2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 3 - Idaho at Texas A&M
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Sept. 17 at Texas A&M 37 ... Idaho 7
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Cyrus Gray had three touchdowns and 101 yards rushing, Ryan Tannehill threw for 337 yards and two scores in less than three quarters and No. 9 Texas A&M shook off a sloppy start for a 37-7 win over Idaho on Saturday night.
The Aggies had two turnovers in the first quarter, but Idaho didn't take advantage. Texas A&M had tacked on 27 points before halftime thanks to two touchdowns by Gray to take a comfortable lead and go on to the win.
Gray finished with 101 yards rushing for his ninth straight 100-yard game dating to last season. He had a 17-yard touchdown run and a 3-yard reception for a score in the second quarter. His 1-yard run midway through the third quarter pushed the lead to 37-0.
With about three minutes left in the third, Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman replaced Tannehill with freshman Jameill Showers.
Idaho couldn't do anything offensively for most of the game and had to punt 10 times, converted two of 14 third downs and had nine penalties for 66 yards. The Vandals' only touchdown came on a 1-yard run on fourth down by Troy Vital on a drive against Texas A&M's second string defense late in the fourth quarter.
Idaho quarterback Brian Reader was 17 of 29 for 131 yards, and Mike Scott had eight receptions for 97 yards.
Ryan Swope had 74 yards receiving and a touchdown, Uzoma Nwachukwu added 80 yards and Jeff Fuller had 79. Fuller had five receptions to give him the A&M record for career receptions with 174.
Randy Bullock made field goals of 25, 42 and 46 yards, but his attempt from 44 yards in the fourth quarter was wide left.
Gray got A&M's offense going after a slow and sloppy start when he ran 17 yards for a touchdown that made it 17-0 in the second quarter. Bullock's 42-yard field goal later in the second quarter stretched the lead to 20-0.
A&M got the ball back after Reader threw three straight incompletions on Idaho's next drive, and Gray made it 27-0 when he scored on a 3-yard pass from Tannehill just before halftime.
The Aggies were on the Idaho 20 on their first drive when Tannehill's pass was tipped and intercepted by Andre Ferguson. The Vandals couldn't convert and had to punt it away.
Idaho's Tre'Shawn Robinson forced a fumble by Christine Michael late in the first quarter which was recovered by the Vandals. But Idaho couldn't take advantage of this miscue either and had to punt again.
Texas A&M's sloppy offensive play carried over into the second quarter when a 44-yard reception by Fuller was negated by an offensive pass interference call. The Aggies were able to keep the drive going after the penalty, but eventually settled for a 25-yard field goal after consecutive incomplete passes to make it 10-0.
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Idaho (1-1) vs. Texas A&M (1-0) Sept. 17, 7:00
Here’s The Deal … It’s been a while since Texas A&M blew up in the opener against SMU, and now it’s time to gear it back up after two weeks off to get ready for fascinating offensive battles against Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Texas Tech coming up. The Aggies needed a half to get going against the Mustangs, but if Idaho plays like it did in its only game against an FBS team, it shouldn’t take much more than getting off the bus to put this away.
The Vandals turned things around after a puzzling home blowout loss to a mediocre Bowling Green team by blowing away North Dakota 44-14, but the offense will have to be mistake free and will have to get ready to bomb away to keep up the pace this week. That shouldn’t be a problem with a passing game good enough to get the offense moving, and if nothing else, this should be the perfect warm-up for the Aggies before dealing with the higher octane passing attacks.
Why Idaho Might Win: Throw, throw, and throw some more. Forget about the running game; there won’t be one, and the Vandals won’t even pretend to try. Quarterback Brian Reader has been around for forever waiting his turn behind Nathan Enderle, and he was disastrous in the opener against Bowling Green. He bounced back to rock against North Dakota, and he has the talent and the experience to keep calm and keep pushing the ball down the field on the Aggie secondary on a regular basis.
A&M can’t help but look ahead. With the time off from the easy opener and with so many epic showdowns coming up, it’ll be way too tempting for the Aggies’ head so be on the monster Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: Idaho won’t generate any pressure whatsoever. The Vandals will always bring the A game effort, and they’ll always work on the defensive front, but they don’t have the talent or the defenders to get in the A&M backfield enough to throw off the timing. SMU didn’t get a hand on Aggie quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the opener, while the A&M ground game was able to rumble at will in the balanced attack, cranking out 212 yards. Idaho hasn’t dealt with a running game so far, but it doesn’t have a fast enough defensive back seven to keep up with Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael.
On the other side, even without Von Miller, A&M showed off a tremendous pass rush against SMU, cranking out eight sacks and popping the quarterbacks all game long. Idaho’s pass protection has been non-existent so far against two teams that don’t have much in the way of athletes up front. Be shocked if A&M don’t come up with at least eight more sacks.
What To Watch Out For: Welcome back, Christine Michael. Cyrus Gray was the main man for the A&M ground game against SMU with 132 yards, but also looking great was the return of Michael, the 2009 super-recruit who was phenomenal to start out last year, ripping off three straight 100-yard games, gave way to Gray, and then suffered a broken leg against Texas Tech and missed most of the second half of the year. He was back as a thumper in Week One, scoring twice and running for 85 yards on 14 carries. While he doesn’t have the wheels of Gray, he was productive in the open field.
Somewhat out of the blue, Mike Scott has turned into the top target for Idaho, catching six passes for 89 yards in the opener and making eight grabs for 99 yards and a score against North Dakota. The JUCO transfer has been Reader’s No. 1 target so far, and he’ll have to be big on third downs to keep the Aggie offense off the field.
What Will Happen: The A&M offense will roll at will. Idaho doesn’t have the defense to slow down anything the Aggies want to do, and there’s no Vandal running game whatsoever to provide any sort of balance. There will be way too many three-and-outs, A&M will capitalize, and this will be over by halftime.
CFN Prediction: Texas A&M 52 … Idaho 17
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Texas A&M -35.5 O/U: 57.5
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