Every team has an opponent that has been their bane in recent years. For USC, it is Oregon State. For Texas A&M, it's the raiders of Texas Tech. And for the Oklahoma St. Cowboys, it would have to be the Aggies in College Station. OSU has not beaten A&M in its last 4 meetings, including two straight one point defeats, and the infamous "stunned aggie" beat down in 2004.
Once again, the situation is set up nicely for the Pokes, as A&M hobbles into the matchup at 2-2, while Oklahoma St. has been firing on all cylinders to a 4-0 start and a #22 national ranking. The Aggies must travel to Stillwater, and must try and stop an offense that has allowed 562 yards per game this year. This is how the Aggies and Cowboys match up.
Texas A&M Rushing vs. Oklahoma St. Run Defense
The most interesting matchup of the day, Oklahoma St. is one of only 5 teams in the Big 12 that are allowing over 4 yards per carry thus far on the ground. Texas A&M's feature backs Michael Goodson and Cyrus Gray have not been able to find the running room needed to have a big game so far this year, but there is no questioning their talent, and if the offensive line can do a better job in creating holes, this is one area where A&M can find success.
However, once the ball has been driven down the field, the Cowboys stiffen up on the inside considerably. They have only allowed 2 rushing touchdowns all year, good for the third best mark in the Big 12. If Jorvorskie Lane sees the ball for the second straight game, A&M should be able to increase that number, but if Lane does not get the goal line carries the running backs could be held scoreless once again.
Texas A&M Passing vs. Oklahoma St. Pass Defense
So far this season, the Aggies have been unable to move the ball through the air in 3 of their 4 games, averaging a Big 12 low 186 passing yards per game. However, they have shown glimpses that they can move the ball against faster, more aggressive pass defenses when Jerrod threw for 275 yards against Miami.
On defense, the Pokes, similar to Miami, play an aggressive cover style, jamming the man to throw them off routes, while not providing much over-the-top help. This season they are ranked first in the Big 12 for lowest completion percentage, while also giving up the most passing touchdowns with 9. If the Aggies are to have a big day, the big, physical receivers who can stretch the field such as Jeff Fuller must be given the opportunity to make a big play. Otherwise, the Cowboys will be able to hold this unit in check.
Advantage: Oklahoma St.
Oklahoma St. Rushing vs. Texas A&M Run Defense
On paper, this matchup looks downright scary for the Aggies. Oklahoma St. has rushed for an incredible 1361 yards in just four games, over 100 yards more per game than anyone else in the Big 12. On the other side, Texas A&M has given up the most yards on the ground with 227 per game, and are allowing an average of over 5 yards per rush.
Unlike last week, the Aggies will not be able to key on a specific man, as Oklahoma St. has 3 of the top 12 rushers in the Big 12, who many times share the backfield. Also, not included is junior QB Zac Robinson, who is a dual threat player who can run just as well as he can pass. Just as Trent Hunter did last week, it is going to take an entire corps of Aggies playing above recent production levels to have a prayer of stopping this OSU attack. Or of course, they could always hope for an earthquake.
Advantage: Oklahoma St.
Oklahoma St. Passing vs. Texas A&M Pass Defense
The Aggies will be the first to tell you the quality of talent that comes out of Lufkin, but they are normally showcasing that talent and not preparing against it. For this game, however, A&M must prepare to stop sophomore Dez Bryant who has set some Big 12 highs for this season with his 234 yard, 4 touchdown performance against Houston.
The Oklahoma St. offense has only attempted a Big 12 low 79 passes this season, but are averaging 11.3 yards per attempt, due largely to the deep threats they posses at both receiver slots. Coming off of a veer team like Army, the Aggie safeties will have to remain at home, as the only hope of not getting beat deep is over the top help from Trent Hunter and Devin Gregg.
Advantage: Oklahoma St.
Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma St.: Matchups
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