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Texas A&M Aggies vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders | What We Know

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(2-2, 0-1)

Date | October 8, 2011
Time | 6:00 pm CST
Good Guys | Texas Tech Red Raiders
Bad Guys | Texas A&M Aggies
Location | Jones AT&T Stadium | Lubbock, TX
Weather | Showers, High 77, Low 51
Radio | Affiliates
Game Cast | FoxSports

(4-0, 1-0))


OPENING LINE | The Aggies opened as 7 point favorites, but has recently dropped to just a 6 point favorite for TAMU.  And this has nothing to do with the line, but Gus Johnson will be calling the action for FX.

PRIOR OPPONENTS | Most recently with the Aggies, we know about the two close losses, but prior to that, the Aggies easily handled SMU, 46-14 (SBN coverage) and the Idaho Vandals 37-7 (SBN coverage). Much like Texas Tech's non-conference opponents, I don't think you put too much stock into either of these games, as they were both 30 point wins. The hand-wringing for Texas A&M begins with a one point loss to the Oklahoma St. Cowboys, 29-30 (SBN coverage), where the Aggies had a terrific offensive and defensive showing in the first couldn't muster much, if any, offense or play much defense in the second half of the game. Then, in their final non-conference game, the Aggies faced the Arkansas Razorbacks and despite being up early, couldn't hang on in the second half, losing 38-42 (SBN coverage). Looking at their schedule, this looked to be a tough two-game stretch and I'd bet that most Aggies were hopeful that they'd win both games, given the fact that they were playing OSU at home and should be better than Arkansas.

WHAT TEXAS TECH CAN EXPECT | An offense that's still really good, led by two near 100 yard rushers in Christine Michael (102 YPG) and Cyrus Gray (90.75 YPG). The Aggies have the 9th best offense in the nation in total yards and the 15th best rushing offense and the 23rd best pass offense. QB Ryan Tannehill is struggling a bit (just a bit) in that he's thrown 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions and he's completing 68% of his passes, but only averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. He's been good, but not as good as I thought he would be. The Aggies do have a veteran offensive line that helps lead the aforementioned rushing attack. Perhaps the best way to explain the Aggies defense is that in the first half, the Aggies are only permitting opposing quarterbacks to complete 60.8% of their passes and only allowed 2 touchdowns and have 2 interceptions. In the second half, it's a different story as the Aggies permit 69.7% completion rate, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The TAMU pass defense only gave up 268 passing yards against SMU and 131 against Idaho, but it was quite different the past two weeks. Against Oklahoma St. the Aggies gave up 438 yards and a passer rating of 150.65 (that's pretty good) and and 510 yards against Arkansas and a passer rating of 162.23 (that's outstanding). So let's see, Texas Tech likes to pass and has been a very good second half team. I smell a reason to win. The rush defense for TAMU is stingy and still hasn't give up more than 80 yards in any game thus far. The one thing that the Aggies having going for them from a passing perspective is that they will get to the quarterback and lead the nation in sacks at 4.50 per game. Those numbers are a bit skewed as TAMU had 8.0 sacks against SMU, but to have 18.0 sacks and have at least 3.0 sacks in every game is pretty good.

OPPONENT PLAYERS SPOTLIGHT | I'm just a tad bit nervous about Gray and Michael. That's an excellent rushing attack and then you add to that an offensive line that's almost entirely intact and mix in a Texas Tech defense that's almost near the bottom of rushing defense had you have a very nervous Seth C. Gray is powerful and Michael is fast. Michael ran for 230 yards against Arkansas. Ugh. LB Sean Porter leads the team with 5.5 sacks and tackles for loss at 7.5, is second on the team with 27 tackles. Statistically, Porter is probably the Aggies best playmaker.