If the Cowboys gum this up and mess around and make mistakes -- like they did at Arizona -- then it becomes very interesting. But if OSU plays clean and close to potential then it should be a "get well" game before Texas comes in on Sept. 29 to open up Big 12 play,
vs. ULL corners Melvin White and Jemar Moten
You also may be on the verge of seeing previously injured receivers Torrance Carr and David Glidden back in the mix. That would certainly help as some of the young freshmen are not quite as ready for prime time as previously thought.
Neither White nor Moten are Dwight Bently, who is now starting at corner for the NFL's Detroit Lions. Moten did have a pick six last season against the Cowboys. The match-ups should be fun as White is a 6-3, 191-pound physical corner who will be a test for Moore, and Moten is a smaller speedster that will line up more on Anderson.
vs. ULL back-up nose tackle Brandon McCray
McCray will be starting for 330-pound explosion-waiting-to-happen in Justin Hamilton. Hamilton was ejected in last week's win over Troy and Sun Belt rules, upheld despite a protest this week, call for players ejected to be suspended for the following contest. Both players missing might make coaches nervous but all in all it becomes fair and a good match-up to watch.
vs. ULL quarterbacks Blaine Gautier or Terrance Broadway
Quarterbacks Gautier and Broadway really can't. Either quarterback is going to look to confuse the Cowboys with a bunch of formations. But at the end of the day they will be running three or four run plays, divide zone, zone read, counter, and jet mixed with a few passes.
The disguises, fakes, and ball skills are there to fool the Cowboys. Caleb Lavey, onfield director of the OSU defense, is there not to be fooled.
Does that storyline sound familiar? it should as that was the way the OSU-Arizona game started last week, only to go south in a hurry after the 14-0 start. This one won't go south as the prediction is the Cowboys roll to a 45-21 victory, or perhaps even better.
Now the other possibility is the Cowboys suffer a desert hangover, the early breaks go in favor of Louisiana and the Cajuns out-execute the Cowboys early. I still think Oklahoma State will scramble for a win, but if that happens the Cowboys and their fans will spend the next two weeks seriously wondering whether they can beat Texas and be a serious factor in the Big 12.
If the storyline plays out for a big win then the Cowboys use the momentum to aim toward an important Big 12 opener against the Longhorns.
Big 12 Predictions
No. 15 TCU 59, Kansas 24
No. 8 West Virginia 54, James Madison 21
No. 14 Kansas State 38, North Texas 10
Texas Tech 34, New Mexico 7
Baylor 27, Sam Houston St. 7
Iowa State 38, Western Illinois 12
No. 12 Texas 28, Mississippi 20
Last Week's Predictions
No. 16 Oklahoma State 49, Arizona 21
Actual Score: Arizona 59-38
Kansas State 31, Miami, Fla. 20
Actual Score: Kansas State 52-13
Iowa State 23, Iowa 21
Actual Score: Iowa State 9-6
Rice 28, Kansas 21
Actual Score: Rice 25-24
No. 6 Oklahoma 70, Florida A&M 7
Actual Score: Oklahoma 69-13
No. 21 TCU 56, Grambling State 14
Actual Score: TCU 56-0
Texas Tech 27, Texas State 20
Actual Score: 58-10
No. 15 Texas 48, New Mexico 17
Actual Score: Texas 45-0
Record: SU 15-1/ATS 9-2 (Games involving FCS teams don't have point spreads.)