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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

One for the ages

If you haven’t heard, there is a pretty compelling matchup in College Station. You know, the first top-10 game Kyle Field has hosted in 36 years. And only the third one OSU has been a part of since Mike Gundy took over.
Regardless of your affiliation, this is something to savor. It doesn’t come around often.
As for the game, it should be a classic. I would be surprised if it doesn’t come down to the last few possessions of the fourth quarter.
Texas A&M fans, I know you are confident, and you have a right to be. The Aggies feature a balanced offense, swarming defense and most importantly one of the best home-field advantages in the nation.
But, before you chalk this one up in the win column, there are a few things you should know about the Cowboys.
They have an explosive offense, one that can put up 21 quick points before you even blink.
It all starts with 27-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden. The former New York Yankees prospect fizzled out in the minor leagues, enrolled in college and figured out he had a rocket arm.
It all came together last year, as Weeden threw for 4,277 yards and 34 touchdowns en route to All-Big 12 first team honors.
The statistics continued into this season, as he leads the nation with 1,154 yards already, but has been careless in nonconference play. Weeden’s six interceptions are tied for most in the nation, which is something the Cowboys can’t afford this weekend in College Station.
Just like any quarterback, part of what makes Weeden so good is the talent he has around him. And Weeden has plenty of talent.
His top receiver, Justin Blackmon, won the Biletnikoff Award last season, given annually to the nation’s top receiver.
Blackmon was held to 57 yards last week in Tulsa — the first time in 14 games he has not had more than 100 yards receiving, which is an NCAA record.
He’s physical, he’s elusive and he’s a terror to bring down in the open field. Without him, the Cowboys offense would be good. With him, they’re great.
The spread was installed last season, and since that time they have averaged 45.75 points per game, scoring more than 33 in all but one game.
OSU is a team that prides itself on its offense. If you want to beat them, you have to outscore them.
Problem is, some of the top teams are capable of outscoring them. It’s what happened in the Cowboys’ two losses last year.
In 2010 against Nebraska and Oklahoma, they were gashed for multiple big plays, resulting in 51-41 and 47-41 losses, respectively.
The Cowboy defense is talented but inconsistent. There are flashes of greatness, followed by mental lapses and lack of interest.
Two weeks ago, they gave up 41 rushing yards to Arizona. But last week, Tulsa ran for 365 yards.
If they play like they did last week, Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael will gladly dash their national championship aspirations.
Protect too much against the run and let Tannehill go off, they are probably heading back to Stillwater with a loss.
And all that is what makes this game so interesting.
Both teams are talented and deep. Both teams believe they are national championship worthy. Only one team leaves on Saturday with that dream intact.
Tony Slater is the sports editor for The Daily O’Collegian

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