October 4, 2008
Cowboys big favorites against Aggies
A 39-point loss in 2005.
A one-point loss in 2006.
Another one-point loss last season.
For Oklahoma State, it's time to try and get a little bit of payback against Texas A&M. No doubt, the last few outings against the Aggies have been brutal for the Cowboys. But this year, things could be different. Well, Las Vegas thinks so anyway. The line is right at about 25 points in favor of the orange and black. That's definitely a departure from the last few outcomes, but OSU's offense is getting national respect and A&M is a scattered program so far this season.
The Pokes get their crack at the Aggies tonight at 6:05 p.m. inside Boone Pickens Stadium. The game will not be televised. Even so, this is a chance for the 21st-ranked Cowboys to not only beat the Aggies (2-2), but keep their upward momentum going.
"We just got to keep doing what we're doing," Zac Robinson said. "I think we're playing with a lot of confidence. The team has kind of gelled together. It's the best team chemistry I've seen since I've been here. Its fun to be a part of and we want to just keep the ball rolling and keep playing well as a team."
Last year, things didn't go well for OSU (4-0). The Cowboys built up a 17-0 lead, Robinson got injured and the Aggies came back to win, 24-23. It's a lingering memory for players.
"We didn't finish the game and they took it away from us in the end," Keith Toston said. "But it's a new year and we have a new team. I feel confident. We practice so hard and we work so hard together that we think we can go 1-0 each week, so that's what we're going to try and do."
As mentioned before, the Pokes are heavy favorites in the game. That's an unusual position for OSU to be in against the Aggies. Last season, they were 6.5-point underdogs to A&M. But the Pokes are flying high into this game, ranking fourth nationally in total offense (562 yards per game), third in scoring offense (51 points an outing) and first in rushing offense (340 ypg). Between that and an improved defense (42nd nationally), OSU is starting to get some national notice.
And while A&M struggled to beat Army last weekend, the Cowboys aren't overlooking the Ags.
"We can't expect to go out there and just dominate," DeMarcus Conner said. We've got to be ready to play every team. Because college, as you can see, anybody, any day could go out there and win the game. So you've got to go out there and play hard and not expect your opponent to just lay down for you. You've got to go out there and take it. That's what we're all about. A&M is a very good team so we've got to prepare and practice hard just like we practice for every other team we've played already."
In the win over Troy last weekend, OSU lit up the stat sheet like a pinball machine. Kendall Hunter had 169 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Toston posted 114 yards and two scores. Dez Bryant had another big game, catching six balls for 118 yards and three touchdowns, while Robinson had a very efficient day managing the offense, passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-21 passing.
After the game, many said Robinson turned in one of his better performances. Both he and Bryant felt things going their way on the field.
"Me and Dez in the second quarter, we both looked at each other and he said it first: 'Man I feel like the game is playing so slow,' " Robinson said. "And I was like, 'Wow I was about to say the same thing.' Because it really felt like things were slowing down. I don't know what it was, but it definitely felt like things had slowed down that night.
"It's tough to explain, but you just want to keep throwing the ball and keep doing what you're doing."
And if the Pokes keep doing what they've been doing, they'll be 5-0 heading into a big road game at Missouri next Saturday.
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