Texas A&M Aggies vs. Oklahoma Sooners (+3, 72.5)
WHEN: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, January 4, 2013
WHERE: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
AT&T COTTON BOWL GAME STORYLINES
1. Former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M are set to square off in the Cotton Bowl, which features the added attraction of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. The freshman quarterback accounted for 4,600 yards and 43 touchdowns and led the Aggies to a 10-2 record in their first season in the SEC.
2. Oklahoma has dominated the series against Texas A&M in recent years, with the Sooners going 11-2 under coach Bob Stoops, including wins in eight of the last nine meetings.
3. Texas A&M’s first 10-win season since 1998 was highlighted by a 29-24 victory over then-No. 1 Alabama on No. 10, while the Sooners’ two losses came by a combined eight points against opponents with a combined 21-3 record.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX.
LINE: Texas A&M opened as a 3-point favorite and was bet up to as high as -4.5 before money on OU brought the spread back to -3. The total has moved from 71.5 to 72.5.
CONSENSUS: 59 percent of Covers Consensus picks are on Texas A&M while 61 percent are on the over.
* Home team is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings. Aggies are the Texas team in this matchup at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (10-2, 6-2 SEC, 7-5 ATS): This figures to be a high-scoring contest with the Aggies ranked third in the country in scoring at 44.8 points per game and Oklahoma tied for 12th at 40.2 points. Both teams are riding five-game winning streaks, with the Aggies’ only losses coming to Florida and LSU. Manziel is a true duel threat for the Aggies, who are 7-0 when he rushes for more than 100 yards. Texas A&M ranks 13th in the country in rushing offense at 235.1 yards per game, and the Aggies will look to establish their ground game behind offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, who received the Outland Award as the nation’s top interior lineman. Texas A&M allowed only 22.5 points per game, led by defensive end Damontre Moore's 12.5 sacks. The Aggies’ return game has been solid, but kicker Taylor Bertolet only made 13 of his 22 field goal attempts.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (10-2, 8-1 Big 12, 6-6 ATS): Senior quarterback Landry Jones, who ranks fifth in the nation with 332.4 passing yards per game, is 3-0 in bowl games heading into his 50th and final career start. The Sooners scored 125 points in their last three games, and their offensive line allowed only six sacks in nine Big 12 contests. Wide receiver Kenny Stills has a team-high 11 touchdown receptions and junior Damien Williams led the ground attack with 902 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. The Sooners boast the Big 12’s top pass defense, and safety Tony Jefferson led the team with 113 tackles. Oklahoma has forced 14 turnovers in the last nine games, with 11 coming off interceptions. The Sooners could be without wide receiver/punt returner Jalen Saunders, whose status is in doubt after he was arrested for marijuana possession on Dec. 2.