Websider Panel - OSU Game Predictions

The picks are for real this week as the stakes have gone way up in the Big 12 conference opener as the Aggies travel to Stillwater to face the OSU Cowboys. Our guest panelists are very verbose and opinionated about the game this week. See what the WEbsider panel predicts for tonight's game


Aggies 34
Cowboys 24

When A&M Has the Ball

It makes sense that the Aggies will try to run all over Oklahoma State. Not only are they a bit undersized up front but winning the Time of Possession battle will be huge against such a potent OSU offense. However, as Mike Gundy pointed out in his presser last week he fully expects this to happen as well and will have their defense ready for our running attack. if this means stacking the box then Jerrod is going to have to man up and make good decisions/throws down the field.

Here's where things get interesting, FIU had a lot of success defensively because we were very vanilla in our play-calling. If we set up in a running formation we ran and if we set up to throw we threw. They knew what was coming not because of great film study but because we did very little out of the ordinary. The one play-action I recall got Terrence McCoy a step past the DB and the safeties hips turned the wrong way. So, with a big Thursday night game and the entire playbook at their disposal, I'd expect the A&M offense to show Bill Young and crew a few wrinkles not yet seen.

When OSU Has the Ball

The name of the game for Oklahoma State will be getting in 2nd/3rd & manageable situations where the threat to both run and pass is alive. If former All-American Kendall Hunter is constantly picking up chunks on 1st down the defense is going to have a hard time covering the entire field. A&M's blitz packages will be out in full force against the big splits run by the Oklahoma State offensive line which should cause plenty of confusion for an old, yet inexperienced group. A&M must get pressure, hits, and sacks early in the game to rattle what is a 28 year-old 1st year starter at QB. I expect the return of Campbell to pay dividends mainly on special teams but also in overall secondary depth where he can spell Hunter or Terrell for minutes here and there. The LBs are going to have to continue wrapping up and limiting YAC from the OSU spread offense.


A&M's pressure is too much for an OL that has never seen anything like it and they are able to at the very least make Weeden and company uncomfortable early on. The Aggies will have their share of mistakes and penalties but in the end the defense will carry them to a big road win on national TV.


Aggies 24
Cowboys 31

Aggies - as many of you have said - this is a tough game to predict because we really don't know how Jerrod Johnson is going to play. Will he bring his A Game, B Game or will he bring his FIU game. Knowing that JJ tends to play better at home than away I would believe JJ brings his B game. However, with the talent surrounding JJ also bringing an A or B game this team does have the pure talent to beat OSU. Can the Aggies beat OSU at home after a disappointing showing against FIU at home? We will certainly see how mentally tough the Aggies have become and how well this coaching staff can prepare, scheme and motivate this group of kids. The Sherman era says this is going to be a tough one but with new coaches on the staff maybe the dynamic has changed and this team can be better prepared and more focused than expected. The focus require must show within the first five minutes of the game like it did against Arkansas last year but it can't break down on a JJ mistake.

On the Offensive side of the ball, the Aggies have a few big challenges other than how well JJ throws the ball. First of all we know the Aggies play better when the up tempo pace is pushed to the limit. The can wear teams down, get more chances to move the ball and catch people off guard. However, your Aggies also need to control the time of possession in this game. They must play keep away from OSU and the high powered offense that Weeden, Hunter and Blackmon bring to the party. I expect a fast tempo game but I expect Sherman to try to run the ball a little bit more than we would normally see. I believe he smartly does this for two reasons:

1) establish the run to open up the pass
2) establish an opportunity for some open passes to give JJ some much needed confidence.

Sherman must get the big boys up front to make some holes early and often to give C-Mike and Gray a place to run. C-Mike and Gray must hit the holes fast, hard and accurately. Expect the Cowboys to crowd the line of scrimmage and dare the Aggies to throw it over the top to beat them. Do expect JJ to throw for 300 yards again and C-Mike will continue collecting 100 yard rushing games and Gray will continue with another 100 + yard all purpose yard game.

On the Defensive side of the ball, the Aggies have a few huge challenges named Weeden, Hunter and Blackmon. Like the Aggies, the OSU offense will get its yards. Don't expect this defense to shut down Weeden and Hunter to maintain that top 10 ranking. The OSU offense is just too talented to get stopped cold. However, the test will be can you slow them or stop them in the red zone and can you prevent the big play, simply put can you make them work for every yard, every first down and every score. If so, and if your offense can control the ball and limit the number of opportunities the OSU offense gets, then maybe you can wear them down enough to frustrate them into making mistakes and make them get desperate so the A&M defense can light them up if they become one dimensional. We've all heard that Von Miller hasn't been 100% very much this season and he might not be at quite 100% this week but this is his time to shine. Von Miller MUST step it up in this game and be disruptive. Expect the linebacker and secondary play to be very good by the Aggies but unfortunately the Aggie defense is still a young defense. Therefore, OSU will get a big play or two in the game and those big plays will be the difference in the game.

