OU vs. A&M Pregame: Breaking It Down

Sooners Illustrated digs deeper into this weekend's big contest between No. 8 OU and Texas A&M.

The Matchup:

It's the last ever Big 12 meeting between these two programs before CU bolts to the Pac-10, and it features a bounce back game for both teams, as the Sooners fell last weekend to Missouri 36-27, and the Buffaloes dropped a close one to Texas Tech 27-24. The Sooners need to get a big victory for style points on their chase still towards a national championship, while CU is working for win No. 4 to get closer to bowl eligibility.

OU players to watch:

1. WR Ryan Broyles--It appears he's recovered from the ankle injury suffered against Iowa State that was slowing him down for a couple weeks, as he posted a school-record 208 receiving yards last week in OU's 43-10 win over Colorado. And Broyles has the opportunity to post huge numbers again this week. If the Aggies let him find openings in the secondary, it could be a long day.

2. DT Adrian Taylor--For the first time since his leg injury in the Sun Bowl a year ago, Taylor drew double teams last week. That proves teams are starting to feel his presence more, and if he can get some pressure in the interior of the offensive line, it will really help guys on the outside like ends Jeremy Beal and

OU will win if: It delivers a big first punch. OU has scored first in six of its eight games, and the two they haven't have come down to the wire. Cincinnati, who the Sooners narrowly defeated, scored a field goal before OU got on the board. Missouri, who defeated the Sooners just two weeks ago, returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Putting the first points will take a lot of pressure off the Sooners.

A&M players to watch:

1. QB Ryan Tannehill--Aggie head coach Mike Sherman elected to replace the struggling Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Jerrod Johnson, with Tannehill, and he only threw for a school record in his debut. Tannehill torched the Texas Tech Red Raiders for 453 yards and four touchdowns on 50 attempts. The Sooner secondary will have to be sound against him.

2. Joker Von Miller--An All-American and All-Big 12 defensive player last year, Miller has racked up 5.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks for a loss of 30 yards. OU's offensive line must keep him out of the backfield and protect quarterback Landry Jones, or he won't be comfortable in the pocket all day.

A&M will win if: It can get the 12th man involved early. It's no secret the Sooners have struggled on the road lately, and getting the Kyle Field crowd volume up won't do them any favors in reversing that trend.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories