Gerald Goodridge, News9.com/NewsOn6.com
No. 6/7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0) at No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies (3-0)2:30 p.m. CSTKyle FIeld, College Station, TexasStatistical Leaders:
Injury Report:Oklahoma State: LB Alex Elkins (probable, knee); FS Johnny Thomas (out, academics).
Texas A&M: None To Report.
Where to find it…On TV: ABC-HD
On Radio: Cowboy Radio NetworkWhat you need to know…
Texas A&M has looked solid to start the season, but it has been against lesser opponents – Idaho and Southern Methodist. The Aggies has scored 83 points and 975 yards in two contests before their bye week. Conversely, the Aggies are allowing just 267 yards and 10.5 points per contest in their two games. TAMU has had trouble with penalties this season, averaging 37.5 penalty yards per game. The Aggies have one of the best home field advantages in the nation, overselling Kyle Field each week. The official capacity of Kyle Field is listed at 83,002, but the Aggies are averaging 86,787 in attendance in their two home games this season.
Oklahoma State has won three consecutive against the Aggies, including a 36-31 win over TAMU in College Station in 2009. However that recent history has been defined by close matchups. Since 2006, four of the five matchups have been decided by four points or less, including back-to-back one-point games in '06 and '07.
Who you need to watch…
The biggest defensive assignment for the Aggies falls on cornerbacks Coryell Judie and Terrence Frederick, who have to shut down the Cowboys' receivers. The 5-foot-11-inch Judie will probably draw the assignment of defending Blackmon, due to his size.
Senior Cyrus Gray has carried the load for Texas A&M on the ground this season, rushing 50 times in two starts for 233 yards and four scores. Spelling Gray has been junior Christine Michael, who averages 6.1 yards per carry and two touchdowns on 19 rushes.
Brandon Weeden has put up big numbers in the passing game, but has struggled throwing interceptions in the first three games of the season. The senior quarterback has completed 72.5 percent of his passes for the tune of 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns and is ranked second in the nation in total yardage averaging 370.33 yards per contest. However, he has thrown six interceptions – including three in the season opener against Louisiana.
Once again this season, Justin Blackmon has been a standout – just a year after winning the Biletnikoff Award for being the top receiver in the nation. After three contests Blackmon is averaging a 109.67 yards per game – the 13th-highest in the nation – while grabbing nine receptions per game – good for 8th overall.
However, the toughest test of the game will come to the Oklahoma State front-seven. In two games, the Aggies have rushed for 352 yards and six touchdowns against Idaho and SMU. Tackles Anthony Rogers and Nigel Nichols will have to control the point of attack, while linebackers Shaun Lewis, Alex Elkins and Caleb Lavey will have to control from sideline to sideline.