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Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State

Pointspread: Oklahoma State -3.5

9/30/10
 

All the talk about Oklahoma State this offseason centered around the fact that they would have a down year. After blasting out of the gate to a 3-0 start they will be met with their first real challenge on Thursday night. That challenge comes in the form of Texas A&M who is also 3-0. Both teams had last week off, and both have been beating up on inferior teams. The Cowboys will host this game and have opened as a 3.5 point favorite. Let's take a look at some of the key matchups and factors for this showdown of unlikely unbeatens.

HC Mike Gundy's Cowboys were sharp as a knife in their victory over Tulsa. The offense scored 65 points and produced a massive 722 yards of total offense. Junior QB Brandon Weeden passed for 409 yards and a highly impressive 6 TDs. The 26-year-old player has been playing out of his mind. He connected with 9 different receivers for at least 20 yards. Sophomore Justin Blackmon was his main target. The Oklahoma native reeled in 3 TDs and had 174 yards. He's got 8 total TDs so far this year. The Cowboys offense has been something fans can only fantasize about so far this year. However, this will be their first true test against a defense that actually has a pulse.

HC Mike Sherman's Aggies began 2010 by taking SF Austin back to the woodshed for 48-7 beat down. They produced 539 yards of total offense in that game, which was more of a slaughter than an actual game. QB Jerrod Johnson has been solid, but was rocked against Florida International. The senior had a whopping 4 INTs and just a single TD in that game as his team held on for a 27-20 victory. The Aggies can do damage through the air and on the ground, but it is our opinion that their ground game is a bit tougher. Sophomore runners Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray are doing excellent work. The tandem has combined for 499 yards and 5 TDs thus far in 2010.

Both teams had last week off, and the Aggies should benefit the most. They were extremely sloppy against FIU, allowing the QB to be sacked 4 times. The QB, Jerrod Johnson, was giving the ball away left and right. They can't do that against a high octane offense like the Cowboys and hope to survive. Defense will be huge. So far they haven't allowed more than 269 yards in total offense. If they can hold Oklahoma State to 400 or less it will go a long way towards an Aggies win. They've been especially effective stopping the run. They need to force Oklahoma State to take to the sky in every play and try and beat them with their secondary. 

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The Cowboys defense hasn't been anything to write home about. The offense has outgained their opponents by over 200 yards in 2 of 3 games which has rendered their play almost meaningless. That won't happen this week. They've got to come up with big stops against an Aggies offense that can get points on the board in a hurry. Opposing teams have been tearing Oklahoma State up on the ground. Texas A&M can run the ball very well and will try to beat them this way.

At this stage, handicapping this game is more of a guessing game. Both teams have had very similar results against similar competition. They were both lucky to get by a couple of Sun Belt teams, (although neither Troy or Florida International are pushovers) and both blew the doors off of some cupcakes. These two have a recent history of close games with 3 out of the last 4 being decided by 5 points or less, two of those by just 1 point.

We have what amounts to just a small opinion here. We'll side with Oklahoma State for no other reason than they have looked even better than A&M against the cupcakes by about 20 points per game. Hardly a reason to back up the brinks truck, so be careful if you do bet the game. Oklahoma State -3 which should be available by game time.
 

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