Texas Longhorns (11-0 SU, 5-5-1 ATS) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (6-5 SU, 5-5-1 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, November 26, 2009, Kyle Field, College Station, Tex. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Texas -21.5/Texas A&M +21.5
The Texas Longhorns are on pace to reach the BCS National Championship, but they have two games left. The first of those two games will be their annual Thanksgiving matchup with Texas A&M.
Texas is playing its best football right now, having won its last five games each by at least 27 points. They’ve scored at least 34 points in all but one game this season.
In the Longhorns’ last game, a 51-20 win over Kansas, Colt McCoy had a near perfect day, going 32-for-41 for 396 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Shipley had 10 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Fellow wide receiver Malcolm Williams had six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. James Kirkendoll had eight catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. The Texas defense held Kansas to 47 rushing yards on 26 carries, making Kansas one-dimensional.
In the previous game, a 47-14 win at Baylor, Texas did it with its running game. The Longhorns totaled 244 rushing yards on 35 carries. McCoy was 23-for-34 for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
McCoy had a shaky start to the season with eight interceptions in his first seven games. But since then, he has nine touchdowns and one interception in the last four games. For the season, McCoy has 3,024 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Longhorns don’t have one primary running back, but Tre Newton, Cody Johnson and Vondrell McGee each get a decent number of carries. The three of them have combined for 1,001 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Johnson has 12 of those touchdowns. Shipley has been one of the best wide receivers in all of college football. He has 91 receptions for 1,204 yards and nine touchdowns.
Texas A&M is coming off a 38-3 win over Baylor to make the Aggies bowl-eligible with their sixth win of the season. Aggies quarterback Jerrod Johnson was 19-for-25 for 153 yards and two touchdowns. The Aggies absolutely destroyed Baylor with their running game, as they totaled 375 rushing yards. Christine Michael led the team with 116 yards and two touchdowns, including a 97-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Johnson has been very effective this season. He has 2,875 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. Cyrus Gray leads the team in rushing with 741 yards and five touchdowns, while Michael has 684 yards and eight touchdowns. Johnson also has 358 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
The Aggies have done a nice job moving the ball down the field and not committing many turnovers. But their defense has been the issue. In their five losses, the Aggies have given up at least 35 points in each of those games and opposing teams are averaging 49 points per game in those games. If Texas A&M is going to keep this game close, the Aggies will have to run the ball like they did against Baylor, not turn the ball over, and play solid defense. The fact that Texas has scored at least 34 points in all but one game this season and Texas A&M has given up at least 35 points in each of its five losses points to the idea that Texas will score at least in the 30’s, but the Aggies will have to hold them to fewer than 30 points if they are going to have a chance to win the game.
Texas is 4-1 ATS in its last five games and 4-1 ATS in its last five road games. The total has gone over in five of the Aggies’ last seven games. Texas is 7-2 SU in its last nine games against the Aggies and 9-4-1 ATS in its last 14 games against the Aggies.
Last season, Texas won this game, 49-9, in Austin. McCoy was 23-for-28 for 311 yards and two touchdowns. The Longhorns ran for 218 yards and five touchdowns. They held Texas A&M to just five rushing yards for the game.
Ryno’s Pick: Texas is playing incredible football lately. The Longhorns have a lot to play for and it’s unlikely they will lose sight of that. They won by 40 against A&M last year. The Aggies would have to play perfectly in every aspect of the game to have a chance to win this game or even keep it close. McCoy and the Texas offense should be able to score on almost every possession against this defense, and the Texas defense should shut down the A&M running attack. Take Texas -21.5.