OSU-Troy Key Matchups

Robert Allen's key matchups for Oklahoma State's game against Troy on Saturday evening at Boone Pickens Stadium.

1. OSU safeties Markelle Martin, Victor Johnson, and Johnny Thomas
vs. Troy offensive standout Jerrel Jernigan
Jernigan is a huge playmaker and you will see him at wide receiver, in the backfield as a runner, on reverses, and as a wildcat quarterback.

He is very dangerous and elusive and if you are not focused, he will blow by the defense for long distance scores. He is also a special teams dynamo returning punts and kickoffs.

The Cowboys veteran safety trio of Markelle Martin (the big hitter), Victor Johnson (the speedy one) and Johnny Thomas (a combination of both) should rise up to the challenge. They won't always be on the frontline of defending against Jernigan but they will almost always have the final say and they should take pride in shutting him down.

Jernigan also likes a challenge and likens himself to an offensive Leodis McKelvin, who is now with the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
Edge: Even

2. OSU running game with Kendall Hunter
vs. Troy's defense
Troy gave up some rushing yards to Bowling Green last week and to some top backs a season ago. Hunter will have a major speed and athletic advantage against Troy and won't be shy about using it.

Middle linebacker Xavier Lamb, at 5-9, 230 pounds, and defensive end "Super" Mario Anderson would figure to be major cogs in trying to control Hunter's progress. Suffice to say this is a huge mismatch and the Troy defensive line is an undersized group that could get mowed down by the OSU offensive line.
Edge: Huge to OSU running game and Hunter

3. OSU defensive tackles (Rodgers, Nicholas, Collins, Bassett, and Littlehead)
vs. Troy interior offensive line
When Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson went down it was disaster based on what everybody thought in camp. The truth of the matter was Anthony Rogers showed improvement and Davidell Collins got some experience. Now Christian Littlehead is likely to get a few snaps on Saturday.

The Troy offensive line is solid but not overly huge. It's actually a decent matchup for the Cowboys from a size standpoint. Youth and enthusiasm and the hope that these pups have been listening to the master, Bill Young, because the more they listen and follow instructions then the better they will be.
Edge: Slight edge to OSU defensive tackles


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