Oklahoma State-Troy: Key Matchups in Saturday's Game

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Oklahoma State-Troy: Key Matchups in Saturday's Game
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Kendall Hunter is deadly in the open field

After an impressive victory in their first game, the Oklahoma State football team welcomes the reigning Sun Belt Conference champion Troy Trojans into Boone Pickens Stadium.

Troy is also coming off a win last Saturday, defeating Bowling Green 30-27 on a late field goal.

This is how they stack up.

 

OSU running game vs. Troy front seven

The Cowboy rushing game was the story in Game 1, most notably Kendall Hunter. The Trojan defense knows it will get a heavy dose of Hunter and will game-plan accordingly.

Troy features an entirely new defensive line that had problems last week stopping the run. The big runs may not come as easily for Oklahoma State, as the Trojan defense is much more athletic than Washington State. If the Cowboy offensive line can create holes similar to last week, expect another productive day on the ground.

Edge: OSU

 

OSU passing game vs. Troy secondary

This area of the game is what should separate Oklahoma State from Troy on the scoreboard. With so much focus aimed at stopping Hunter and the Cowboy ground game, Brandon Weeden should feast on an inexperienced Trojan secondary. However, the offensive line must keep Weeden clean, especially with Troy pass rush specialist Mario Addison coming off the edge.

Justin Blackmon will be getting extra attention after his huge day against Washington State, which should open up the field for the rest of the Cowboy receivers.

Big Edge: OSU

 

Troy running game vs. OSU front seven

Speed is what makes this Troy team scary, and they utilize it in many different ways through the running game.

They will hand the ball off to a tandem of skilled running backs, Shawn Southward and DuJuan Harris, and things get even more complicated when they bring in their most skilled player, wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan, to take snaps from the Wildcat formation. Jernigan used blazing speed and quick cuts to torch the Bowling Green defense last week.

With starting defensive tackles Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson fighting injuries, it may be tough to contain this speedy Troy attack. Orie Lemon and Justin Gent must step up at the linebacker position and contain the Trojan ground attack.

Slight Edge: Troy

 

Troy passing game vs. OSU secondary

Freshman quarterback Corey Robinson played well in his first game last week. He completed 25 of 37 passes with a touchdown, although he did throw two interceptions.  Robinson spread the ball around well, completing passes to 11 different receivers. Jerrel Jernigan is also the Trojans' leading receiver and must be held in check.

The Cowboy secondary played a decent game last week but must limit their breakdowns to stop a tougher team.

Defensive ends Richetti Jones and Ugo Chinasa should live in the Troy backfield. If they can pressure the young quarterback and cause him to make mistakes, it could make for an easy day for the Cowboys.

Edge: OSU

 

Overall

Troy may not be from a big conference, but there is little doubt they will present a tougher task than Washington State. Offensively, the Cowboys should dominate the undersized Trojan defense. Defensively, Troy could present problems if their speedy skill players are given space to operate.

The defense and home crowd will rattle the young quarterback, and the new spread offense will prove too much for Troy to handle.

Oklahoma State 45-20

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