Hop's Five Keys to Success - OU Game

It will be a difficult challenge for the 14-point underdog Aggies to pull off the upset in Norman on Saturday. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop looks at the five critical factors for success against the Sooners.

1) Win the Turnover Battle

Winning the turnover battle is significant in any game, but when you area road dog it is critical to generate a positive turnover margin. Prior to Tech's upset two weeks ago, OU hadn't lost at home in 39 games so the Aggies will need help and the greatest equalizer is creating turnovers. Texas A&M has recovered just six turnovers so far through eight games. They will have to increase that number by at least two if the Aggies expect to win.


2) Establish a Consistent Rushing Attack

With Texas A&M's defense ranked No. 90 and OU's offense ranked No. 2, the Aggies need to keep the defense off the field and establish long, time consuming drives to shorten the game. This is one time where the hurry-up offense should not be used in the game. The last thing the A&M defense needs against OU is having to play 90 snaps.


3) Stop the Run

The OU rushing attack is without their No. 1 running back Charles Whaley. In addition, with the strong wind expected to be a factor, the offenses will be forced to run the ball into the wind. A&M needs to utilize the wind to their favor, and that won't happen if the Sooners can establish the run against the Aggies.


4) Pressure the Quarterback w/ Four

The Sooners will look to go deep with the wind at their backs, and the only saving grace against their high-powered passing game is a pass rush that disrupts Landry Jones. Damontre Moore has started to come into his own and he'll need a big game rushing the QB if A&M expects to slowdown the passing game. Luckily, they may only need to do that for two quarters due to the wind.


5) Manage the Wind

When the wind is blowing constantly at 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, the game changes dramatically and the team that can best deal with the elements will likely win. In this case, punters and kickers will need to drive the ball low and avoid allowing the ball to get hung up in the air. By the same token, fielding punts and kicks will be an adventure to say the least. A&M punt returners have a hard enough time catching punts on a calm day, much less battling a 30 MPH wind. On offense, you must take your shots down the field with the wind at your back, and shorten up the routes and run the ball going into the wind. The team that can handle the adversity of the strong winds will come out on top.


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