FOOTBALL TEASER AT 5DIMES
A&Ms tendency to blow big leads is a cause for concern, particularly for bettors trying to avoid Heartbreak City. In their 3 losses this season, they led Arkansas by 18 at halftime, Oklahoma State by 17, and Missouri by 11. While on one hand, it shows the Aggies can hang with anyone in the nation, it also reveals a lack of clutch and a defense that cant close escrow with big leads. So even if they manage to hang tough with the Sooners, they will need to do play better in the second half to make it count.
In order to do so, they will need to put a lid on a fantastic offense. QB Landry Jones topped the 3000-yard mark last week, already with 26 touchdowns. There is nice depth in the pass catching crew, with Ryan Broyles leading the way with over 1000 yards. Kenny Stills and dangerous Jaz Reynolds are also in the fold and very credible passing options. With all this diversity, its difficult to not imagine A&Ms secondary having another tough day at the office. And for added balance, the Sooners have a nice RB in Dominique Whaley (113-627-9).
Some might be hesitant to take a team laying nearly 2 touchdowns against a squad that beat them by that same margin last season. Perhaps of some comfort to Sooners backers is that in the 4 years before that–Oklahoma absolutely crushed the Aggies in each game. But A&M has been resolute, avoiding getting blown out despite giving up 318 yards per game in the air. Losing 3 games by a total of 12 points makes one hesitant to pick against them with such a big spread, especially since they could have won those games with a bit of good fortune.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Point Spread: A few different outcomes seem viable. Oklahoma for all their talent, can be capable of widely divergent levels of play. A 3-point loss to Texas Tech as 29-point favorites will attest to that. In addition, some complacency could potentially set in on a Sooners offense that knows they will be facing the worst secondary in the nation.
It just seems that Oklahoma is a little edgier after the loss to Texas Tech, eager to spend the remainder of the season proving their worth. This week it will come at the expense of an A&M team. The Aggies will be tough and hang in there as they always do, before Landry Jones and his playmakers start to have their way in the second half. Take the Oklahoma Sooners minus 13.5 points.
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