OSU-Tulsa Key Matchups

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

1. OSU Secondary
vs. Tulsa QB G.J. Kinne and Wide Receivers
This is a key matchup with the strength of the Golden Hurricane receiving corps with the likes of speedster Damaris Johnson, dependable Trae Johnson, jumbo Charles Clay, and freshman Thomas Roberson. It is a good group as three of those guys are 2,000-yard career receivers for Tulsa. Kinne is a coach's kid that is very smart and knows how to read and attack defenses.

The Cowboys secondary is talented too and should be healthier this week with the return of Andrew McGee. How about the play of true freshman Devin Hedgepeth at corner? You have to factor in the pass rush in this equation and here's hoping that defensive end Richetti Jones and company get some good shots and Richetti's former little league quarterback gets put on the ground a few times.

I give a slight edge to Tulsa and I expect Tulsa will move the ball some. What really wins this matchup is if the OSU defense can get more stops on Tulsa than the TU defense can get on the Cowboys offense.
Edge: Slight to Tulsa

2. OSU Running Game with Kendall Hunter
vs. Tulsa Defense
In my opinion, this is where the game has to be won. Tulsa's defense has been great this season allowing just 98.0 rushing yards but neither East Carolina or Bowling Green are that dynamic a rushing teams.

Tulsa has struggled with good backs and in allowing them big days running the football. The 3-3 stack defense is a good weapon against the spread passing but creates angles and with the accompanying run-blitz package can move personnel right into a big play for the opposing offense in the run game.

The matchup up front favors the Cowboys and after last week you could expect a more determined and focused offensive line for the Cowboys.
Edge: Huge to OSU Running Game and Hunter

3. OSU Special Teams
vs. Tulsa Special Teams
This is really concerning that the Cowboy special teams are in this position. Quinn Sharp is fantastic on punts and kickoffs. He's so good he spoils you. Dan Bailey is doing very well on placements.

Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest is battling how much to play starters and how many opportunities to give younger players on special teams and maintain the accustomed high quality on the coverage and return units.

Tulsa has been very good in this area so far this season. A few big plays in this game from special teams could be a difference maker on Saturday. It would be nice to see Justin Gilbert break one and start building his confidence as a premier return specialist.
Edge: Too Close to Call - Even


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