Tag:Cyrus Gray
Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Texas A&M vs. Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS A&M WILL WIN IF: The defense that shows up against Kansas last week returns for an encore performance. In the Aggies three-game losing streak before the Kansas win, they were allowing 44 points a game. Kansas only managed to score 7 against them last week, and though there's quite a difference in talent between Kansas and Texas, the Texas offense has been in a rut the last few weeks. Texas A&M needs to make sure they stay there. Especially considering that the Aggies offense has lost Christine Michael and may be without Cyrus Gray as well in this game. Which means Ryan Tannehill may have to shoulder a lot of the load, and it won't be easy to do against the best defense in the conference. The good news for Texas A&M is that the Longhorns don't provide much of a threat through the air, and that may be playing into Texas A&M's strength as the Aggies defense is allowing a conference best 2.74 yards per carry.

TEXAS WILL WIN IF: The Longhorns have had trouble establishing a passing attack all season long. They average only 181.6 yards passing per game, and the team's efficiency rating of 119.45 is the lowest in the Big 12 outside of Iowa State. If there were ever a week to find a passing attack, this may be it. While the Texas A&M defense leads the Big 12 in sacks, its secondary is also allowing 292.3 yards per game and nearly 3 touchdowns for every interception. So whether it's David Ash or Case McCoy under center on Thursday night, Texas would be well-served to try and move the ball through the air. The Longhorns defense is the best in the conference, but Texas A&M should be able to put up some points against it over 60 minutes, and I don't believe the Longorns offense can outscore the Aggies if it remains so one-dimensional.

X-FACTOR: Case McCoy. McCoy has been Texas' "throwing quarterback" for the most part this season. Despite the limited amount of time he's seen under center, he's thrown more touchdowns on the year than David Ash (4 to 3) and is also yet to throw an interception. So if Texas is going to get a passing game going against the Aggies on Thursday night, then it's going to be McCoy who has to get the job done for them. The more successful he is, the more successful the Longhorns will be.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Cyrus Gray could miss Texas game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We're only a few days away from what could be the final Lonestar Showdown between Texas A&M and Texas, and at the moment Mike Sherman and the Aggies aren't exactly clear on who their running back is going to be. Texas A&M lost Christine Michael to a torn ACL against Oklahoma a few weeks ago, and Cyrus Gray hurt his shoulder during a 61-7 win over Kansas.

So in a matter of two weeks the Aggies have gone from possibly having two thousand yard rushers in their backfield against Texas to facing the possibility of having Ben Malena and Will Randolph in the backfield. Randolph hadn't played a snap all season until Saturday when Mike Sherman had to burn his redshirt following Gray's injury.

According to CBSSports.com's Texas A&M Rapid Reporter Brent Zwerneman, Gray has a stress fracture in his shoulder and is considered "day to day."

Considering that fractured bones don't heal in 72 hours, I'm guessing that means whether Gray plays or not will depend on how much pain he's willing to play through. Because, make no mistake about it, having a stress fracture in your shoulder isn't going to feel very good when you're playing running back and being hit repeatedly.

If Gray can't play on Thursday, he should be healed in time to play in Texas A&M's bowl game.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Texas A&M's Christine Michael has a torn ACL

Posted by Tom Fornelli

What has already been a frustrating season for Texas A&M in 2011 got a bit worse on Monday afternoon. The school announced that running back Christine Michael suffered a torn ACL in the Aggies loss to Oklahoma on Saturday and his season is over.



Michael, a junior, is Texas A&M's leading rusher on the season, rushing for 899 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season. He's been part of a two-headed monster in the backfield, along with Cyrus Gray, for the Aggies all season long. He had four games of 100 yards rushing or more on the season.

Gray will take on a larger role in the Texas A&M ground game, and sophomore Ben Malena will likely take over as Texas A&M's second running back. He has 8 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown on the season and has appeared in four games this season.

Obviously this is a huge blow to a Texas A&M offense that has already had a lot of trouble playing a full 60 minutes and is 5-4 on the season and 3-3 in Big 12 play. Michael's absence will surely be felt in games remaining against Kansas State and Texas.
Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 7:20 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Texas A&M 33 Iowa State 17

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS A&M WON. This week's performance from the Aggies wasn't nearly as impressive as the one we saw against Baylor last week, but I'm sure Mike Sherman's team will be happy to head home with a win. Texas A&M got off to a slow start in this game, trailing Iowa State 7-3 after the first quarter but the Aggies righted the ship in the second quarter to take a lead it never gave back. Ryan Tannehill didn't have a great game, completing only 23 of his 42 passes for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns, but his running backs more than picked up the slack. Cyrus Gray rushed for 139 yards but was outdone by his backfield partner Christine Michael, who finished with 142 yards and a touchdown.

