Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thursday Night Preview 9/30

There is only one game on tap for Thursday night in 1-A. Let's take a look at how it breaks down...

Texas A&M at Oklahoma State
Vegas Line: OSU -3
7:45 (EST) Kickoff

The Aggies took last weekend off. They barely survived a major scare at home the week before as they had trailed FIU 20-6 going into the 4th quarter. The Aggies found a way to make the win happen, and scored three TDs in the 4th to limp away 27-20.
What's Going Right
The offense is moving in the right direction, as the Aggies are dropping an average of 501.3 yards per game. Jerrod Johnson is passing for an average of 288.3 yards per game, and RB Christine Michael is rushing for 110.3 yards per game with 3 scores. Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope have been the leades in the receiving corps with 18 and 21 grabs respectively, with Fuller hauling in 3 TDs.
Dustin Harris has returned a punt for a score, and is averaging 12.8 yards per return.
The defense has been solid up to this point, only allowing 69 yards rushing per game.
What's Not So Great
The rush D stat is misleading, as the Aggies have not played a strong rushing team yet. You almost have to look at the FIU game as a bit of an indicator that this team may have a tendency to lose focus, as they never should have trailed FIU at all. If you also look at their points allowed in 3 games, that total has gone up every single week, again, an indicator that the 3-0 record could be an illusion.
Jerrod Johnson has also been turnover prone, as he has tossed 4 picks in 3 games, and the offensive line has allowed him to be sacked 10 times in 3 games. Bad line play is most likely the reason for the 4 picks, but Johnson and the offensive staff have got to find a way to allow him to move the pocket on rollouts and bootlegs to keep defenses honest.

OSU also took the week off last weekend. The last time out was a gem for the Cowboys, having dismantled Tulsa 65-28. Several players have stepped up to fill big roles for the Cowboys, and even though they struggled somewhat against Troy, games against Tulsa and Washington State were open season routs.
What's Going Right
QB play has been a very nice surprise as Brandon Weeden has put up 325 yards per game and 11 scores against just two picks. He has only been sacked 3 times, as the line has been amazing, which has also opened some terrific opportunities for RB Kendell Hunter. Hunter has rushed for 473 yard in three games, avergaing 157.7 per with 6 TDs rushing in 3 games. WR Justin Blackmon is just one more player that has been off the hook, as he has 24 catches for 431 yards and 8 TDs.
What's Not So Great
The lightning style of offensive play has taken some heat off of this very average defense. They have given up 83 points in 3 games, and have allowed 8 TDs. With the Aggies holding big play potential, this D is going to have to have shored up some holes in practice to prevent this game from turning into an open field shootout.

What to Expect
Offense, offense, and more offense. Both teams have issues on D, and the Aggies have not seen a back like Hunter yet thhis season. OSU has the advantage of having played teams like Troy and Tulsa, who probably better resemble the style of play of the Aggies. A&M will get theor punches in, but will it be enough?

I Pick
Oklahoma State straight up and against the spread. This game will have lots of firework displays going off, and the scoreboard may even break, but OSU has the edge in Stilwater, and they have the edge in production. A&M will probably keep it close, but as I said, they have not seen a team like this yet.

There are 2 games in FCS action for Thursday as well. Let's take a look at what's going down there...

Hampton (2-1, 2-0) at Delaware State (0-3, 0-1)
Hampton has jumped out to a quick start in MEAC play since getting shutout by Central Michigan in the opner. The only problem there is that the Pirates have beaten up on Howard (#121 in the PRS) and North Carolina A&T (#120). Luckily, Delaware State ranks low as  well (#113). Look for Hampton to roll again. Cupcake up!!!
I Pick: Hampton

UT-Martin (1-3, 1-1) at Tennessee Tech (1-3, 0-1)
Both teams are desperate for a win in the Ohio Valley Conference. The loser may as well pack up and wrap it up for the year, but the winner will still be in desperate straights. UTM is coming off an embarrassing blowout loss to Murray State, while Tech is coming off of a very respectable loss to SE Missouri, who is ranked 9th this week in the PRS. If Tech can get the ball into the hands of RB Dontey Gray and WR Tim Benford, than they have a solid shot at taking the win, which they should at home.
I Pick: Tech

There are also two games in D2 action, one of which being a big time top 25 showdown.
#19 West Alabama at #14 Delta State
West Liberty at Fairmont State

Enjoy your Thursday night lineup wherever you may be!!!

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