OSU vs. Texas A&M Report Card

After OSU's victory last week against Tulsa, a subscriber disagreed with a few of my grades saying that the team deserved all A's because of the circumstances they overcame. I agreed after reading it. This week's win deserves an all A's edition.

Road jerseys — A-

The grey helmets and grey pants with white tops is by far the best look OSU has used this season. Like a lot of you, I'm baffled that OSU won't wear orange until October … maybe, for all I know it could be longer. In any event, the Cowboys look very slick today and OSU's new mix of looks is a lot cleaner than some going around the NCAA (see: Maryland, Georgia, Notre Dame, Washington State, etc.)

Environment — A+

Kyle Field isn't called the "Home of the 12th Man" for nothing. The place is always rocking but Saturday's game was something special. It was the first meeting between top 10 teams in College Station in 36 years and the fans responded. OSU's traveling contingent was also impressive. There were sizable patches of orange all over and they were loud patches to put it mildly. The 87,358 in attendance was the fourth largest crowd in Aggie history.

Pass Protection/Brandon Weeden — A

Weeden wasn't given much time to operate in the first half and was sacked three times. Things got really bad when an offensive line penalty and two sacks gave OSU a third-and-43 to start the second quarter. Part of it was on Weeden, who seemed to be taking too long in his decision making.

However, the second half was a brilliant performance from the line and the senior quarterback. Despite a rash of injuries to Lane Taylor, Grant Garner and a devastating season-ending injury for Jonathan Rush, those three first-half sacks were all Weeden took.

Weeden was given the time to direct perhaps the most impressive third quarter in OSU history, as he threw for 230 yards on 22-of-27 passing in that quarter alone. Weeden set three school records on the night

Second Half Run Defense — A+

At halftime the trifecta of Ryan Tannehill, Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray 151 yards on just 18 carries. In the second half, A&M only managed 15 yards on the ground. That says it all.

Third Quarter — A+

For as bad as the first half was, the third quarter was exactly the opposite. Extra pluses would have been involved had Blackmon not fumbled the ball through the end zone for a touchback. That said, outscoring the Aggies 21-0 in the third with seemingly effortless offense and opportunistic defense was a perfect mix for the Pokes to turn the momentum completely.

Gundy's call — A

Coach Gundy's decision to have Justin Blackmon run 39 yards in the wrong direction was a smart move to seal the Pokes' victory. Even though it was scary, it was a great decision and the Aggies weren't ready for it.

Opportunistic Defense — A+

This might have been the key to the game. Defensive coordinator Bill Young has preached how much his defense needs to improve in taking the ball away this season. On Saturday they took the ball away from the Aggies at will in the second half. OSU forced four turnovers, including three timely interceptions. Brodrick Brown had an interception that he wrestled away from the much bigger Jeff Fuller and he tipped the ball at the end that James Thomas picked off. Brown played maybe his best game as a Cowboy.

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