OSU-TCU: Key Matchups & Predictions

Oklahoma State fans are officially in the big time category as this week has never seen as much moaning and groaning as has ever been heard in the history of the football program. Winning five games in a row after losing to the defending national champion, weathering a starting quarterback going down and a huge turnover in the roster still needs to be accomplished with a certain flair.

The duo of offensive minds Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken plotting the offensive moves of the likes of Brandon Weeden, Joe Randle, Justin Blackmon, and others has completely spoiled Cowboy fans, who will always long for a spread out wide open passing game mixed with forceful runs that keep opposing defenses in a constant state of fear and run-pass conflict.

I predict those style-point days on offense will return but probably not this season. While there could always be some better play calls there is no doubt that this crew of Cowboys is harder to call plays for than any in recent memory. This week, head coach Mike Gundy became more involved in the offensive meetings and every facet of the offense after really camping more on the offensive line in recent weeks and teasing the media about coaching the successful units on the special teams.

We'll see what happens on Saturday in Fort Worth, but using the current offensive talent and the added portion of Gundy to the offensive game plan brain trust we will anxiously await what develops in front of our eyes at Amon Carter Stadium on Saturday.

Key Matchups vs. TCU
Oklahoma State center Paul Lewis
and offensive guards Zac Veatch and Chris Grisbhy
vs. TCU defensive tackles Davion Pierson and Chucky Hunter
This is a huge matchup. If Oklahoma State is going to have much success on offense then the Cowboys need to control Pierson and Hunter. These two have combined for 31 tackles and 6.0 tackles for losses as well as 2.5 sacks. More important, their push in the middle of opposing offenses has freed things up for linebacker Paul Dawson to have a monster first half of the season and defensive end Mike Tuaua to also post some big numbers and big plays.

The Cowboys badly want to be able to run the ball on successful terms and blocking the middle, at least stalemating the middle, is imperative. From a size and strength standpoint the Cowboys may be just a little bit at a disadvantage but that is where knowing the snap count, knowing the play, and how they want to move or shield the big Frogs will be important.
Edge: TCU's Pierson and Hunter.

Oklahoma State all-purpose player Tyreek Hill
vs. TCU defense and special teams
Don't expect TCU head coach Gary Patterson to kick the ball to Hill on kickoffs, but he won't have much of a chance on punts as Ethan Perry averages 40.4 yards a punt and the Frogs cover unit is keeping the net punt at 38.2 yards. On offense, Patterson, who is the defensive play caller, said he would need his staff to let him know where Hill is at all times.

I think Patterson wants to know where Hill lines up, and I think he may have some special plans, but I also don't see Patterson devoting the number of defenders that some of the Cowboys previous opponents have in escorting Hill. Patterson's 4-2-5 scheme relies on a lot of man coverage to apply the desired pressure that results in turnovers and big defensive plays. It will be very interesting to watch as the game goes on to see how much attention Patterson give Hill as far as man power.
Edge: Too Close to Call depending on opportunities.

Oklahoma State defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean
vs. TCU offensive tackles Tayo Fabuluje and Halapoulivaati Vaitai
The Cowboys are depth challenged in a lot of places on their defense but not at defensive end as Ogbah and Bean can go full out at all times knowing the collection of Sam Wren, Trace Clark and Vili Leveni can jump in and give them a breather.

Fabuluje is a whopping 6-7, 360 pounds and better be on his horse to deal with these two Cowboy defenders. Ogbah and Bean have combine for 51 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. They truly are a wrecking crew and will be valuable in setting the edge and doing their best to keep Trevone Boykin uncomfortable. Boykin has had a great year, but like all quarterbacks is susceptible to pressure.
Edge: Oklahoma State's Ogbah and Bean.

Oklahoma State-TCU Prediction
I look at this as a good-on-good matchup and a challenged-on-challenged matchup with the Oklahoma State defense and the TCU offense being the good-on-good and the Oklahoma State offense and the TCU defense being the challenged-on-challenged. TCU has the advantage with the offensive prowess. The better the Horned Frogs play offensively keeps the Cowboys defense on the field, and if the OSU offense cannot command a certain degree of success then that becomes a factor in weakening the Cowboys defense.

I really think the game will not be an out and out shootout but a solid game from a tempo standpoint and a very competitive game. Finishing drives with touchdowns and not field goals will be the difference in the outcome.

No. 12 TCU 31, No. 15 Oklahoma State 27


Big 12 Predictions
Saturday, Oct. 18
No. 4 Baylor 48, @West Virginia 31
@ No. 11 Oklahoma 30, No. 14 Kansas State 28
@Texas Tech 37, Kansas 20
@Texas 26, Iowa State 21

Last Week: 5-0 (straight up) / 2-3 (against the spread)
Season Total: 39-5 (straight up) / 25-11 with a push (against the spread)
Note: Not all games have point spreads as FBS vs. FCS games often don't.

Last Week's Results
#18-Oklahoma State 41, @ Kansas 10
Actual Score: 27-20 Oklahoma State

#11-Oklahoma 26, Texas 16
Actual Score: 31-26 Oklahoma

West Virginia 38, @Texas Tech 28
Actual Score: 37-34 West Virginia

@Iowa State 31, Toledo 20
Actual Score: 37-31 Iowa State

@#5-Baylor 35, #9-TCU 27
Actual Score: 61-58 Baylor

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