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MEDIA SCOPE - by Dave Hershorin
Keeping the networks on the ball.

Top 25 - by Ricky Sixx

EDGE Breakdown
Oklahoma at Texas A&M


INSIDE99: (26-22-2 overall)
Pittsburgh -16 over Temple
Ohio State -6 over Purdue
Michigan -6.5 over Minnesota
Southern Cal -16.5 over Stanford
Northern Illinois +3.5 over Bowling Green

Ricky Sixx: (25-26 overall)
Michigan -6.5 over Minnesota
Southern Cal -16.5 over Stanford
Notre Dame -27.5 over Navy
North Carolina State +6.5 over Maryland
Virginia Tech -11.5 over Syracuse
Kentucky +5 over Louisiana State
Colorado -4.5 over Missouri
Kansas State -13.5 over Iowa State


Boston College junior linebacker Josh Ott

Boston College

November 4 , 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson


DALLAS (FWAA) – Boston College junior linebacker Josh Ott (Silver Springs, Md.) is this week's recipient of the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week Award for his performance in the Eagles' 14-7 win over Notre Dame this past Saturday.

Ott scored on a 71-yard interception return to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. For the game, he made 15 tackles – including 10 solo – and recovered a fumble that set up Boston College's first score. B.C. had lost 23 straight regular-season games to ranked opponents and had not beaten a team in the top four in the country since the Nov. 20, 1993 win at unbeaten Notre Dame, 41-39. With the win, Boston College was also named the FWAA's national "Team of the Week."

A three-person panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selects the winner of the weekly award.

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club pick a National Defensive Player of the Week each Monday. Ott will be added to the Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which will be presented on Dec. 9 in Charlotte, N.C., by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

2002 Bronko Nagurski Players of the Week
• Sept. 9: Maurice Sikes, Miami
• Sept. 16: Shane Walton, Notre Dame
• Sept. 23: Willie Pile, Virginia Tech
• Sept. 30: R.J. Jones, Missouri
• Oct. 7: Matt Grier, Mississippi
• Oct. 14: Corey Webster, LSU
• Oct. 21: Brandon Everage, Oklahoma
• Oct. 28: Terrell Suggs, Arizona State
• Nov. 4: Josh Ott, Boston College

by Jeff Davis

We'll start with one of the closest match ups. OU faces the 2nd best passing team in the Big XII in Texas A&M. Texas A&M has faced a great pass defense team in the Pittsburgh Panthers. WR Bethel Johnson is the nation's fourth best receiver in yards per reception (19.66), and has 570 yards receiving and 7 TDs. Jamaar Taylor is the Aggies top receiver with 706 yards. TE Greg Porter is the 2nd leading receiver among the nation's TE's with 38 catches and 533 yards. OU is a great pass defensive teams, too. Standing up to this passing attack will be the nation's 6th ranked pass defense. Brandon Everage was Big XII defensive player of the week. He has five interceptions (7th in the nation) and is A&M's third leading tackler. His aggressiveness can shut down an offense. CBs Derrick Strait (3 INTs) and Andre Woolfolk are having strong campaigns, and SS Eric Bassey has developed well. The biggest thing about this defense is the turnovers they create. Through pressure on the QB, the Sooner DB's are able to step up and make big plays. How does this bode for sophomore QB Dustin Long and the Aggies? Not well. Long is especially susceptible to this kind of defense due to his lack of experience. He has been passing well (over 2,000 yards) but does have 10 INTs on 17 TDs. Lately, these INTs have cost the Aggies. Chalk up a couple more INTs for the Sooners. And if they lead to points, as they seem to for the Sooners, this could spell doom for the Aggies.
Edge: Oklahoma

This call is a no-brainer, one of the biggest mismatches. OU's run defense (23rd NCAA, 2nd Big XII) is anchored by WLB Teddy Lehman (67 tackles, 9 Tackles For Loss), MLB Lance Mitchell (75 tackles, 9TFL), and a consistently good DL. Everage will come up to stop the run, as well. The Aggies running game is progressing, but no match against this defense. Running back Derek Farmer (608 yards, 7TDs) will do his best to set up A&M's pass, but needs to break a big play.
Huge Edge: Oklahoma

OU's top three receivers' yardage (Will Peoples, Antwone Savage, Mark Clayton) still does not equal the number of yards rushed for by Griffin. The number of potential OU offensive weapons is what causes problems for opposing defenses. WR Curtis Fagan, TE Trent Smith, and Griffin all are targets. Sooner QB Nate Hybl seems to do just enough for OU to win (only 1418 yards passing, 105 completions, 12 TDs, and 6 INTs). A&M is led by Jarrod Penright, Randall Webb, and Ty Warren (8, 6, and 4.5 sacks, respectively). FS Jaxson Appel (struggling with an injury) and CB Byron Jones lead A&M in INTs at four apiece, followed by the CB duo of Sammy Davis and Sean Weston a (two INTs each). The A&M defensive unit should win this battle, maybe giving up one big play.
Edge: Texas A&M

Maybe the next biggest match up. How will the Aggies handle OU RB Quentin Griffin (950 yds, 6 TDs). A&M has faced its share of top running teams (Virginia Tech, Nebraska), yielding two very different performances, but the same results, losses. The Aggies held VT's strong (but predictable) running game in check. Nebraska's complicated running attack had the Aggies missing tackles and over pursuing all day. In this game, Quentin Griffin will get his 100 yards, but it will not affect the outcome. The Wrecking Crew is very comfortable with traditional running games. They are lead by OLB Jarrod Penright (13 TFL, 65yds), LE Ty Warren (11 TFL), and SS Terrence Kiel (72 tackles, 4.5 TFL).
Edge: Texas A&M

OU linemen Tommie Harris, Kory Klein, Jonathan Jackson, and Jimmy Wilkerson don't lead in statistical categories. But they are a tough group, putting pressure on the QB and holding up the OL to help stop the run. A&M's OL is still gelling, lead by Guards Taylor Whitley and Billy Yates, and young Tackle Jami Hightower.
Slight Edge: Oklahoma

The Aggie DL is a little banged up. Ty Warren and Marcus Jasmin have nagging injuries and are trying to play as much as they can. With little depth at these positions in their 3-4 defense, they are strained up front at times. Warren, despite the leg injury, continues to make big plays and put up solid numbers. OU's OL should stop them more times than not, though. Each OU lineman, except C Vince Carter, weighs in at over 300 pounds.
Edge: Oklahoma

OU has a punt return threat in Antonio Perkins. They rank 9th nationally with 3 TDs, and 15.82 ypr. A&M has a good punter in Cody Scates, who is averaging 36.62 ypp. Field position will be important in this game. Both kickers are equally inconsistent.
Edge: EVEN

The key to #1 OU's win versus Colorado, and a big reason for their win against Texas, was turnover margin. For the year, their margin is +1.75, second best in the nation. For the Aggies to have a chance, they need to make sure the Sooners don't start in A&M territory. To do that, they need to avoid the turnover. The Sooner offense can produce on a short field, and is excellent in the red zone. They are less productive when they have to go the whole field. Against CU, the Oklahoma defense gained 2 INTs and 2 fumbles, all which resulted in short fields and therefor scores. Dustin Long has to account for Brandon Everage and Derrik Strait at all times. Even at loud Kyle Field, this may be too much to ask for from the young Aggie QB, who has been prone to bad decisions. A win against #1 OU will be tough to come by for a struggling and disappointed Texas A&M team.

PICK: Oklahoma Sooners



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Editor: David Hershorin