2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 10 - Texas A&M at Oklahoma
Big 12 Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 5 at Oklahoma 41 … Texas A&M 25
CFN Analysis: As if Oklahoma didn’t have to show enough mental toughness throughout the season, now it has to get even stronger. From the death of Austin Box, to the pressure of being a preseason No. 1 team, to the injury to Travis Lewis, to the loss of Dominique Whaley, to the loss to Texas Tech, there have been several different things to deal with, and now the Sooners have to go on without heart-and-soul leader, Ryan Broyles, to a torn ACL. The offense wasn’t exactly sharp against A&M, with Landry Jones only completing 18-of-38 passes and the ground game only coming up with 149 yards, but there was only one turnover, the defense came up with four takeaways, led by Ronnell Lewis, who came up with nine tackles, two tackles for loss, and a pick. The spotlight will be on Jaz Reynolds or Kenny Stills to see if either can be a No. 1 target, but the pressure will also be on Jones to make everyone better with Bryoles on the sidelines.
The Texas A&M defense did a decent job of keeping the OU offense from blowing up, but the offense kept screwing up with four turnovers and seven penalties to OU’s three. Ryan Tannehill did his best to bomb away, throwing for 379 yards and two scores, but it took 63 passes to do it. Christine Michael ran well, but Cyrus Gray never got on track running for 29 yards on just nine carries. A&M needs to get the pass rush going to be successful, but it only came up with one sack and it didn’t do enough to pressure Landry Jones to force mistakes. The season is quickly going into the abyss with two straight losses and a date at Kansas State coming up next. Kansas is still on the schedule to assure a bowl bid, but with Texas also to play, 6-6 is more than possible.
(AP) NORMAN, Okla. -- No. 7 Oklahoma lost a lot in a victory over Texas A&M.
All-American Ryan Broyles, the NCAA's career leader in receptions, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season.
He got hurt while cutting to make his second catch of the game, a 30-yarder that set up one of four third-quarter touchdowns in the Sooners' 41-25 victory Saturday.
"It's just a bad deal," quarterback Landry Jones said. "You hate for something like that to happen to such a good guy."
Broyles left the field in tears. He entered the game averaging 13.2 yards on 81 catches. His two catches went for 57 and 30 yards.
"He's such a special, special player," coach Bob Stoops said. "It's deflating for him and for all of us. ... Your heart drops when you first hear it."
The Sooners (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) scored on four straight possessions after leading 13-10 at halftime. Texas A&M (5-4, 3-3) had its second-half troubles continue -- the Aggies gave up big second-half leads in its previous three losses.
The Aggies, headed for the Southeastern Conference, won't miss coming to Norman. They're now 0-7 on Owen Field during the Bob Stoops era; the previous six losses had come by an average of 41 points.
"We knew we were facing a very good defense, but the bottom line is you just can't turn the ball over like we did today and expect to win a football game," coach Mike Sherman said. "Take no credit away from Oklahoma, but we gave them 14 points there in the third quarter and then we had a short punt, and you can't play football that way."
Jones threw third-quarter touchdown passes of 31 yards to Jaz Reynolds, who made a nifty one-handed grab, and 39 yards to Kenny Stills. Tailback Roy Finch and backup quarterback Blake Bell added short touchdown runs in the third.
Texas A&M's seven third-quarter possessions produced four punts, two turnovers and a missed field goal. One punt, into the 30-mph wind, netted just 14 yards and set Oklahoma up at the Aggies' 31-yard line. On the first play, Jones hit Reynolds down the right side.
A&M's next drive ended with an interception by defensive end Ronnell Lewis, who caught a tipped ball and returned it 11 yards to the Aggies' 28. Finch scored five plays later. The Sooners needed one play to score after an interception by Jamell Fleming -- Jones' long pass to Stills down the left sideline to make it 41-10.
Reynolds had six catches for 75 yards, Stills two for 44. They and others will be expected to fill the void left by Broyles.
"We have to step up and show everyone what we're made of, that we're not a sideshow," Reynolds said. "You have to just keep playing and roll with the punches. But when you lose one of your captains, it's pretty hard on everybody."
Oklahoma was playing at home for the first time since its 39-game home winning streak ended with a loss to Texas Tech two weeks ago. The Sooners' potent offense struggled throughout the first half whether moving into or with the strong wind.
Going downwind in the second quarter, the Sooners needed 18 plays to cover only 58 yards on one drive. After three incompletions from the 21-yard line, they settled for a field goal and a 13-3 lead.
Texas A&M countered less than a minute later with the biggest gainer of the afternoon, a 79-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Ryan Swope. Tannehill drifted left out of the pocket and bought time until finding Swope behind the defense about 35 yards downfield. Swope easily outran two defenders to the end zone.
In the first quarter, facing third-and-19 at the A&M 29 and moving into the wind, Oklahoma chose to punt. The ball was downed at the 1, and four plays later the Sooners forced a fumble at the 18. But they didn't fully capitalize on their good luck and had to settle for a field goal.
Oklahoma's only first-half TD came on a 2-yard keeper by the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Bell, who ended the day with a dozen carries, most in short-yardage situations, and two touchdowns.