WHY TEXAS A&M WON. The Iowa State offense just couldn't get anything going on Saturday. Starting quarterback Steele Jantz got the hook after Iowa State's first two possessions after failing to complete a pass to anybody on his team, and redshirt freshman Jared Barnett took his place. Barnett had some positive results on his first drive, as Iowa State marched downfield for a touchdown, but after that life got a lot tougher for the Cyclones offense. Barnett finished the day 16/36 for 180 yards.

WHEN TEXAS A&M WON. While Iowa State hung around and kept things close in the fourth quarter, you never really got the sense that the Cyclones would be able to complete the comeback following a touchdown run from Christine Michael that made the score 30-7 in the third quarter.

WHAT TEXAS A&M WON. By picking up this win on the road Texas A&M improved to 3-1 in the Big 12 which keeps the Aggies hopes of winning the Big 12 alive at the moment. Sure, they'll need to win out and have to hope Oklahoma State trips up twice, but stranger things have happened in the world of college football.

WHAT IOWA STATE LOST. Aside from the fact that Paul Rhoads may not know who his quarterback is going to be next week against Texas Tech, his team's chance of getting back to a bowl game this season may have died on Saturday afternoon. The Cyclones are 0-4 in the Big 12 now and need three more wins this year to go bowling. At the moment the only game on Iowa State's remaining schedule in which you could consider the Cyclones a favorite is in two weeks against Kansas.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Paul Rhoads: Angry Dancing Machine.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 3:40 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 7

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom. 

This week we're offering a menu that is a bit low on carbs. It's not that we don't have plenty of interesting choices to offer you this weekend, but there isn't exactly a must-have on the list. Which I suppose is a good thing considering all the big meals we've all been ingesting the last few weeks and the pounds they've packed on, we could all afford to eat a bit more salad this weekend.

BREAKFAST

#23 Michigan State vs. #11 Michigan - ESPN 12pm ET

This game has it all: rivalry, firepower, and consequence. Michigan State is looking to continue its reign in this series, having won the last 3 in the series. Michigan will need to get Heisman candidate Denard Robinson rolling and light up the scoreboard; that hasn't been much of a problem for UM this year. At stake is probably the best shot at challenging Nebraska for the Legends Division crown; the loser, meanwhile, will need a lot of help in the race. - Adam Jacobi

#21 Texas A&M vs. #20 Baylor - FX 12pm ET

Robert Griffin is appointment television no matter who Baylor is playing, but considering that Texas A&M is statistically the worst passing defense in the country, this one could be really fun. Of course, Texas A&M isn't exactly a slouch either, as Ryan Tannehill, Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael have done a good job of covering up that secondary's mistakes on offense. This one could be a pretty nice shootout to start your day with. - Tom Fornelli

Mississippi State vs. #15 South Carolina - SEC Network 12:21pm ET

Is Connor Shaw for real or not? The Gamecocks' now-unquestioned starting quarterback looked the part against Kentucky, but a veteran Bulldog secondary playing at home in Starkville is a much tougher test. And if Tyler Russell's breakout second half against UAB was more than illusion, State could have put some of their offensive woes behind them as well. Whichever quarterback proves last week's performance wasn't a fluke should come away with the victory. - Jerry Hinnen

LUNCH

Tennessee vs. #1 LSU - CBS 3:30pm ET

For the second week in a row, the Tiger defense gets to face a backup quarterback making his first start of the season. The Vols' Matt Simms has a lot of advantages Florida's Jacoby Brissett didn't, though: he'll be at home; he's a senior who started eight games for Tennessee in 2010; and he saw the LSU defense up close and personal playing against them last year. Too bad the Vols don't have the running game to keep the Tigers from teeing off on Simms all the same. - JH

#22 Texas vs. #6 Oklahoma State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

Did you know that Mack Brown's Texas teams have never lost a game following the Red River Shootout? That record is likely going to be in serious jeopardy with the Oklahoma State offense coming to town, but if the Longhorns can manage to keep Brandon Weeden in check and pull off a win, it'd be a very large step in returning the program to where it once stood. Or you should watch just to see if Oklahoma State can finally hit the century mark. - TF

Virginia vs. #12 Georgia Tech - ESPNU 3:30pm ET

The last time Virginia took the field, they needed overtime to steal a 21-20 victory over Idaho.  With an off week to get healthy and prepare for the Yellow Jackets' option attack, the Cavs defense will try to live up to their 311.8 yards allowed per game (ranked third in the ACC).  Tech coach Paul Johnson criticized the decision making of quarterback Tevin Washington in last week's 21-16 win over Maryland, and cited a lack of "continuity" as a reason for their uncharacteristically low score.  Look for Georgia Tech to try and use this game to get their methodical attack back on track. It might be more than a young Virginia defense can handle, even with a week to prepare. - Chip Patterson

