It wasn’t a quick or a dominant (on the scoreboard) start for Oklahoma State last week against Central Michigan. Don’t slight the defense as they held Central Michigan to a whopping 21 yards on called run plays last week and limited the home team to 13 points. The offense had chances to blow it open and didn’t get it done as a variety of mistakes, just one per play kept the Cowboys from hitting big explosive scoring plays that could have set the game on course for a blow out that Cowboys fans so badly wanted to see.
Now the fans would like to see Oklahoma State torch the UCA Bears in the home opener, but as you read below there are some worthwhile matchups to watch on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium
Woodard is 6-6, 280 pounds and on the board for next year’s draft for every team in the NFL. He is big but plays with his pads low and good leverage. He did not do much in the opener against Samford and missed some time during the game with an injury. This is a great test for Salako and Crabtree as they will see similar type defensive ends during the season including Baylor’s big Shawn Oakman.
Wilson is the speedster and Smith is a bigger 6-1, 200-pound post-up type of receiver and they give UCA quarterback Taylor Reed some varying targets. This offense will motion and create a lot of eye candy for defenders to get lost in but at the end of the eye candy and at the snap of the ball the key will be to know where these two guys are and where they are heading and make sure they have proper escort. You can’t let the Bears have a bunch of big explosive plays.
This is a three-man defensive front that plays like a four-man front courtesy of the outside linebackers in the UCA defense. Defensive coordinator George Stewart brought the same defense he used at Louisiana-Lafayette to UCA and he has had success against spread offenses. He was the coordinator at ULL the night that former OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen set the world record for Red Bull lights consumed. You need to count on the Cowboy backs to block and chip that extra man up front for success in the run game and possibly on pass pro as well.
I don’t want to pretend to portray Central Arkansas as a team that could come in and rock Oklahoma State’s season. However, to not respect the Bears at all might be a mistake. I understand that they were handed their butts last week at Stamford 45-16. When you realize that the Bears ran 103 plays offensively in the game and they finished with 462 yards of total offense, they would have had a chance to be competitive in that game if not for the 12 penalties for 183 yards. That will make a difference.
Central Arkansas has some good athletes in transfers from both four-year programs such as Arkansas, Air Force, Arkansas State, San Diego State, and Southern Miss, and some of the better junior college programs in the region. The Bears led Texas Tech in the fourth quarter of the 2014 opener in Lubbock. That said, I think last week’s somewhat slow start will leave the Cowboys more than motivated to crank up their offense.
Oklahoma State 52, Central Arkansas 17
Big 12 Predictions
Last Week: (Straight Up) 9-1 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point spreads) 4-1
Kansas State 31, @UTSA 24
Stephen F. Austin 10, @#3 TCU 38
Liberty 0, @West Virginia 48
UTEP 24, @Texas Tech 49
Iowa 10, @Iowa State 16
#19 Oklahoma 34, @#23 Tennessee 28
Memphis 41, @Kansas 14
Lamar 3, @#4 Baylor 66
Rice 27, @Texas 23