Texas A&M (5-3) at Oklahoma (7-1) Nov. 5, 3:30, ABC, ESPN2/ESPN3
Here’s The Deal … Last year, Texas A&M turned its season around with a few decent wins over Kansas and Texas Tech, but the resurgence wasn’t for real until a 33-19 win over Oklahoma that turned out to be the high point of the season. The Aggies are desperate for another season-defining high point.
If college football games were just 50 minutes long, A&M would be 8-0 and in the hunt for the national championship. Instead, four games left in their Big 12 career, the Aggies are faced with the scary prospect of being thrown back to the mediocre days before October 23, 2010 – the start of the big run of wins – and a 5-4 record with a trip to Kansas State to follow and Texas still to deal with. Closing has been the big issue, struggling to come up with a key stop late in any of the three losses, including in overtime last week against Missouri. It’ll take a full four quarters to get by Oklahoma.
Allegedly, Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech a few weeks ago. One destruction of a previously unbeaten Kansas State later, and the Sooners find themselves on top of the one-loss heap in the BCS standings and in a prime position to play for the national title. If Stanford loses, and/or if the SEC champion has one loss, OU will go to the BCS Championship by beating A&M, Baylor, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State. First, beating the dangerous Aggies won’t be easy.
When it’s humming, the OU offense is breathtaking, rolling up 690 yards in a dominant run to put away the Wildcats. However, it’s been inconsistent and unfocused at times. A&M’s 2011 team video will probably be named Inconsistent and Unfocused, so this game might come down to which team is producing at which times. If nothing else, there will be plenty of points, lots and lots of passing, and a big storyline one way or another.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: Missouri can throw the ball a little bit, and Tulsa has put up some decent numbers through the air, but Oklahoma has faced one team that can push the ball all over the field, and it didn’t do anything to stop Texas Tech, with Seth Doege throwing for 441 yards and four scores. Texas A&M’s passing game has stalled at times, but it hasn’t had much of a problem over the last few weeks with 415 yards and six touchdowns against Baylor and 317 yards and three scores against Missouri. The Aggies have the best receiving corps the Sooners have faced so far, and Ryan Tannehill is the most talented quarterback they’ve faced.
The pass rush continues to be fantastic. The defensive front has camped out in opposing backfields on a regular basis, came up with five sacks against Baylor, and has cranked out a whopping 30 sacks so far. OU quarterback Landry Jones has spent way too much time being comfortable in the backfield, and while he’s not getting hit all that often, the passing game breaks down when he’s under pressure. Florida State got pressure on Jones on a regular basis, keeping him to 199 yards and a touchdown. However …
Why Oklahoma Might Win: The Sooners lead the nation in fewest sacks allowed, giving up just three sacks so far, and only gave up one sack to the Seminoles. Florida State is third in the nation in sacks and Texas A&M is second. Oklahoma is No. 1 and getting better, coming up with seven against Kansas State, eight against Texas, and destroying both offenses by getting into the backfield all game long. Ten tackles for loss against the Wildcats; 16 against the Longhorns; 12 against the Seminoles; the OU defensive front has been phenomenal at making big plays.
A&M’s biggest issue continues to be its pass defense, making James Franklin of Missouri look special last week, while the run defense couldn’t handle the Tiger running game. OU has the balance on offense to do whatever it wants, but it should bomb away at will against the beleaguered Aggie secondary that’s held the last two opponents to under 200 yards and is still dead last in the nation in pass defense. Jones should be able to put up 400 yards after throwing for over 500 yards last week.
What To Watch Out For: It’s time for Jeff Fuller to become a major factor. The Texas A&M senior has all the tools and all the talent to be an NFL No. 1 target, but he’s been banged up a bit and he has yet to come up with a special game. He caught two touchdown passes against Oklahoma State, but he has yet to get over the 82-yard mark after coming up with four huge 100+ yard games last year. For whatever reason, he and Tannehill don’t really click. After catching 11 passes for 171 yards and two scores against Texas Tech last year, Fuller has just four touchdown grabs and 61 catches in his last 13 games, including a three-grab, 28-yard day against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles isn’t having any consistency problems. So good on such a regular basis, it’s become almost routine with 14 catches for 171 yards and a score last week against Kansas State to get up to 81 grabs for 1,070 yards and ten touchdowns on the year. He’s been good against Texas A&M, he hasn’t been out-of-this-world, catching five passes for 91 yards and a score as a freshman, eight catches for 79 yards and a score as a sophomore, and eight grabs for just 59 yards last year. So far he hasn’t caught touchdown passes in just two games. The first was the tough win over Florida State, and the second was the loss to Texas Tech.
What Will Happen: Landry Jones has thrown for 300 yards or more in every game but the Florida State win, he went over 400 yards three times, and last week, he went for 505 yards and five scores. He’s not going to cool off now, and with running back Dominique Whaley now out for the year, the passing game has to carry the attack even more. Jones and Broyles will be up to the challenge in a fun shootout.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 52 … Texas A&M 31
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Oklahoma -13.5 O/U: 68.5
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