If this Oklahoma team plays to their abilities Saturday against Texas A&M, they win and likely win comfortably. Before a couple weeks ago, Sooner Nation had little doubt that within the friendly confines of Owen Field that was almost assured to occur every time. Well as we're all painfully aware, that is no longer the case so we can't just assume this OU team will be ready to play. We can hope, and I would expect that is exactly what you and I are doing. So that that point . . .
This team needs to come out ready to play. Watching the pregame last week, when a collection of OU players were "sharing some words" with K-State it showed that the team was ready to play. A little trash talk is never a bad thing assuming you can back it up and obviously that just what this team did last week. Saturday should be no different, if that's what it takes to get them pumped up to be ready to play then by all means fellas, taunt away! And sure we could poke fun at A&M getting up by a couple scores being the best thing that can happen because they pee down their legs when playing with a lead, but as fun as that would be to see yet again this year why even let it get to that point? Jump on them early, don't let them up, and for good measure kick them when they're down! This isn't an A&M offense you want to give a lead to play with, the defense, well that's another story but this offense can put up points in a hurry. So our Sooners will need to be ready to play from the jump and attempt to avoid the normal brain farts we've seen them have at times this year.
This defense needs contain the run game. Look, I'm under no illusions that we're going to stop and/or shut down this A&M run game. The only chance of that happening would be a repeat of 77-0 and A&M futily trying to throw just to get close enough to get something on the board, but even then I'm not sure Sherman isn't dumb enough to try and get them back in the game by running the ball. The guy is a horrible play caller in terms of having a feel for the game and/or his team, so there is no reason to believe he'd be smart enough to realize they needed to pass. So that said, Cyrus Gray and Christine Michaelare the straw that stirs this A&M offense and slowing them down will be key. What needs to happen is this OU defense better wrap the bleep up. If they're going for the "kill shot" like they tend to do and like we saw multiple times last week against K-State, both these backs will bounce off those hits and get chunks of YAC.
The middle of this OU defense is obviously going to be key. Guys like Casey Walker, Stacy McGee, Jamarkus McFarland, Tom Wort, Javon Harris, and Sam Proctor will need to be stout against a very good A&M run game. If I had to single out one guy from that list it would be Wort. He has been immensely better this year compared to last, but he's still a guy that can have trouble at times against a run game like this. Whether it's getting sucked up into a play or issues shedding his block, he'll need to avoid being taken out of this game by A&M blockers.
If we get a lead, keep our foot on the gas. If we're fortunate enough to get up by a couple scores, we don't need to keep our foot on their throat we need to stomp the ever loving you know what out of their throat. If this team still has a chance to play for a MNC, and at this point it exists but a couple things (at least) still need to happen, this team needs to make an impression on the voters. If it takes 60 points to make that impression or send that message then that's what they need to do. We already know Bob's not going to pull his starters, so if they're in there you might as well let them keep going for that end zone.
The OU RB committee has to keep A&M honest. I wouldn't go so far as to say our Sooners have to run the ball well to win this game, mainly because the A&M secondary is that bad. I'm not sure how I see the Aggies slowing down Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills, and company, but that said I do think OU needs to have some success running the ball if for no other reason than to keep the A&M defense honest. Between Roy Finch, Brennan Clay, Brandon Williams, Trey Millard, and an offensive line that looks to be gelling and also gets their best player back I think it's something we're certainly capable of doing. Also, I just kind of have a feeling that this is the game where Brandon Williams finally breaks one. He hasn't played a ton thus far, but the times where he has been in there you've kind of got the sense that he was just one defender away on a couple plays and I have this gut feeling that against A&M that one defender isn't there to stop him this week.
Two words, Good Landry. This A&M defense sucks something awful against the pass. Pretty much the only strategy they have is praying that their pass rush can get there. If it doesn't, it's basically automatic yards for the opposing offense. So what needs to happen is a whole lotta Good Landry. We don't need any head scratching, WTF was he thinking, type INTs. No reason to give this struggling defense any confidence. They're more than bad enough that Landry shouldn't have to take many chances with the ball, so unless our o-line opens up and the Aggies are constantly pressuring him there is no reason an A&M player should be on the receiving end of a Landry pass.
Double, no triple the amount of fluids available on the A&M sideline. I assume A&M brings their own Gatorade (or whatever), but OU needs to go ahead and supply them with additional water, Gatorade, hell set up IVs for that matter. Whatever it takes to prevent these fake cramp having, flopping around on the ground like a fish pulled into a boat, oh I'm magically all better and ready to go right back into the game, "well conditioned" A&M athletes from seizing up. I can't confirm it, but I've heard a rumor that the Guinness Book of World Records will be in attendance as the Aggies are expected to make history and they want to be there to document the achievement.
An S-E-C chant. This one is pretty simple and while certainly not original, no less entertaining. Step 1 - Our team needs to get up by enough. Step 2 - The fans need to stick around long enough. Step 3 - Commence the mocking as a dejected A&M squad slowly, with their heads held in shame, make their way back to their locker room all the while being reminded not just how much they suck now but how much worse they're going to suck in the S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!