Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Florida State Seminoles: Complete Game Preview
The Oklahoma State Cowboys will begin their 2014-15 season with arguably their toughest game of the year, kicking off the schedule with the Florida State Seminoles, who happen to be the defending national champions.
To say the Pokes have a difficult matchup would be an understatement. The Seminoles return a host of talent along with a star-studded recruiting class. Oh, and they just so happen to have the reigning Heisman trophy winner, Jameis Winston.
Can Oklahoma State pull off a monumental upset this week? Or will Florida State roll over a raw, young Pokes squad? Read on to find out.
Game Day Information
Who: Oklahoma State vs. Florida State
When: Saturday, August 30 at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET
Where: Arlington, TX
Stadium: AT&T Stadium (71,815 cap.)
Series History: Florida State 3-1
TV:ABC Sports (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
National Radio: ESPN Radio (Bill Rosinski, David Norrie and Joe Schad)
Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 91, XM Channel 91
Oklahoma State Key to Victory
Don't Play Scared
While Oklahoma State will likely lose this contest, that doesn't mean it's not a potentially interesting matchup. Think about it.
Florida State will come into this game with everything to lose and nothing to really gain. After all, this is an Oklahoma State team replacing the majority of its starters with very young talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The Seminoles, on the other hand, have championship aspirations and a veteran team that, on paper, should easily handle the young Pokes.
However, if the Cowboys are able to come in and not back down from the more-talented Seminoles, they might just have a shot. No one really knows what to expect from this Oklahoma State team, and that could make it dangerous.
Florida State Key to Victory
Air It Out
As mentioned previously, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are replacing almost their entire starting lineup from 2013. No where was that more devastating that in their defensive secondary.
Justin Gilbert is gone. Daytawion Lowe is gone. Shamiel Gary is gone. Heck, even nickel cornerback Tyler Patmon is gone.
If Winston and his wide receivers aren't licking their lips and dreaming about putting up 40 or 50 points, I'd be very surprised. The Seminoles have to come out throwing the ball all over the field and test this young defense.
Kevin Peterson, Ashton Lampkin and Co. might step up and show the nation that they're a unit to be reckoned with. However, it's much more likely that Winston throws for 400 yards and four or five touchdowns.
Oklahoma State Player to Watch
The popular name here is going to be quarterback J.W. Walsh, and it makes sense. Cowboys fans want to know if Walsh has become more consistent this season and can be "the guy" for one more season or if they need to move on to either Daxx Garman or Mason Rudolph.
However, if I'm an Oklahoma State fan, I want to see how this young defense holds up against the defending national champions. Ryan Simmons is the unquestioned leader of the Pokes D and is going to be a major cog in how well Oklahoma State does this Saturday.
Win or lose, it's important that Simmons gets his young teammates to play their hardest throughout. If we see the young players give up early, it could be the first sign of a long season for the Pokes.
Florida State Player to Watch
Can he put his offseason incidents behind him? Can he become the second two-time Heisman winner? Can he lead his team to another national championship? Can he top Kenny Hill's remarkable performance from Thursday night?
These are just a few of the questions the reigning Heisman trophy winner will be trying to answer when he finally steps back on the field for the start of the the 2014-15 season.
Look for Winston to begin silencing his critics with a stand-out performance against an Oklahoma State defense that looks woefully undermatched. Don't be surprised if Winston throws for more than 350 yards, while adding four or five touchdowns.
Final Game Prediction
Oklahoma State has a chance to shock the world this weekend, but it doesn't seem like it has the talent to pull it off. The players are just too young, especially on defense, for anyone to really think they have a chance at upsetting Florida State.
It might be closer than people expect; that said, the outcome will never really be in doubt. Look for Florida State to comfortably win by two scores or more.
Florida State 45, Oklahoma State 28