Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State: Can Cowboys Score Without Blackmon?

Curtis FinchumCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2010

One week after a rough 51-41 loss to Nebraska, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy leads his young Cowboys into hostile territory to face Daniel Thomas and his Kansas State Wildcats. 

Gundy will have to figure out how to motivate his young players. After having their hopes at only the third 7-0 start in school history taken away, the Cowboys will have to find a way not to let that weigh on their conscience for too long. 

Senior Kendall Hunter will be key to that, as he's felt the sting of a hard loss before and has experience recovering from them. After running all over Nebraska's defense, Hunter will have to once again look to take charge and provide an early spark. 

Hunter ran for over 200 yards and scored two touchdowns and had help from sophomore superstar Justin Blackmon, who had five catches for 157 yards and two scores as well. 

Gundy and the Cowboys, however, will have to find a way to win without Blackmon, who many consider the country's best receiver. Blackmon was suspended for Saturday's game after being pulled over and charged with a DUI on Sunday. 

The Cowboys still have plenty of weapons in the receiving corps; the question is whether junior Brandon Weeden trusts them enough to move the ball around effectively. 

If Weeden can develop that trust and confidence in his other targets, that will greatly benefit the Cowboys for the rest of the season and help make Blackmon even more effective. 

The real question for the Cowboys has been the same one all season, how will the defense perform? The defense carried the team to their first victory in Lubbock in 66 years, but against Nebraska, it seemed as if they forgot how to tackle entirely. 

The secondary was the primary weakness against the Cornhuskers, as they allowed the worst passing offense in the Big 12 to move the ball with ease. 

We know the Cowboys will move the ball, but against the Wildcats and star running back Daniel Thomas, it's all about making a stop. 

To get back on track for the Big 12 title, fundamentals are key. Without them, the Cowboys will struggle down the road.