It is Thanksgiving weekend...starting on Wednesday. Travel is snarled, Winter is sweeping across the State, (after record high temperatures on Tuesday), and last minute food shopping is in full swing. Some will be distracted by the Cowboys Thursday afternoon, but the loyalists will be glued to the sets Friday afternoon for the Showdown, 'horns and Aggies.
It is a story of 2 programs heading in opposite directions. Borrowed that phrase from a headline from a local paper. Really? The dreaded 'horns have a shot at the Big XII South, with a win over us and an OU loss in the Bedlam series. A&M, well, they haven't sniffed the Big XII South lead this late in the season routinely in a decade. We are at home, and 5 1/2 to 6 point dogs...That is the hand dealt to us in 2007.
Gripe about the coach later. Gripe about the 1950s offense later. Day dream about Kubiak or Spurrier or Tuberville or Lombardi later. This game, now, is all that matters. How do we win?
Do NOT compare this year to last year. I don't care what we did last year. We will not be dealt that hand this year. We had an Ace in the Hole, Colt's injury, and we needed every bit of bluff and moxie to pull out the win. This year is different.
Offense. Don't waste my time on "control the ball" and "keep their offense on the sidelines". It doesn't matter if the 'horns get 12 possessions or 7, we have to stop them more than they stop us. I want long drives, with a good mix of run/pass, ending in 7 points. We showed versatility against Mizzou. We have it in our bag. A perfect day, 200 yards rushing and 250 to 300 yards passing. Equal distribution of passes to the RBs, the TEs, and the WRs. We need a minimum of 27 points. If special teams can sneek a score in, great. But our special teams has not provided a needed spark this season. Our stud recruit of a kicker has turned into Mike Vanderjagt, and we need put up TDs, not FGs.
Defense. We mixed some blitz in with success at Mizzou. They just made more plays. We cannot line up our D 11 against the horns O 11 and win straight up. We do not have the speed in the LBs and secondary to stay with their recievers for more than 3.5 seconds. The front four, along with a LB or Safety or CB, has to get to Colt, and sack him, or make him throw the 6-7 yarder outlet. And then we have to tackle. If Colt has all day, holes appear in every zone. The longer the QB has, the LBs commit to run, and then drop into coverage, dropping further back, allowing 10 yard crossing patterns. These patterns explode against us because our D is backpeddling, and the WR has a full set of steam and angles at play. If we do not get pressure, we lose.
Home crowd, never a problem in this game, especially at the temple that is Kyle Field.
Maybe their is some karma. Maybe Fran has some trick plays hidden for this game. 7-5 will probably not save his job, but it would save me a trip to AZ to watch the Insight Bowl. We have to play for 60 minutes. We have to hit them, and hit them hard. If we get in the WRs' heads, maybe they short arm a pass or two.
Home field is normally worth 3 points. Factoring this in, are the horns 8 to 9 points better than us? That is 2 scores, or 1 score with a 2 pointer. And no, don't ask Fran about his 2 pt sheet, we saw that one in Lincoln.
Let's see how this year's hand is dealt...