Oklahoma Vs. Texas A&M Matchup Breakdown, Plus Prediction

Thursday, January 3rd 2013, 11:20 pm
By: News 9

We're taking one last look at the Cotton Bowl matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas A&M Aggies and breaking things down by position as well as predicting a winner.

Quarterback: Landry Jones is the seasoned veteran and Johnny Manziel is the new kid on the block. Jones definitely has the better arm and passing ability overall, but Manziel's elusiveness give the Aggies the edge here. Edge: Texas A&M

Running back: If we were including Manziel here, it would be the Aggies in a landslide. Since we're not, the field is pretty even between the two teams. OU boasts Damien Williams, Brennan Clay, who was spectacular only the last half of the season, and Trey Millard. The Aggies counter with Christine Michael, Ben Malena, and Trey Williams. Too close to call here. Edge: PUSH

Wide Receivers: The Sooners have many options here. The position was once thought to be a team weakness, but has evolved into possibly the strongest unit on the team. Jalen Saunders, cleared to play by head coach Bob Stoops last week, joins Kenny Stills and Justin Brown to form a very good trio. A&M has several good receivers, but nowhere close to the depth OU boasts. Edge: Oklahoma

Offensive line: Oklahoma has managed to stave off disaster this season at this position. The Sooners have been decimated by injuries here, but held things together very nicely. However, the Aggies have two All-American tackles in Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel. Big edge to the Aggies here. Edge: Texas A&M

Defensive line: The Aggies have Damontre Moore, who has racked up 12.5 sacks this season. Moore is one of the best ends in the country, a Von Miller-type who uses his speed to create chaos in the backfield. A&M has several solid players around Moore as well. The Sooners haven't had the success they would've liked up front, and losing Stacy McGee for the bowl game is a big blow to the depth at defensive tackle. Slight Edge: Texas A&M

Linebacker: It's been several games since the Sooners ran a defense that required multiple linebackers on the field at the same time. However, when they are on the field, it's a talented bunch. Tom Wort, Corey Nelson and Frank Shannon should be able to make an impact for the Sooners. A&M has a terrific trio in Jonathan Stewart, Steven Jenkins and Sean Porter. Both teams are solid here, but lack elite playmakers. Edge: PUSH

Secondary: The Sooners gave up a lot of yards to both West Virginia and Oklahoma State, as well as a couple big pass plays against TCU. However, it's still the strength of the defense statistically. The Aggies weren't very good against the pass this season, No. 79 in the country to be exact. OU should be able to have success down the field if Jones has time to throw. Edge: Oklahoma

Special teams: Tress Way averaged nearly 44 yards per punt for OU and put 19 of 48 inside the 20-yard line. Michael Hunnicutt hit 15-of-19 field goals, but all four missed were from beyond 30 yards. For A&M, Ryan Epperson averaged 42.8 yards per boot and Taylor Bertolet hit just 13-of-22 field goals, including a terrible 1-for-6 from 30-39 yards. Sooners also have higher averages on punt and kickoff returns. Edge: Oklahoma

Prediction: On paper, it's a pretty even matchup. Both teams shouldn't struggle too much moving the ball against the other team's defense, so it's most likely going to be a shootout. The Aggies are very different from the last time OU faced them, but the Sooners have had success against a variety of Texas A&M teams over the years. Despite a big game from Johnny Manziel, the Sooners come out on top.

Oklahoma 41, Texas A&M 38