#16 Illinois vs. Ohio State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

The Illini look to continue their tear through a stunned and unsuspecting slate of opponents and run their record to 7-0. In Illinois' way is mighty Ohio State, who's got the talent to win the battle up front on both sides of the ball. If OSU doesn't have Braxton Miller at 100% after last week's ankle injury, though, can the vaunted Buckeye rushing attack pick up the slack and turn drives into touchdowns? - AJ

DINNER

Maryland vs. #8 Clemson - ESPNU 6:30pm ET

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd wasn't wearing hip pads for "swag reasons."  Now he has to shed his hip fashion style in order to protect his strained hip against Maryland.  Boyd may have been carted off the field last week against Boston College, but he'll be lining up under center on Saturday night in Byrd Stadium.  Maryland, on the other hand, won't make a decision regarding their starting quarterback until game time.  Starter Danny O'Brien was benched in the 21-16 loss to Georgia Tech in favor of freshman C.J. Brown, who ran for 124 yards in just one half of action against the Yellow Jackets.  But Brown struggled throwing the ball, so it will be interesting to see what head coach Randy Edsall decides to do.  The last time Maryland played a primetime game at home, they wrapped themselves in the state flag and pulled out a victory.  Tune in to see what fashion statement they make this week. - CP 

#24 Auburn vs. Florida - ESPN 7pm ET

In a matchup of teams with passing games that will be lucky to reach "mediocre" -- the Gators thanks to John Brantley's injury, the Tigers due to Barrett Trotter's ongoing struggles -- the winner should prove to be whichever team can get their pair of star tailbacks on track. With Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey on one side and Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb on the other, backfield head-to-heads don't get a whole lot better than this. - JH

Washington State vs. #7 Stanford - FX 7:30pm ET

The Cardinal have the country's best quarterback in Andrew Luck and the conference's toughest defense (just 10.6 points per game allowed) so this should be a relatively easy road trip for the Cardinal. Head coach David Shaw will likely want to establish the running game this week after tilting heavily in favor of the pass last week against Colorado. The question probably isn't if Stanford will win, but by how much. Washington State showed they've got some fight in them last week before coming up short against UCLA. - Bryan Fischer

Kansas vs. #3 Oklahoma - ESPN 2 9:15pm ET

This is a pretty late start for a game that's being played in Kansas, but I have to believe it's some kind of strategy. Maybe the Jayhawks are hoping that by starting the game later, nobody will be watching the Sooners offense destroy a Kansas defense that has been shredded by everybody it's faced this season. This one likely won't be competitive for very long, but who knows? - TF

LATE NIGHT SNACK

#9 Oregon vs. #18 Arizona State - ESPN 10:15pm ET

They're still the conference king until knocked off their perch but Arizona State will present a stiff test for Oregon this weekend. The Ducks are not as good as they were last year on defense and will be missing star running back LaMichael James but Kenjon Barner and freshman DeAnthony Thomas are able replacements for him on offense. The atmosphere at Autzen at night should be a big advantage but expect a tough Sun Devils defense to force a few turnovers and make things interesting. - BF
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:45 am
 

Keys to the Game: Baylor vs. Texas A&M

Posted by Tom Fornelli

BAYLOR WILL WIN IF: It continues to use a more balanced approach on offense. There's not much more fun that can be had while watching college football than watching Robert Griffin drop back and wing the football all over the field to guys like Kendall Wright and Tevin Reese, but it may be the running game that is most important for Baylor. Simply put, the Baylor defense is not very good, as it is giving up nearly 30 points per game. Facing a Texas A&M defense that is giving up 347.6 yards per game through the air may be very enticing for Baylor this week, but it needs to keep feeding the ball to Terrence Ganaway. This Texas A&M offense is pretty good too, and can hang with Baylor point for point if it has to. The best way to keep that from happening is to keep it off the field. If Baylor goes for the quick strikes, odds are Texas A&M will answer back, and while that will make for a fantastic game to watch, it might not lead to a victory for the Bears.

TEXAS A&M WILL WIN IF: It keeps the Baylor offense off of the field. Texas A&M will be able to put up points on this Baylor defense, but it probably doesn't want to get involved in an old fashioned shootout. With two backs like Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael, along with Ryan Tannehill's ability to tuck the ball and run, there's no reason the Aggies can't dominate the time of possession in this game. So Mike Sherman and the Aggies should use Gray and Michael to sustain long scoring drives and keep Robert Griffin off the field as much as possible. Yes, this is a team that can score 48-50 points if it has to, but it will probably be better served scoring somewhere between 35-40 and keeping its defense rested and ready to get after Griffin.

