Few of Oklahoma State’s games this season have seen the Cowboys (5-2, 3-1 in the Big 12) be held to under 30 points.
After opening the season with an 84-point thrashing, the team went on to lose two of its next three games. However, the surging Cowboys have now won three straight following their 36-14 victory over TCU earlier today.
The Cowboys’ 605.3 net yards per game not only leads all of the FBS, but also gives the team a chance to survive the gauntlet it is about to run through in the month of November.
The Cowboys are set to take on four consecutive ranked opponents before finishing their regular season at Baylor. But it’s the team that they’ll travel to next week that will give Oklahoma State a chance to make noise on the national landscape.
Kansas State is currently undefeated, only has one game remaining against an opponent which is currently ranked and boasts one of the Heisman Trophy’s front-runners as its starting quarterback.
However, next week is set up to be the Wildcats’ biggest test and roadblock in the way of what could turn into a trip to the BCS National Championship Game.
As it stands now, the surging Cowboys are the best shot to down Kansas State.
Today’s win at TCU gave the Cowboys their second straight win against stiff competition after defeating 24th-ranked Iowa State a week earlier. But beyond that, it also gave the team a chance to re-establish quarterback Wes Lunt in the offense.
Lunt returned after missing the past three games with a knee injury to throw for 324 yards and a touchdown. The freshman has had a mixed season so far after completing all 11 of his pass attempts in Week 1 only to throw for 436 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions just one week later.
However, today’s game gave him an extra week to prepare for leading one of the nation’s top offenses against one of the nation’s top all-around teams.
And with J.W. Walsh now sidelined, Lunt’s return is even more important.
With Joseph Randle leading the team’s rushing attack, the Cowboys offense should be able to go toe-to-toe against the Wildcats next weekend. Both teams currently have offenses ranked in the Top 10 in scoring in the nation.
Naturally, then, the game will come down to defense.
The Wildcats received a huge confidence boost last week when they held Geno Smith and West Virginia to just two touchdowns, and also forced Smith, another Heisman contender up to that point, into throwing his first two interceptions of the season.
Following today’s 55-24 victory for Kansas State over 14th-ranked Texas Tech, the Wildcats have now outscored opponents by a total of 355-137 on the season, including 110-38 in just their last two games.
The Wildcats have certainly earned their ranking this season and their chance at the BCS National Championship Game, especially following Florida’s loss to Georgia. But that doesn’t mean that their biggest test won’t come next week when the Cowboys enter Bill Snyder Stadium.
The Cowboys have gotten themselves back on track after early-season struggles and have even survived losing two quarterbacks to injury. However, if the team’s defense performs the way it did today, the Cowboys’ season might take them some place that few thought was in reach following two losses early in the season.
The Cowboys have now kept their last three opponents to fewer than 20 points and have forced nine turnovers on the season following three against TCU.
Both teams will enter the game with offenses that make a majority of fellow FBS schools envious.
But it’s the surging Cowboys that now add intrigue to next week’s game against potentially the No. 2-ranked team in the country, and that momentum gives them the best shot to take down the Wildcats.