OSU-Texas A&M: Grading The Cowboys

The grades really run the gamet because in some areas the Cowboys played well. They had to in order to be in position to win the game in regulation, and with great diappointment wind up in overtime against the Aggies. On defense you almost have to grade each player because at each position some players deserved much better grades than others. We stayed with grading by position and here goes.

Quarterback: A
How can you give Zac Robinson anything but an "A"? He came off the bench cold in the second quarter when Bobby Reid suffered the concussion, and while it took a little time to gradually give him more control, once he had it he did plenty with it. Robinson scrambled and kept on the option for several key third-down and fourth-down conversions. He hit 7 of 16 passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns with no inteceptions. All that and he was playing with flu-like symptoms that kept him from eating anything before the game. Reid was solid early in the game before being injured. Robinson, a backup, gave the Cowboys every chance to win and that is all you can ask a backup quarterback to do.

Running Backs: A
Dantrell Savage had that break-out game that everybody had been anticipating as he scored a potential game winner on a 60-yard run. He finished with 13 carries for 134 yards, an average of 10.3 yards a carrry. Mike Hamilton was solid and dependable as he has been known to be with 50 yards on 11 carreis for a 4.5 yard average. In all, the Cowboys had 226 yards rushing against a team giving up right around 100 yards a game. Also, fullback John Johnson caught a touchdown pass. Pretty good.

Receivers: C
They made some big plays, but they also had some drops and some balls that just went through their hands. You could blame the cold, but then again, you really can't. Adarius Bowman was the most consistent and the most spectacular with two touchdown receptions.

Offensive Line: A
Tough to fault the guys up front as they won the battle with the A&M defensive front as evidenced by the success running the football and gave up only one sack. Russell Okung got his second start for the injured Brady Bond and played well along with left tackle Corey Hilliard, guards Kurt Seifried and David Koenig and center David Washington.

Defensive Line: B
Defensive ends Victor DeGrate and Nate Peterson were outstanding with a combined 10 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. The entire front held up pretty well on the goal line and against Javorskie Lane, even coming up with two goal-line stands. The rest of the defensive line was solid, but DeGrate and Peterson raise the grade.

Linebackers: C
Rodrick Johnson and Patrick Lavine deserve a better grade, but overall, there were some missed tackles that would have made a difference in getting the A&M offense off the field. Without totally breaking down film it is really impossible in that game to get too detailed on individuals.

Secondary: C
Safeties Andre Sexton (15 tackles and a forced fumble) and Donovan Woods (11 tackles and an interception) deserve higher grades. The Woods interception of the halfback pass by Pierre Brown was a thing of beauty as he read the play from the middle of the field and got over to make the play. The corners had some problems and gave up too many big pass plays and missed some tackles in run support. The overall defense and the lack of stops gets pinned on everybody.

Special Teams: D
Two missed extra points, poor kickoff coverage, the worst punting day of the season, and a kickoff out of bounds late all combine for the grade. The bright spot was the Cowboys own kickoff returns with Perrish Cox and Grant Jones. Those two provide some great starting field position for the offense.

In the end, though, you lose in overtime 34-33 and the final grade for the entire team rates no better than a C. It really was a mixed bag on performances and if the higher end can pull up the lower end then this team will be back on track. They truly are capable of beating everybody left on the schedule with the exception of on the road at Texas.

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