Oklahoma State-Washington State: Key Match-ups
OSU running game vs. WSU front seven
Last season the Cougar defensive line was depleted by injuries and regularly gave up big rushing games. This season they are a bit more experienced and should provide some resistance up front. Unlike recent years, the Cowboys will rarely run out of a traditional formation as they utilize Dana Holgorsen’s new spread offense. They still plan to give Kendall Hunter an abundance of touches and are hoping his dynamic speed will wear down the Cougar defense. Slight Edge: OSU
OSU passing game vs. WSU secondary
If the spread offense is as good as advertised, Oklahoma State should win this game going away. Brandon Weeden should pick apart a weak secondary that lost its best player from a year ago, safety Xavier Hicks. The multiple receiver sets will exploit the lack of depth on the Cougar defense and the result should be a big game through the air. Edge: OSU
WSU running game vs. OSU front seven
The Cougars had one of the worst rushing offenses in the country a season ago, mustering only 71 yards per game on the ground. The return of starting tailback James Montgomery should boost those numbers a bit, but it still remains a question mark. A mediocre offensive line should have trouble containing Shane Jarka and the return of Orie Lemon certainly will not hurt. Big Edge: OSU
WSU passing game vs. OSU secondary
If Washington State can move the ball through the air, this game could get interesting. Sophomore Jeff Tuel will get the starting nod at quarterback and has a quality set of receivers that may be the deepest position on the team. The major worry for the inexperienced Tuel is the lack of protection from his offensive line, evidenced by the 53 sacks allowed in 2009. Defensive end Ugo Chinasa should have a field day for the Cowboys, bringing constant pressure and wrecking havoc in the Cougar backfield. Edge: OSU
If the Cowboys maintain focus and utilize the rowdy home crowd they should have no problem beating Washington State. If the Cowboys come out flat and give the Cougars confidence this could become a classic trap game. In the end, superior talent and a unique offense should win out. Oklahoma State 31-17.
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