Oklahoma State Football: 4 Games That Could Derail the Cowboys in 2011
The Cowboys surprised the nation last year with their wonderful season. They began the 2010 season reflecting on the loss of Zac Robinson, Dez Bryant, and a 9-4 season that ended with a bowl loss to Ole Miss. Nobody expected Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon to lead the team to an 11-2 record with a bowl win while running one of the most dangerous offenses in the country.
But Oklahoma State did just that. Now that Weeden and Blackmon have announced they're returning for their senior season, this team will be a major player in the fight for the Big 12 conference title. They lost offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen to West Virginia but there is no doubt about the talent that remains on offense.
To win the Big 12 and possibly make a trip to a BCS game, OSU will need to fight their way through four specific games that might bring them trouble in the upcoming year. Read on for more.
September 24th @ Texas A&M
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The Aggies will be ready for another showdown against the Cowboys this year as the game moves to College Station. Oklahoma State won by three points at the last second but Texas A&M was operating under an ineffective Jerrod Johnson under center. Ryan Tannehill has since taken over as the Aggie signal caller and dramatically improved the offense.
Expect the Aggies to not turn the ball over as much this season and this will force Weeden to step up his game if the Cowboys want to win. The defense has lost some depth so expect this game to be a high scoring affair.
October 15th: @ Texas
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Texas just finished what was one of the worst seasons in recent memory and they have nowhere to go but up this year. New offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin will bring this offense to a whole new level, just like Holgorsen did with the Cowboys in 2010.
The key to this game will be turnovers. I expect this game to be very close and the Oklahoma State cannot afford to turn the ball over against the Longhorns in Austin. If Gilbert regresses then the Cowboys should have this game in the bag but beware as this game will not be a guaranteed win if Texas wins the turnover margin.
November 5th: vs. Kansas State
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Kansas State wasn't very strong last year but their only strength is why I included them on this list. The Wildcat running game is going to give the Cowboys a headache this season. Like we saw in the Nebraska game, the OSU running defense has been lackluster and a Nebraska team was able to leave Stillwater with a win because of it.
If the Cowboys want to win this game, they will need to shut down the Kansas State running backs and do their part on offense. I expect this game to be another high scoring affair that will be decided by the best offense.
December 3rd: vs. Oklahoma
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This is another game that will demand the best out of the Cowboys' offense.
Oklahoma returns Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles, without upgrading much on defense. The same can be said for Oklahoma State. What will be the final regular season game for both teams could end up to be a pseudo-Big 12 championship game. If both teams can knock off Texas A&M and Texas, then this game will ultimately decide the winner of the conference.
In team that wins this game will simply have to score more points. That sounds pretty obvious, but I want to emphasize the idea that both team's defenses will have little impact on each other. This is going to be a shootout and will test both teams to the max.
This game will most definitely define bedlam for years to come.