Choppin’ Cotton At The ‘Death Star’

I haven’t payed much attention to what the alleged experts have to say regarding tonight’s Cotton Bowl match between OU and TAMU.  I’m certain the story lines always begin with Johnny Manziel, though.

As for the nuts and bolts of the game, my take is probably quite different from the alleged experts.

Other than La. Tech, I’m not certain TAMU has encountered a potent spread offense and they barely escaped Shreveport with a 59-57 win, that was a missed two point conversion from going to overtime.  Other than La. Tech, TAMU has only faced one other team ranked in the top twenty scoring offenses, #14 Alabama.

Conversely, OU encountered five of the top twenty scoring offenses, losing one to #9 Kansas State.  OU has faced four of the top fifteen teams in total offense, winning all four. TAMU faced only one, La. Tech.

As for how these two teams ranked in scoring defense, TAMU finished at #29 while OU finished at #40.  In total defense, OU finished 45th in the nation, TAMU was not ranked in the top 50.

If the thought hasn’t already occurred, TAMU has not faced the high powered offenses OU has and doesn’t have the defensive statistics to indicate they are capable of doing so.

Then there is the fast paced offense that OU runs, an offense that TAMU head coach Kevin Sumlin was instrumental in developing while co-offensive coordinator at OU.  Many of the TAMU defensive players will remember facing it last year and others from the years before that.  Many teams in the NCAA now use the ‘hurry-up’ offense, but OU was the originator of the concept five years ago.  In the 2009 BCS championship game, Urban Meyer of Florida said if his team hadn’t had forty days to prepare for it they could have never won.  Even when Florida had conditioned specifically for the ‘hurry-up’ they were clearly gassed at different points in the game when they couldn’t substitute defensive players.

My conclusion, the OU offense OUt matches the TAMU defense more than the TAMU offense OUt matches the OU defense.  Further, the advantage of  Senior QB Landry Jones, the most prolific passer and winner of more games than any OU QB(which speaks volumes), and his experience in big games is a tremendous advantage over the young red shirt phenom Johnny Manziel.

Regardless of the words I have used and the many others have, the game is only hours away.

The tailgaters will be setting up outside Jerry’s ‘Death Star’ soon.

The bands will be arriving in their buses and prepping their instruments and uniforms.

The excitement is building for the fans and players, a big game on national television on a Friday night at the stadium that sets the standard for modern stadiums.

Both teams have played at this stadium, OU played a big game there a few years ago, coming from behind in the last Big 12 championship game against Nebraska.

Then, when you don’t think you can wait any longer, the players exit the locker room and take the field.


16 Responses

  1. Best matchup of the bowl season – just my opinion

  2. For sure a knock down drag out fight.

    • Maybe.
      TAMU had 6628 yards of total offense, against SMU/South Carolina St./Arkansas/Ol’Miss(a 3 point win)/La. Tech(a 2 point win)/Auburn/Miss St./Sam Houston St./Missouri they accumulated 5202 of those yards, which means they had a total of 1426 yards against Bama/Florida/LSU. A respectable amount of offense, but about one hundred yards fewer per game against tougher opponents.
      Now on defense, TAMU gave up a total of 3618 yards to the same nine opponents as above and 1054 total yards to the last three mentioned. TAMU appears to be particularly vulnerable to the run, they gave up 191 yards to Sam Houston St. alone.
      OU can run and throw, which exposes the TAMU defensive backs, while OU has two shut down corner backs.
      This game could go any direction, a tight shoot out game, a blowout, but I seriously don’t expect a close low scoring game. I don’t think TAMU has the defense to consistently stop OU, while I believe OU can stop TAMU enough. The wild card for this game is special teams and turnovers.
      Keep in mind several of the TAMU players have been on the awards/banquet/television circuit since early December, as well as losing their offensive coordinator/QB coach to Texas Tech.

  3. In the video above, showing the Sooners exiting the locker room, one of the captains is #90 David King, nicknamed “Maximus” after the protagonist in the movie “Gladiator.”
    Here is a wonderful story published the other day about him. When the page comes up, just click pause on the commercial.

    Sooner’s David King a product of a promise kept between two mothers.

  4. Player to watch that should have a few encounters with Manziel.
    *turn the volume down*

  5. Interesting.
    TAMU’s defense is spending a lot of time on the field, while little Johnny is cooling his jets on the sideline. Gives Johnny time to tighten up, makes for a very tired defense.
    I like it.

    As for how OU is approaching TAMU’s defense, when the Ags put 7 or 8 in the box OU will pass every time, with 6 in the box OU will run more often, with five or four OU will run every time.

  6. wouldnt be the cotton bowl without the kilgore rangerettes.

  7. Maybe it’s the Aggie defense, but the OU offense is totally out of sync. Maybe the lay off.

    • No, it isn’t the Aggies, it’s OU. They are completely out of sync. I don’t know why the freshman is at center, either Ikard is hurt or one of the guards is and he has moved over.
      Thought they would play like they did down the stretch, but not tonight.

      • I thought at halftime that OU had them right where they wanted. But, to open the 2nd half with 3 straight 3 and outs killed any chances, especially when the defense couldn’t get any stops.

        Manziel is a special player.

      • That’s what I thought too. Those three long time consuming drives, along with getting the ball to start the second half, it appeared OU was ready to grind the Ags defense down.

  8. I had to listen to the game. Yes the numbers gave OU the advantage however there are times where numbers have to be tossed and you have to go by gut feeling.
    I figured both teams would seesaw with a difference of maybe 10 points. aTm sounded awesome in the 2nd half.

    Yes, Manziel is going to be awesome and break many many records if he stays healthy.

    • It didn’t surprise me that the Ags scored 41 points, I even expected it. What did surprise me was that OU didn’t score 50+. The offense that went to the locker at half time never came back out.

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