The Thanksgiving night (8:00pm ET) game for week 13 of the 2011 college football season features two Big 12 and in-state rivals with the Texas Longhorns (6-4) traveling to College Station, TX to take on the Texas A&M Aggies (6-5). Texas has lost two straight games averaging 9 points per game in those games; by a score of 17-5 at Missouri two weeks ago, and 17-13 to Kansas St. at home last week. Texas A&M snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 61-7 blowout win over Kansas at home. Texas is 5-5 ATS this season, while A&M is 3-8 ATS in 2011.
The Longhorns have struggled on offense all season long with uncertainty at the quarterback position. QBs David Ash and Case McCoy have rotated in and out ever since Garrett Gilbert was lost for the season to injury, and the result is an offense that ranks 96th in the nation in passing offense with and 181.6 yards per game and averages a misleading 29.3 PPG (53rd in the nation). The defense for coach Mack Brown has been outstanding, ranking 26th in scoring defense with 20.6 PPG allowed, and 10th in total defense with 294.5 YPG allowed. Texas A&M has almost the complete opposite problem as Texas this season, they have been explosive on offense under QB Ryan Tannehill (3,191 yards passing, 26 TDs), ranking 10th in the nation in scoring offense with 40.9 PPG and 6th in total offense with 512.4 YPG. On defense A&M has struggled, allowing 28.8 PPG (78th in the nation) and 400.1 YPG (76th nationally), with a dismal (118th ranked in the country) 292.3 of those yards allowed through the air.
Texas vs. Texas A&M Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Texas Longhorns +7.5
@Texas A&M Aggies -7.5
Over 54 (-110)
Under 54 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bodog.com
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Texas vs. Texas A&M Pick:
Texas is 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games overall, 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games against a team with a winning record and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 Big 12 games. The Aggies are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on grass and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record. The under is 3-1-1 in Texas’ last 5 games overall and 3-1-1 in their last 5 Big 12 games. The over is 6-2 in Texas A&M’s last 8 games overall and 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite. In head-to-head play, the home team is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 meetings, the Longhorns are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings and the under is 5-2-1 in their last 8 meetings. Texas A&M has won 3 of the last 5 meetings overall, including last season by a score of 24-17 on the road as a 3 point favorite.
This game takes on added importance as the last meeting between the two teams before A&M departs for the SEC next season. A&M running back Cyrus Gray, who had a huge game against the Longhorns last season running for 223 yards and 2 TDs, is questionable for this game with an injury. Tannehill struggled in that game, throwing for only 128 yards against the Longhorn defense. He should bounce back with a better game this time out, and even if Gray is not at full speed A&M has weapons in the passing game in WR Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope (1,069 yards receiving, 11 TDs) to attack the Longhorns. Texas does not possess the passing game to attack A&M’s biggest weakness, in the secondary. The Aggies are a solid favorite in this one and the play to make is to lay the points. Texas A&M -7.5.