I really hope I'm wrong but I just don't see this team being ready for the challenge of showcasing the talent on a national television stage on Thursday night.


Aggies 41
Cowboys 21

TV jinx or no jinx, road game ... hostile crowd, JJ's arm, OSU's #1 offense and the starters were pulled in the 3 rd quarter, Sherman's team can't win on the road, close win over FIU ....... Wow, Aggie fans have too much time to self-loathe.

Bottom line on this game - the Fighin Texas Aggies are a better football team. Here are the defensive rankings (out of 120) of the three teams OSU has faced so far:

Washington State – 117
Troy – 109
Tulsa – 113

You can't find another D-1 schedule with this candy schedule. Except for Kendall Hunter, the rest of the team is average. OSU has no idea what Von and Co are bringing north and the pain they will inflict.

Ag's score early and often...JJ has a good (not great) game knowing Bill Young watched the FIU film. C-Mike and Cyrus have their way with OSU's run defense to the tune of 275 yards. Hicks will catch several balls camping in the middle.

The defense pins their ears back and hits Weeden with three sacks, two by Miller (who will own the left tackle - think his name is Martinez), and another sack by the beast on the opposite side. Weeden threw two interceptions against an average Troy defense, expect to see that again. They played fumbleitis on the snap to the QB and barely escaped Troy. Coryell Judie and the rest of the secondary will shut down the OSU receivers.

Ag's 4-0 and feeling sassy going into Big D.


Aggies 34
Cowboys 23


Obviously the big matchup Thursday night is OSU's revamped offense versus A&M's resurrected defense. In a semi-surprising move in the offseason, Mike Gundy turned over the reigns of his offense to former Mike Leach understudy, Dana Holgorson,who was the brains behind Houston's successful 2009 campaign. While OSU has picked up the system quickly, and put up some gaudy numbers, they have done it against substandard teams and their young inexperienced offensive line has yet to be tested and will face an impressive Aggie front Thursday night. While OSU will get some scores they are way to overconfident and dismissive of A&M. They also haven't played their offense under pressure and the Aggie front seven is going to have a lot of fun on national television. I like the odds for the good guys in regards to who gets the best of whom. At the least, I'm confident our defense will get enough of them to hold down their end of the bargain.


The Aggies offensive line is the real story across the ball. For all the talk of Jerrod Johnson's woes against FIU, a lot of that was early pressure (six sacks in a half will make the most seasoned vet skittish) and failure to get the ground game going between the tackles early. That said as that game went on, you could see the A&M front getting stronger in both regards and finally paved the way for what we'd been waiting to see all pre-conference in a between the tackles running game. The way they finished against FIU, the week and half of uninterrupted work, and a green OSU defensive front, bodes well for an offensive line that is more individually talented than last years, but has yet to gel. We're now in week five and though I've prematurely called it for two strait games, this is the week our line puts it together and our balance sets the stage for an offensive onslaught of our own as a skills unit that is second to none and the smart and talented Johnson sets out to silence critics against a poor defense. Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael combine for well over 200 yards as A&M remembers how fun it is to run against punks and in the course of that the field is stretched and JJ gets some deep shots on top of a few big YAC yards plays to Swope.


Aggies 38
Cowboys 31

It's hard to make a good prediction on this game. On the one hand, I think if both teams play their best football, A&M has the talent and the coaching to beat OSU by 15+. On the other hand, if A&M slacks in any area, it turns into a close game. I will set my prediction somewhere in the middle.


Aggies 24
Cowboys 20

The popular storyline for this game is the powerful offenses and the plethora of points that will be scored. I'm thinking differently on this one. Remember, this is a new offense for OSU and they really haven't had a challenge so far. The major components at quarterback, running back, and receiver have had plenty of time to go through reads and make the right play. On Thursday, OSU's offense will have the game sped up tremendously by the A&M defensive front and the pass rush off the edge. It will force Weeden into making quicker decisions and that will take him out of his comfort zone because he's never experienced a defense with this kind of speed.

On the other hand, A&M's offense has struggled at times at home so expecting a breakout performance on the road in a hostile environment sounds unrealistic to me. Still, A&M does have more playmakers and OSU's inexperienced defenders just don't match up. This game will come down to a couple of big plays, and A&M is positioned to make those plays.

But in the end it will come down to which offense is given the best opportunities to score…and I think A&M's defense will provide the offense with those opportunities with more than two turnovers. A&M will win a close one.

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