The Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0) and Arizona Wildcats (1-0) both took care of business in their first contest of the season, although it was in far different fashion.
While Arizona needed overtime to overcome Toledo at home, the Pokes ran Savannah State out of Stillwater by putting up a ridiculous 84 points and not allowing a single score in.
Regardless of what happened last week, the two teams need to put the past behind them and prepare for this upcoming contest.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch the game, who to keep an eye on and a prediction on the final score.
Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Watch: Pac-12 Network
Listen: 1290 AM The Source—Arizona, KXZY—Oklahoma State
Live Stream: Pac-12.com
Betting Line: Oklahoma State -13.5
Key Storyline: Preparation
Despite winning by such a large margin, the Pokes only played their starters for a handful of series. Freshman QB Wes Lunt was sitting on the sidelines by the time the first quarter ended, along with many of his fellow starters.
Savannah St. simply didn’t provide any challenge whatsoever, so the Cowboys are going into this game against a much tougher opponent still unproven.
Considering the Wildcats put up over 600 yards of offense in new coach Rich Rodriguez’s system and had a number of scores given away by mistakes or taken away by penalties, they’ll be tough for the Pokes to stop.
Who Might Not Play for Oklahoma State (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
OT Michael Bowie—OUT—Suspended
Who Might Not Play for Arizona (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
DE Dan Pettinato—QST—Leg
LB Hank Hobson—QST—Shoulder
LB Rob Hankins—QST—Concussion
DL Justin Washington—OUT—Suspension
BCS/Top 25 Implications
The Pokes are currently ranked No. 19 in the preseason polls and are unlikely to move up in the Week 1 rankings, even after the trouncing of Savannah St.
It’s going to take a convincing win over the Wildcats for the pollsters to start believing that this OK State team is for real in 2012.
If the Cowboys lose or let U of A stay close, it actually might hurt their Week 2 status with the voters.
What They’re Saying
Jimmy Tramel of the Tulsa World found that coach Gundy knew his team was going to be just fine when he saw his quarterback eating a gigantic pre-game meal.
“I don't eat hardly anything on game day myself as a player or a coach because I guess I get more of a nervous stomach than most people," OSU head coach and former Cowboy quarterback Mike Gundy said.
"I was walking through the guys sitting down for pre-game meal and (Lunt) had enough food on there to feed a horse. I thought, well, obviously he's not real concerned."
Oklahoma State Player to Watch: Austin Hays
The true freshman receiver racked up eight catches for 77 yards against Savannah and could become a top target for Lunt to throw to during the season.
Despite being 6’3”, 185 pounds and able to run a sub 4.5 40-yard dash, this 18-year-old was a bit under-the-radar heading into Stillwater.
He was just a 2-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, but the youngster could soon be a significant factor in the passing game.
Arizona Player to Watch: Matt Scott
The senior QB had a solid debut under coach Rich Rod, putting up over 450 yards of total offense.
He connected on 30 of his 46 passes for 387 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while taking off 14 times on the ground for 74 yards.
If Scott can get more accurate and cut down on the turnovers, he will be dangerous against the Pokes come Saturday night.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 57 – Arizona 35
The Pokes offense is just too good to be contained by a weak Arizona defense. While the Wildcats will put some points of their own on the board against an untested defense, they simply don’t have the firepower to hang with Gundy’s squad.
Expect a back and forth matchup for the early portions of this game, but OK State should pull away late and pile on the scores.
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