OSU-TCU: Key Matchups & Predictions

This is a huge game, an early elimination game for Big 12 contention. TCU is likely out of the race for the top after losing two games and still has a stout schedule left to play. The Cowboys have lost just one game and the longer they can go with that one mark on the losing side in conference will determine how long the preseason favorite can still cling to contenders status.

It is Homecoming in Stillwater, a time of celebration. Overall, the Cowboys have posted a 58 percent win clip for Homecoming.

The Horned Frogs and Cowboys have never met for Homecoming before, but this could happen more often as TCU fits a profile (close by, long history, passionate fan base and staff) that could lead to a really good rivalry in future years.

As for this elimination game, in our opinion it features the two best pairs of cornerbacks in the Big 12.

Key Matchups for No. 17 Oklahoma State vs. TCU

1. OSU wide receivers Charlie Moore and Jhajuan Seales
vs. TCU cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Kevin White
This should be a really good battle. The Cowboys don't need to own it but they need to do enough damage that the TCU defense will respect the ability to go vertical, and that stretches the defense out enough for OSU to do some of the other things they will need to on offense to win the game.

Moore has great speed and has shown the ability to make the big play. Seales is the emerging young receiver for the Cowboys that has also shown the ability to get by good corners. This is one of the few matchups where you just need to win some battles and not the war.
Advantage: TCU cornerbacks Verrett and White

2. OSU cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Kevin Peterson
vs. TCU wide receivers Cam White and LaDarius Brown
The same matchup exists with the Horned Frogs wide receivers and the Cowboys perimeter defenders. Honestly, I like the chances of Moore and Seales being able to make more plays than White and Brown, and one reason is the quarterback.

If all things are equal then I think J.W. Walsh of the Cowboys is better equipped to help his receivers with throws than Trevone Boykin. Walsh has shown he can throw long with some success, while Boykin is more of a short- to medium-range quick pass thrower. It will all play out in the open spaces on Saturday.
Advantage: OSU cornerbacks Gilbert and Peterson

3. OSU middle linebacker Caleb Lavey
vs. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin
Lavey is the brains of the Oklahoma State defense. He's the guy that once calls have left the bench makes sure those calls are carried out as correct as possible or he is the guy that makes changes if the offense shifts to a different look.

Boykin is in that role for the Horned Frogs offense. Lavey won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honor earlier this season. His numbers are crazy good and his confidence level is as high as it has ever been in his career. We like Lavey physically to make plenty of plays and mentally to out-maneuver Boykin.
Advantage: OSU middle linebacker Caleb Lavey

Oklahoma State-TCU Prediction
Oklahoma State needs to start strong, which the Cowboys did not last year when the Horned Frogs played in Stillwater. This TCU team has a bad habit of starting slow and the start time and day of the bus ride from Oklahoma City may not help much.

It is a festive time at Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys have risen to win five of their last six Homecomings. We like an early lead and then hang on to the horses for a very important Big 12 win.

The OSU defense stops TCU throughout for the most part, special teams make the right plays and don't have any serious mistakes or bad plays, and the offense needs to strike across the field and down the field to maximize the ground a very talented TCU defense has to cover.

No. 17 Oklahoma State 31, TCU 17

Big 12 Predictions
Bye: Texas and Kansas State

No. 17 Oklahoma State 31, TCU 17
It's Homecoming and the Cowboys love to win when celebrating the return of alumni and friends.

No. 15 Texas Tech 24, West Virginia 21
Red Raiders go to a dangerous place and have to beat a coaching staff that knows what they do as well as anybody. It is the mentor in Dana Holgorsen taking on the pupil in Kliff Kingsbury. The pupil survives by a slim margin.

No. 16 Oklahoma 28, Kansas 13
Sooners get back on the winning track but the offense still shows limitations. The final score shows that margins in the league right now are just what we thought they were, slim even from top to bottom.

No. 12 Baylor 49, Iowa State 20
Bears find it easier to score at home, and for the first time the Cyclones really get beat by a Big 12 opponent.

Last Week - Straight Up: 3-1; Against the Spread: 0-4
For the Season - Straight Up 33-10; Against the Spread: 12-21

Last Week - Review
No. 21 Texas Tech 38, Iowa State 21
Actual Score: Texas Tech 42, Iowa State 35

TCU 41, Kansas 13
Actual Score: TCU 27, Kansas 17

No. 10 Oklahoma 31, Texas 14 (Dallas)
Actual Score: Texas 36, Oklahoma 20

No. 15 Baylor 48, Kansas State 20
Actual Score: Baylor 35, Kansas State 25

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