College football season is in full swing as we enter week five of the young 2010 Season. Welcome again to College Football “Thursday Night Throwdown”. Off a 1-1 ACC – Big East match-up tonight it’s the match-up of the “little brothers” in the Big 12 South. The Aggies from College Station invade Stillwater Oklahoma and the Pokes from OK State.
I am 3-5 overall in these “Thursday Night” showdowns and currently on a 3-1 run. Tonight I look to build my way to a .500 number with both side and total in this classic match-up. I really believe it will come down to the defense that prevents the other team from scoring late in the game and which high powered offense will have the ball for the final drive.
Texas A&M –vs- Oklahoma St ( 66.5 / 3 ): Tonight both teams come into the start of Big 12 Conference play undefeated, for a season that was to be a rebuilding year in Stillwater it is somewhat more of a surprise. In College Station the Aggies are lead by Senior Quarterback Jerrod Johnson coming into this game ranked 9th in the nation overall offensively. While the Pokes will test this defensive back field as the nations most explosive and #2 in scoring behind Brandon Weeden.
The expectations tonight will be a massive amount of scoring and history tends to agree as they’ve played well into the 60’s 3 out of the last 4 years. This game features the highest posted total of their history as oddsmakers are seeing these top 10 offenses matching whit’s tonight. The Oklahoma St offense is being led behind the offensive mind of Dana Holgorsen who came to OSU via U of Houston, and Texas Tech. He leads 4 year JR Brandon Weeden at the helm tonight at home in what is in the making for a lot of up and down production.
On the opposing side of the ball the Pokes will face off against an A&M squad that on paper is one of the most dominant defenses in CFB, but they will get their first true test tonight. The Aggie Defense is lead by first year coordinator Tim DeRuyter who hails from the Air Force Academy who ranked 11 overall and 5th against the pass in a very pass oriented conference. Mike Sherman, Aggie Head Coach, has his sights on bringing this Aggie squad back to respectability on the defensive side of the ball with this hire.
Neither of these teams has faced off against a very formidable opponent this season so this match-up lends way to past performances. A&M leads this series 17-8 but State has taken the last two and will be looking to win 3 in a row for the first time ever. State also is 2-1 in conference openers against the Aggies. I give a slight advantage to the Aggies on defense; however I am not sure that these defenses will be able to stop either offense tonight.
Since 2002 only nine points have separated the combined scoring in this series, A&M won by 1 point in ’06 and ’07 while OSU notched a 5 point win last season in College Station. Six games have been decided by 5 points or less since 1997 with two of them going into overtime. So as you can tell this series has seen its fair share of close battles, and I see this one being none to disappointing.
Tonight from Boone Pickens Stadium I think the four wide spread offense from the Pokes will be too much balance for this untested defense on the road in conference play. I don’t buy into the fact that A&M is gearing up for Arkansas in the Southwest Classic next week, the Aggies will bring their A game tonight. Unfortunately for the fans of A&M it won’t be enough in this high scoring affair. Aggies get the lead in the first half but the Pokes will make all the adjustments offensively at half to get the win down the stretch. Though there will be a lot of scoring I like for this one to stay just under the number in another great “Thursday Night Throwdown”.
Weather Watch: Temps are very fall like tonight from Stillwater with very dry conditions. Clear skies with no rain in forecast and temps at kick off right at 68 to 70 degrees falling throughout game time.
Prediction – Texas A&M 31 Oklahoma State 35