The controversy over the future of the Big 12 makes this Saturday’s (3:30pm ET) opening meeting of conference play between 7th-ranked Cowboys of Oklahoma St. (3-0) and 8th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (2-0) in College Station, TX all the more intriguing. OSU comes into this meeting with a red-hot offense that demolished Tulsa last week by a score of 59-33 on the road, easily besting total of 67 and covering the 13.5 point line. Texas A&M, for their part, has opened the 2011 season with home wins over Idaho, by a score of 37-7 last week, and SMU by a count of 46-14 in week one.
The Cowboys offense, led by Senior quarterback Brandon Weeden, is off to a blazing start this season. OSU ranks 3rd among all FBS teams in points per game with 52.3, and 2nd in both total yards per game and passing Yards per game with 601 and 408 respectively. Weeden and stud receiver Justin Blackmon, who already has 27 receptions with an average of 12.2 yards per catch, are a dynamic duo that no one has been able to stop over the past two seasons. The OSU defense ranks a dismal 92nd in the nation in total defense, with an average of 413.7 YPG allowed, and 77th in scoring with 27 points per game allowed. They have been equal opportunity offenders on that side of the ball ranking 84th against the run and 8rd against the pass. Texas A&M has featured a much more explosive offense this year than in years past with quarterback Ryan Tannehill blossoming in his second year as a starter with a completion percentage of 72.3% and 583 yards passing with 4 touchdowns and only 1 interception in under two games. The A&M defense has not been tested against their two inferior opponents, but an average of 10.5 PPG allowed is impressive nonetheless. The attacking Aggie defense has registered an impressive 11 sacks in only two games.
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Oklahoma St. vs. Texas A&M Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Oklahoma St. Cowboys +4.5
@Texas A&M Aggies -4.5
Over 69.5 (-110)
Under 69.5 (-110)
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Oklahoma St. vs. Texas A&M Pick:
The Cowboys have won the last three meetings with A&M head-to-head, including last year’s game in Stillwater in a 38-35 shootout. The over is 7-1 in OSU’s last 8 games in September and the Cowboys are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The under is 7-2 in their last 9 games on grass. Texas A&M is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall, and the over is 15-5-1 in the Aggies’ last 21 games in September.
The Aggies outgained OSU 535-351 in last season’s matchup in Stillwater and lost by only three points despite five big turnovers. Tannehill did not play in that game, Aggie QB Jerrod Johnson threw four big interceptions and Tannehill will not be as careless with the football in this game. There could be a lot of points scored in this one with two very prolific offenses, the difference will be that A&M has the better defensive unit and will be able to step up and make a key stop or force a turnover. No team can hold down OSU’s dynamic dup completely, but A&M will be able to put pressure on Weeden, who threw two picks last week against Tulsa, and perhaps force him into a few errant throws that could be the difference in the game. Take the Aggies and their more disciplined offense at home to cover the 4.5 point spread.