Our game of the week this week focuses on the Big 12 as a pair of top ten teams collide in College Station. #7 Oklahoma State (3-0) takes their high-flying air attack combo of quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon to take on #7 Texas A&M and Ryan Tannenhill for the Big 12 opener for both schools.
Oklahoma State’s high-flying offense will look forward to getting back on a regular schedule this week with a big game at Texas A&M. The Aggies received plenty of preseason hype. Will the Aggies live up to some of those expectations or will the Cowboys pick up a key Big 12 road victory? Give us your thoughts on the game and share your official prediction (score optional).
Stephen Francis, Dallas Sports Examiner: High-flying almost doesn’t describe the Oklahoma State offense because they can run, too. They’ve averaged an astounding 600+ total yards per game so far this season and of that, they’ve averaged over 190 per game rushing. Teams that put up 200/400 splits rushing and passing are pretty much playing at an “elite” level.
Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has 388 yards and seven touchdowns in three games and will try to run up and down the field against the Aggie defense, which ranks number ten. That will be the first key battle of this game.
On the flip-side, Oklahoma State has allowed 171 rushing yards and 242 passing yards per game while the Aggies have averaged 176 rushing and 311.5 passing per game. Something will give on Saturday. I think it will be Cowboy secondary.
With 83,000 plus students and alumni screaming “Hullabaloo Caneck, Caneck,” A&M will deal a decisive blow in conference supremacy at home to win 27-24.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: I have not been shy about suggesting that Texas A&M entered the 2011 season riding some preseason hype following the way last year ended for the Aggies, so clearly this is the first test I am really interested in seeing Texas A&M take on. Slowing down Oklahoma State’s deadly combination of Weeden and Blackmon (number one passing offense in the nation) is certainly no easy task, but there is more to Oklahoma State than airing it out.
If Texas A&M can’t keep the Cowboys from running the football with Joseph Randle (378 yards, seven rushing touchdowns), then this game should be Oklahoma State’s to lose.
Texas A&M’s defense though may be one of the better ones in the nation so they should have the ability to slow down Oklahoma State’s scoring output enough to win at home, but they have not been tested greatly this season. Even SMU and Kyle Padron failed to put together a legitimate upset scare in to the Aggies in the season opener.
I’ll side with Oklahoma State, if Weeden can avoid turning the ball over (six interceptions in three games).
Rich Kurtzman, Colorado State Rams Examiner: Oklahoma State’s offense is so good it’s outlandish. OSU is the No. 1 passing team in the nation at 408 YPG and QB Brandon Weeden is the Cowboys’ gun-slinger extraordinaire. He leads the nation in passing yards (1,154) and his completion percentage (73) is second best among Qbs with over 100 attempts on the season. But with all his superiority comes some downfalls, as he’s thrown six interceptions this season, which is tied for worst in college football. This game rests on the shoulder of Weeden and how well he plays Saturday. If he’s dominant, OSU could win relatively easy, but if he tosses multiple interceptions, the Aggies could prove to everyone they are for real. Oklahoma State will win 42-41.
Jordan Caldwell, Utah Utes Examiner: While many people are on the Texas A&M bandwagon, Oklahoma State is actually my pre-season pick to win the conference. Their offense has shown no signs of slowing down and I expect their defense to improve every week. With the new round robin format of the Big 12, this is a must for both teams if they want to win the conference. With Oklahoma and Texas coming later in the season, neither team can afford to go a game down.
Not only have Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon been impressive, but OSU’s rushing attack has been very impressive as Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith have combined for 514 yards and 10 touchdowns on only 97 carries. Through two games, A&M has also looked very impressive. However, those two wins came against SMU and Idaho. This will be their first test and we will learn a lot about what the Aggies actually are.
Both teams a very evenly matched, but due to the fact the Oklahoma State has been tested, I give them the slight edge. I expect an offensive battle with a lot of rushing yards as the Cowboys edge them 43-34.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: One of the toughest places to play in college football is at the 12th man in College Station. Any team that goes there should expect a battle from the Aggies and another battle from the fans in the stands. Both of these teams are worthy of their top 10 ranking but in this game, Texas A&M will get the better of the Cowboys. OSU’s defense is suspect and Ryan Tannehill and the Aggies should score at will. Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma State 37.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: The Cowboys’ offense impressed me. They pass the eye test. The key for them is finding a way to slow down the Aggies. Texas A&M can put up points just like Oklahoma State and if this game goes the same route as some of the other national showdowns have gone, the team with the better defense wins. In this case, it’s the Aggies.
Max Price, Oregon Ducks Examiner: Much like the Oklahoma-Florida State game this past weekend, I’m really looking forward to seeing Oklahoma State and Texas A&M battle each other. Once again, we have two top-ten teams keying in on possibly their biggest game of the season – and it’s only week four! With apologies to Arizona, neither OSU or TAMU has truly been put to a real test this year, so I’m not sure what we’re working with. What I do know is that OSU can pass as good as anyone, and A&M has a pretty solid defense. The Aggies have the advantage of being at home after losing to OSU by just 3 points last year at Oklahoma State. I’m really going back and forth on this one, but I’ll take Oklahoma State’s high-flying offense by a hair, 41-38.
Gerald Nicdao, San Diego Sports Examiner: Oklahoma State is averaging 601.00 yards per game through its first three contests of the season. The Cowboys have the No. 1 ranked pass offense in the country, averaging 408.0 yards through the air per game. And it isn’t like Oklahoma State has been playing all cupcakes. The Cowboys were able to air it out against Arizona and Tulsa, not just against Louisiana-Lafayette. Texas A&M, on the other hand, has played Idaho and SMU.
This will be the Aggies first test of the year, and though it’s in College Station, they might just fail it. The Cowboys offense is just too explosive for Texas A&M to keep up. Sure, the Aggies’ offense isn’t that bad—it’s not Louisiana-Lafayette—but it’s just not good enough to keep up with Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys stroll into College Station and put on a show en route to beating the Aggies.
Staff Predictions (season record)
- Caldwell (1-0): Oklahoma State, 43-34
- Francis (0-3): Texas A&M, 27-24
- Hyde (0-2): Texas A&M, 41-37
- Jackson (2-1): Texas A&M, 27-24
- Kurtzman (2-0): Oklahoma State, 42-41
- Lealos (2-0): N/A
- McGuire (1-2): Oklahoma State 30-27
- Nicdao (2-0): Oklahoma State
- Price (1-0): Oklahoma State, 41-38
- Yoyo (1-1): N/A
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