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September 30, 2010

College Football Report - Thursday & Friday Picks - Week 5

(Thursday Game)

Texas A&M (3-0) vs. Oklahoma State (3-0)


7:30 ET ESPN, Thur. Sept. 30, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK

Texas A&M: With Jerrod Johnson leading the offense, Texas A&M has a chance to be real special this season. Johnson, who accounted for 38 total touchdowns last season, has gotten off to a slow start, though. His eight touchdowns look nice through three games, but his four interceptions last week against FIU say otherwise. The key for A&M will be getting the rushing game and running back Christine Michael going early and keeping it going throughout. In the Aggies six wins last season the offense rushed for at least 200 yards on the ground. They failed to do so in its seven losses. Through three games this season, A&M is averaging 204 yards on the ground. PLAYER TO WATCH: Von Miller, Sr. DE

Oklahoma State: The production out of junior quarterback Brandon Weeden has been phenomenal so far this season. In his first year as the starter, Weeden has passed for 11 touchdowns through three games. The rushing game has been as effective for the Cowboys to start the year, with running back Kendall Hunter back from a 2009 season ending injury. Hunter ranks within the top of the country in rushing with 473 yards and six touchdowns. The Cowboys defense, however, has been a different story, giving up an average of 27 points to opponents this season. PLAYER TO WATCH: Justin Blackmon, So. WR

The Pick: Expect a lot of scoring. And then more. The Cowboys are averaging 57 points a game, while the Aggies lag not far behind averaging 41 points an outing. Both are also bringing in more than 500 yards of total offense. While A&M may bring the better defense to Stillwater, a shaky performance by Johnson last week has me worried if the offense will be able to keep up with a team that will score at will. No team has won three straight games in the series, though, something Oklahoma State is looking to do. Steaks and records are meant to be broken. Oklahoma State 47 – Texas A&M 42

(Friday Game)

BYU (1-3) vs. Utah State (1-3)


8:00 PM ET, ESPN, Fri. Oct. 1, Romney Stadium, Logan, UT

BYU: Maybe the Cougars didn’t pick the best year to decide to head out as an independent the next season. The only thing that has looked worse than the BYU offense this year is the BYU defense. The Cougars have been unable to hold any opposing offense at bay, nor have they been able to hold their own offensively. True freshman quarterback Jake Heaps takes over fulltime as the starter, but has yet to excite. His 45 pass attempts last game proves he’s ready to handle a large load of snaps, though. Running back JJ Di Luigi has been impressive, leading the team in rushing and receiving through four games. PLAYER TO WATCH: Jordan Pendleton, Jr. OLB

Utah State: Utah State has been impressive at times this season and shown glimpses of turning the corner. The Aggies took Oklahoma down to the wire in their first outing of 2010. Since then, however, it has been ugly football. A win over FCS Idaho State doesn’t scream much at all and two straight losses to Fresno and SDSU don’t look good on a resume either. When quarterback Diondre Borel has time in the pocket, he can be a special player. Borel has passed for 832 yards, 341 of which came against the Sooners. Utah State is ranked No. 80 in the country in sacks allowed having given up 10 so far. If they can protect Borel, the Aggies may be able to exploit the Cougars secondary. PLAYER TO WATCH: Michael Smith, Sr. RB

The Pick: The Cougars are heading to Logan with a bit of a problem in the injury department. Not only was quarterback Riley Nelson lost for the season last week, but three defensive starters won’t play against the Aggies. Utah State should be able to find success on the ground which should open passing lanes downfield. BYU has won 10 straight against the Aggies, but if there was any year for Utah State to steal a win, it’s against this young Cougar team. One of the two teams has to move on to two wins on the season. When in doubt, its root, root, root for the home team. Utah State 27 – BYU 21

Last: 13-0 - Season: 33-9

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