X-FACTOR: Coryell Judie and Terrence Frederick. The Texas A&M secondary has been torched so far this season, and if that's going to stop anytime soon it will be on the shoulders of Judie and Frederick. Both corners will have their hands full with Kendall Wright on Saturday in Waco, but if they can keep him in check and limit the big plays, then there's no reason that Texas A&M shouldn't go home with a win. 
Posted on: October 8, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 11:34 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Texas A&M 45 Texas Tech 40

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS A&M WON. Finally the Aggies were able to get the second half monkey off their backs, though it came down to the final minute in Lubbock on Saturday night. Still, A&M played a full 60 minutes for the first time in three weeks as the Aggies rode the legs of Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael, along with all of Ryan Tannehill's limbs to a much-needed win. Tannehill finished the night with only 189 yards passing and a touchdown, but he also rushed for another 55 yards and two touchdowns. Gray and Michael combined for another 167 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Seth Doege had a big day for Tech in the loss, throwing for 389 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Alex Torres (8 catches, 111 yards) was his favorite target.

WHY TEXAS A&M WON. Looking at the box score, you might have a hard time figuring out how Texas A&M won this game. The Red Raiders outgained the Aggies 523 yards to 410, had the edge in time of possession, didn't turn the ball over and Texas A&M had 9 penalties for 100 yards. In spite of all that, the Aggies still leave town in a dirty bus with a victory. What it came down to, though, was that even though the Aggies gave up yards rather easily, the defense made the plays it needed and the Aggies offense kept answering Tech scores with scores of its own.

WHEN TEXAS A&M WON. It wasn't until Texas Tech's onside kick came down in the arms of an Aggie with 31 second left to go in the contest that you could consider this one official.

WHAT TEXAS A&M WON. A much needed conference victory to not only get out of an 0-1 hole in Big 12 play, but to restore some confidence to the roster. You can say that the two collapses of the last two weeks are things of the past and out of your mind all you want, but until you go out and prove that you can hold a lead in the second half, the doubt is always going to be there. Had Texas Tech completed the comeback in the fourth quarter, I'm not sure the Aggies would ever be able to recover from it.

WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. The dreams of an undefeated season are no more, and although a 1-1 start in the Big 12 isn't devastating, when Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor all remain on the schedule, it could be.

THAT WAS CRAZY. In the third quarter Seth Doege threw a pass out to Eric Stephens in the flat that Stephens bobbled and dropped. Texas A&M's Damontre Moore then dove into Stephens' knee, causing it to bend in a way you never want to see a knee bend, and then rolled over on it. Eric Stephens then had to be carted off with an air cast on his leg, and I'm not expecting a positive diagnosis. I don't think Moore was trying to hurt Stephens in any way, but why are you diving into the knee of a player who just dropped a ball? There's absolutely no reason for it.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:36 pm
 

Arkansas DE Wright out 4-6 weeks with broken arm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With star running back Knile Davis out for the season, star defensive end Jake Bequette missing the Alabama game with a hamstring issue, and multiple receivers at less than 100 percent, Bobby Petrino no doubt felt his team had already endured enough terrible luck with injuries to last the the season ... and that was before they took the field against the Tide.

But that didn't stop the Razorbacks from enduring yet another major injury blow when starting defensive end Tenarius Wright left Saturday's loss gently holding his left arm. Per Arkansas RapidReporter Jimmy Carter, Petrino confirmed Monday what may had already suspected: Wright has broken the arm and will be out four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery Sunday. Wright had 10 tackles on the year to-date, one for loss.

The loss would be significant even if everyone else was healthy; a third-team preseason All-SEC selection, multi-year starter, and collector of six sacks a year ago, Wright was already a key member of the Hog front seven before Bequette went down at the other starting end position. But with Bequette out and backups in at both end positions, it wasn't surprising that the line was largely helpelss against the powerful Tide ground game, giving up more than 5 yards a carry.

With Texas A&M's one-two punch of Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray on the docket this week, getting Bequette back would be huge. Petrino said the senior ran with the team at Sunday night's practice and could be back in uniform for Saturday.

But if he's not, a defensive line that's already hurting will be hurting even more thanks to Wright's absence. If any Razorback fans out there have any protective juju for the remaining starters on the line -- tackles Dequinta Jones and Byran Jones, and end Chris Smith -- now would be the time to use it.

 
 
 
 
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