Saturday, September 24, 2011
Halftime analysis: Texas A&M 20, OSU 3
By David Ubben
COLLEGE STATION, Texas--Very methodical half for Texas A&M, and surely a frustrating one for Oklahoma State. The Aggies lead, 20-3. The difference in this game coming in looked like A&M's defense, and the Wrecking Crew has been the X-factor so far on a good day for the offense.
Turning point: Texas A&M took control with an 86-yard, 10-play drive that stretched its lead to two possessions and had to be a nice boon for confidence. Aggies QB Ryan Tannehill finished the drive with a precise, 17-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Fuller, who snagged it in traffic.
Stat of the half: Texas A&M has run for 147 yards and passed for 154. Everyone knew this offense was balanced, but the Aggies are looking as advertised, amassing 301 yards of offense in the first half against an OSU defense that has looked helpless at times.
Best player in the half: Tannehill. OSU hasn't brought many blitzes to pressure him, instead electing to try and force him to make a high volume of plays. He's done it. Tannehill has completed 13-of-21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. He also got the crowd and momentum behind his team with a huge, 65-yard touchdown run on the game's opening drive.
What Oklahoma State needs to do: Find some way to stop the run and make Tannehill make pressure throws on third downs in the second half. OSU isn't strong in the interior of the line, so it may have to bring seven or eight players in the box and make Tannehill beat them over the top. It's a risky look, but OSU absolutely can't win if A&M continues to run the ball with such ease. It might come back if its secondary can force A&M into some mistakes.
What Texas A&M needs to do: Keep playing conservatively on defense, don't give up the big play and don't turn the ball over. Texas A&M's offense looks like it can't be stopped by OSU so far, and you have to think the Aggies are good for at least 10 more points in the second half. The only way they give up 27 to Oklahoma State is if the offense turns the ball over or the defense gives up an untimely bust.