Key Matchups and Predictions: OSU vs. Arizona

We always like to review here and the Cowboys won the battle between the free safety Daytawion Lowe and the surprise starting quarterback for Louisiana in Blaine Gautier.

The Oklahoma State offensive line had their troubles with the Louisiana defensive front. The 3-4 is a hassle for offensive lines that play out of the spread. Then Louisiana kept stemming up until the snap. That said, 666 yards of total offense and 61 points is enough to get a passing grade.

The other match-up between linebacker Shaun Lewis and standout Cajun tight end Ladarius Green never materialized because Louisiana couldn't throw the ball effectively with Gautier at quarterback.

As for this week, we have some beefy match-ups for you as Arizona has a defensive line that is a strength for them and an offensive line that could be an Achilles heel.

OSU Defensive Ends Richetti Jones and Jamie Blatnick vs. Arizona Offensive Tackles Mickey Baucus and Fabbians Ebbele

The Cowboys played really well up front in the opener and Richetti Jones (three hurries) and Jamie Blatnick (sack and a hurry) along with Cooper Bassett (sack) are a true strength of the team. They will face a pair of new starting offensive tackles for Arizona that got pushed back a lot by the light weight defensive line for Northern Arizona. This appears to be an opportunity for the Cowboys to get some pressure on this Tech-style three step and shot gun offensive attack. Just getting hits on the quarterback is important against this style of attack.

Advantage: Huge to Jones/Blatnick

OSU Wide Receivers Justin Blackmon and Hubert Anyiam vs. Arizona Cornerbacks Trevin Wade and Shaquille Richardson

Last December Robert Golden was starting at a corner, but he is now at safety as one corner went down with a knee injury. Arizona has also lost a linebacker and a safety to knee injuries and another corner went down in camp as well. Wade is a senior and a solid player that had an interception last week against Northern Arizona in the pivotal second half where the Wildcats pulled away. Northern Arizona passed for 179 yards in the contest, which is a paltry amount, but they don't have the talent of Brandon Weeden at quarterback nor the compliment of receivers Oklahoma State has. You can be sure that these guys have had good work because they can get it from their own offense with Nick Foles and company.

Oklahoma State threw for 458 yards last week, Weeden had 388 yards before retiring to the bench. You can expect that Oklahoma State will hit a good number on Thursday. While Blackmon had eight receptions for 144 yards, Anyiam did not have a catch. That will not be the case this week. Anyiam could become this week's Tracy Moore.

Advantage: Huge to Blackmon/Anyiam

OSU Offensive Guards Jonathan Rush, Nick Martinez, and Lane Taylor vs. Arizona Defensive Tackles Justin Washington and Sione Tuihalamaka

This will be worth the price of admission as all three of the Cowboy guards in Joe Wickline's new three-man rotation are tough hard-nosed guys that will get after defensive tackles. The weight of the three is 305 for Rush, 310 for Martinez, and 310 for Taylor. Rush and Martinez are seniors with Tayler being a three-year starting junior. Washington and Tuihalamaka are both 280 pounds and athletic. Last week, Washington had five tackles, four solo and 1.5 sacks. Tuihalamaka did not register a tackle. This will be down and dirty tough line play and I love watching that kind of stuff. Oklahoma State will want to run the ball and how well they do it will be dictated in large part by this match-up.

Advantage: Even


This is a different Arizona team than what the Cowboys faced in San Antonio in the Alamo Bowl. The similarities are in quarterback Nick Foles and the defensive line. Yes, Arizona had three defensive ends picked in the NFL Draft, but they are still talented up front with seniors C.J. Parish and Houston transfer Mohammed Usman manning those spots. Both have high RPM motors and talent. Inside you have stellar tackle Justin Washington and the third Tuihalamaka brother to come through the UA program. Behind that line is a young and inexperienced linebacker corps and a secondary that resembles a MASH unit. Those are tough areas to be deficient in when traveling to Stillwater. Foles started off with 412-yards passing last week to run his career total past the 6,500-yard mark. He has more than Juron Criner at wide receiver with at least seven high quality targets. Arizona may be a one-trick pony, albeit a good one. The new offensive line is struggling blocking for the run and the Wildcats have gone back to their roots in the Texas Tech offense throwing it two-thirds of the snaps in the opener. In the Alamo Bowl turnovers did them in 38-10. I don't think they will turn the ball over four times, but if they just turn it over a pair then the Cowboys cup runneth over.

Final Score: @#7 Oklahoma State 41, Arizona 16

Big 12 Predictions

This Week

Friday, Sept. 9

@#23 Arizona State 27, #19 Missouri 16

Saturday, Sept. 10

Iowa 34 @Iowa State 14

Northern Illinois 24 @Kansas 20

BYU 17 @#21 Texas 14

Season Record

Straight Up: 9-1

Against the Spread: 4-2

Friday, Sept. 2

@Baylor 28, #15 TCU 26

Saturday Sept. 3

@Iowa State 30, Northern Iowa 17

@#24 Texas 38, Rice 10

McNeese State 16, @Kansas 14

@#21 Missouri 45, Miami-Ohio 9

@Kansas State 37, E. Kentucky 7

@Texas Tech 47, Texas State 14

@#1 Oklahoma 41, Tulsa 14

Sunday, Sept. 4

@#9 Texas A&M 38, SMU 27

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