Oklahoma State Defeats A&M 30-29, A recap written with help from the Aggie Defensive Gameplan

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 24: Cornerback Justin Gilbert #4 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates with Jamie Blatnick #50 after recovering a Texas A&M Aggies fumble at Kyle Field on September 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

For this recap, the Texas A&M Defensive Gameplan from Saturday afternoon was kind enough to help out and will jump in with its points where it feels it is relevant.

Sam: I'll start this off.... Roller coaster? Nerve tester? Alcoholism contributor? Whatever your defining 2-word descriptor was for this one, it certainly was one of the more exciting games in recent memory.  A HUGE road win for the Pokes punctuated by a weird 6 second safety that is the type of situation only the Cardiac Cowboys seem to get themselves into. Usually in these recaps, I like to do lists of a few aspects of the game that worked for the Pokes, and a few that did not, but I'm not sure that is possible for this one.  Even if I tried the list would be this:
Positives: 1st Half
Negatives: 2nd half
Almost everything that was wrong with the first half was made right in the 2nd half. Although that isn't quite fair to say, the 1st half/2nd half Jekyl and Hyde routine really applied more to the offense than the D.  The D played pretty well throughout, the difference for them was that they benefited from a few Aggie mistakes in the 2nd half, and capitalized on them. The only real noticeable change on the defensive side was a switch away from the soft zone, and to more of a pressure man D (especially Brown on Fuller) The Pokes offense on the other hand, it was like a whole new team came out of the locker room for the 2nd half.  While nothing glaring seemed to change in the overall scheme, the execution, tempo, and chemistry was clicking and moving like we have been used to seeing.

A&M Defensive Gameplan: Everything Sam has said so far is correct. I thought I was sound for the first 30 minutes, then all of a sudden there were gaps where there shouldn't have been, holes where I thought an Aggie should be, and a slowness to react as though the players were unsure what the Cowboy offense would throw at them next.

Sam: Right!  It was like there were too many Cowboys to cover, and Weeden went from keying on one receiver in the first half, to scanning the field and finding multiple open options in the 2nd half.....

A&M Defensive Gameplan: Whoa, Whoa. Can you slow down the analysis a little bit?

Sam:  I mean, the Pokes had only 170 total yards at halftime, and put up 300 yards in the 2nd half, and that is including a drive of negative 55 yards on the intentional safety that sealed the victory (and confused the announcers). On the flip side of that, A&M had 301 yards at halftime, and could only muster 171 in the 2nd half (kinda weird how those starts are almost exact mirror opposite of OSU's huh?), not to mention the 7 drives ending in punt, fumble, interception, interception, punt, touchdown, interception.

A&M Defensive Gameplan: Seriously, slow down a little, this tempo is ridiculous.

Sam: And we haven't even got to the game Blackmon, Cooper, and Anyiam turned in. 11, 11, and 10 catches respectively, and all were reliable....

A&M Defensive Gameplan: ahhh...ahhh.... CRAMP!.... CRAMP!..... STOP EVERYTHING!.... CRAMP!

Sam: Oh, alright. Go ahead and gather yourself....

A&M Defensive Gameplan: CCCCRRRRAAAAMMMMPPPPP! .... AAAHHHHHHHHH

...........

...........

...........

A&M Defensive Gameplan: Alright.  I think I'm okay now.  Go ahead.

Sam: Sure. Like I was saying.....

A&M Defensive Gameplan:  I have a few points to make.

Sam: I thought you had a cramp. Shouldn't you be working that out?

A&M Defensive Gameplan: It's fine now.  No worries. I wanted to say that Justin Blackmon was especially effective in the 2nd half.  I don't know if you could tell on TV, but on 95% of plays the safety on his side was already shading to Blackmon before the snap to try bracket him and take away the deep sideline route. It worked for a while, then those underneath and crossing routes were opening up, and Cooper and Anyiam were making plays, so I had to adjust a little and all hell broke loose.

Sam: I did see that. I don't envy you having to account for all these weapons. Speaking of weapons, on top of the sick passing stats, Joseph Randle had 83 yards on 21 carries, Jeremy Smith had 39 yards on 6 carries, and Blackmon had -50 on 1 carry.  While those stats are decent (not mind-blowing), the main thing the run game did was wear out the Aggie D. You could see as early as the 3rd quarter the fatigue was setting in while the Cowboys were still crisp and executing. This fatigue was no doubt aided by all the 3rd quarter turnovers which resulted in the Aggie D being on the field for almost 10 minutes of the 15 minute period......

A&M Defensive Gameplan: This is too much....

Sam: ....and we have yet to discuss the obviously amazing play of Brandon Weeden...

A&M Defensive Gameplan: CRAMP!!!   STOP!!!................. CCCCRRRRAAAAMMMMPPPP!

Sam: Good God. Really?  Again?

A&M Defensive Gameplan: CRAMP!... AHHHHHH!

Sam: Geez. Ridiculous. Drink some water. 

A&M Defensive Gameplan: AHHHH... STOP.... CRAMP!!!!!!!!...

Sam: Still? What does.....

A&M Defensive Gameplan: C

A&M Defensive Gameplan: R

A&M Defensive Gameplan: A

A&M Defensive Gameplan: M

A&M Defensive Gameplan: P

A&M Defensive Gameplan: !

A&M Defensive Gameplan: Whew.... hoo..... hoo... hhooo. ... haaaa.... catching my breath now.... getting a little better.

Sam: Good now?

A&M Defensive Gameplan: Close.  Go ahead.

Sam: I was saying that Weeden, while a little overly direct in the first half, was making beautiful reads in the 2nd and really just had to execute mostly basic passes because the WR's were finding themselves so open. He finished with an insane stat line of 47/60, 438 yards, 2 TD's, and most importantly, ZERO interceptions. And the thing was, nothing about the scheme seemed to change. The same passes that weren't there in the first half were all of a sudden there. Weeden, the line, the backs, and the receivers all just seemed to turn the dial from 5 to 10 at halftime. I'm not sure what the A&M defense could have done to counter....

A&M Defensive Gameplan: CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....
CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....
CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....CRAMP!.....

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