Oklahoma Football: 5 Players Who Will Step Up Against Texas A&M
The Oklahoma Sooners are back on their home turf for the first time since their shocking loss to Texas Tech, and they will be taking on the dangerous Texas A&M Aggies.
To insure that the Sooners aren't upset again before they meet up with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, a few players are going to have to step up.
Which players need to play well this weekend to get the Sooners a W? Read on to find out.
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Landry Jones has been on fire the last few weeks. He's had five touchdowns in each of the last two games, and he set the OU record for most passing yards in a game last week against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Jones is going to have to have another great game against Texas A&M because of the season-ending injury to running back Dominique Whaley. Oklahoma has a few capable backups behind Whaley, but most of the offense is going to come from the passing game this week.
The Sooners have the offensive firepower to hang with anybody in the country.
However, Jones has to play well or the offense will have a tough day. He's been known to turn the ball over if he gets pressured, and Texas A&M gets to the quarterback at a high rate. That said, the Sooners have only allowed two sacks on the year, and that leads me to expect a big game from Jones.
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Frank Alexander has been one of the NCAA's best sack-masters this season. Through eight games, he has 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
However, he was basically non-existent last week against Kansas State, even though the rest of defensive line played great. He needs to turn it around and have a big game against the Aggies to keep Ryan Tannehill from tearing up OU's secondary.
The Sooners put Kansas State's quarterback Colin Klein on his back seven times, and they need to put that same amount of pressure on Tannehill to help out their young secondary.
Alexander and the defensive line can't just focus on the quarterback. A&M has a great running back in Cyrus Gray, and the Sooners' front seven needs to make sure they can contain him.
Look for Alexander to get back to his dominating ways and get at least one sack en route to leading the Sooner's defensive line to another great day.
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Obviously, the best receiver for the Sooners is Ryan Broyles. However, Oklahoma needs another guy to step up and help him out. That guy is Jaz Reynolds, who has really come on strong the last few weeks.
Against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, A&M let three different receivers catch at least 10 balls and gain over 90 yards each. The Sooners could have a similar offensive output against the Aggies defense.
Reynolds and Broyles should both top 90 yards on Saturday, and Kenny Stills could join them. The wide receiver trio is set to have a huge day against the Aggies, and seeing the three of them having a day similar to the Oklahoma State receivers wouldn't be very surprising.
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The Oklahoma Sooners have shown that their defense is vulnerable to quality passing attacks and could have difficulty stopping Ryan Tannehill and Co. The secondary is going to have to step it up to insure an Oklahoma victory.
Look for Tony Jefferson to have a big day. Oklahoma's best defensive back has four interceptions on the year and could add a few more this weekend. Tannehill had difficulty holding on to the ball against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and, while OU isn't as good as OK State at forcing turnovers, they have quite a few playmakers.
Jefferson and the rest of the secondary need to force a few turnovers and steal a few possessions from the A&M offense. If Tannehill gets rattled early, this should be an easy win for the Sooners.
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As I said in the first slide, Dominique Whaley is out for the season, and Roy Finch is going to take his place in the starting lineup. Finch has been playing well the past three weeks, averaging eight yards per carry over that time span.
Finch isn't as proven as Whaley, but he definitely has the skills to become another great OU running back. He won't be dominate against the Aggies, as Bob Stoops will lean on the passing game while Finch gets used to the starting role. However, he should produce another solid game and will be a very good player for the Sooners going forward. Look for Finch to gain at least 75 yards on the ground and add a touchdown, while making an impact in passing game out of the backfield.
OU should get another victory here, but their going to need key players to step up and help beat the dangerous Texas A&M Aggies.