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.
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.