The Texas A&M Aggies will get things started for the SEC in the 2019-20 bowl season on Friday. The Aggies, led by Kellen Mond and Isaiah Spiller, will take on Top 10 Heisman Trophy finisher Chuba Hubbard and the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Texas Bowl down in Houston.
The Aggies sputtered to end the season, losing to both the SEC East and SEC West Division champions. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated them 19-13, while the LSU Tigers romped them 50-7. So basically, it’s been well over a month since they tasted victory. A 7-5 finish wasn’t what the Ags likely wanted going into the year. But once again, it’s what they received.
Oklahoma State, meanwhile, had a pretty hot finish to the season. While they lost Bedlam to the Oklahoma Sooners, the Pokes were pretty successful over the last month of the season. After losing to the Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State ripped off wins over the Iowa St. Cyclones, the TCU Horned Frogs, Kansas Jayhawks and West Virginia Mountaineers in succession. So after being 4-3, the Cowboys were able to salvage their season with their 4-1 run to the end to get to 8-4.
Running backs will certainly be taking the stage here. Hubbard and Spiller are two terrific talents, with the former being an exceptional one to say the least. Hubbard nearly rushed for 2,000 yards this year, as he led the nation with 1,936 rushing yards. He finished with 21 touchdowns, which was tied for third in the country and had 309 carries, the third-most amount out of anyone in the nation.
It might be worth pointing out that Hubbard averaged 7.9 yards per carry against nonconference opponents this year. Granted that sample size is small, but that is an incredibly gaudy mark. When you consider that his average on the whole was 6.3, then you realize that he’s a phenomenal runner no doubt. And hey, he’s just a sophomore.
Spiller, a freshman, gained some notoriety this year with some pretty solid numbers. He ran for 869 yards this year and scored nine touchdowns. All the while, he averaged 5.6 yards per carry on just 155 attempts. So his legs are pretty fresh going into this one, and he certainly has shown the ability to stand out while running with the football. He may not be on the caliber of Hubbard, but he’s definitely been a dependable runner for the Aggies this season.
Texas A&M and Oklahoma State’s run defenses both hover around the same marks. A&M has allowed 4.0 yards per carry while Oklahoma State has allowed 4.1. The Aggies have let up 129.3 yards per game, and Okie State has permitted 151. Neither are particularly “great” numbers, but they’re certainly not bad ones either. State got a little leaky against Oklahoma, but before that they’d allowed less than 100 yards in three of their previous four games.
The Aggies are similar in that they did allow 128 yards on the ground to LSU. But before that, they’d been really stout, allowing less than 100 yards in their three previous games. Moreover, the Aggies let up just 2.6, 2.6, 2.7 and 3.3 yards per carry in their final four games, including the one against LSU. After allowing a ridiculous 6.3 yards per carry to Mississippi State, they have cooled off tremendously. We shall see if that trend continues, especially against the spectacular Hubbard.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
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Spread: Texas A&M -4.5
Moneyline: Texas A&M -200 | Oklahoma State +170