Cotton Bowl Preview
Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)
January 4, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
What to expect with the Aggies: Johnny Manziel to do Johnny Manziel things. There’s a reason he won the Heisman as a freshman: He led the nation with 4,600 total yards and found the end zone 43 times. This includes an impressive performance in a win against Alabama, which of course is in the BCS National Championship and owns the nation’s No. 1 defense.
Oklahoma has struggled immensely against teams with dual-threat quarterbacks and above-average offenses. The Sooners fell to Kansas State (Collin Klein) and Notre Dame (Everett Golson) during the regular season, and had a difficult time containing the explosive attacks of Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State.
Offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is with Texas Tech now, but don’t expect any part of the game plan to change. This is a unit built to put points on the board, and that’s exactly what it’ll do against Oklahoma.
What to expect with the Sooners: This is Landry Jones’ last game as a Sooner, so we can expect that he’ll be prepared and ready to put up some big numbers. Whether he’ll hold onto the ball, though, is the question. Jones has thrown 10 interceptions this year and at least one in his last six games.
The offense usually has no issue moving the ball, but has failed to do much of anything against strong defenses that tend to force turnovers. Kansas State, Notre Dame and TCU – all top tier defensive units – Oklahoma has averaged 18.7 points per game and two turnovers.
Synopsis: Both teams have elite offenses and adequate defenses, so we could be in for a high-scoring affair – which is fine by me. However, Oklahoma doesn’t have a name like Damontre Moore on its defensive line. He’s been a terror to opposing backfields all season and that shouldn’t change tonight. If he can pressure Jones, he can force him out of the pocket and into some ill-advised decisions.
One or two mistakes could be the difference in this matchup, and I’m taking the Aggies to make the lesser amount here.
Texas A&M 37, Oklahoma 35 --- via Bowl Predictions