Oklahoma State-TCU: Key Matchups

Robert Allen and Anna-Marie Ahrberg talk about the key matchups when 12th-ranked Oklahoma State faces third-ranked TCU on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Honestly, my total expectations for this Oklahoma State football team were to get through September and October unscathed, and set for a seat at the table with anybody else that could accomplish it in the Big 12 and have a chance to run the table and make it the college football equivalent of the Final Four.

Now, I could reset those expectations and ask more out of an underrated team nationally that by the way had an over/under of wins in Las Vegas of 7.5, and they have rewarded all those that bet the over already. Not me, I don't bet on college athletes. Not me either in re-setting my expectations. It's gravy time for me.

I am proud of those players and coaches and I'll take the chips as they fall where they may. I do believe that win or lose, this team and coaching staff will fight like hell, a Les Miles line, to get it done. Missing the playoff mark and settling for a nice bowl game won't be because the group did not put the work and effort in. 

Few outside Stillwater and orange hearts believe this team will do it, but I fully believe they are capable. I just also believe that all of the teams they play the rest of the way, including Iowa State, who is not in the gauntlet, are capable as well. You are capable as well of providing as strong a home-field advantage as there can be in college football. It's time, we have what we wanted, perhaps, the most exciting month of football in Oklahoma State history.

Bring on the Frogs and let's get it on!

Key Matchups

OSU cornerbacks #1 Kevin Peterson, #6 Ashton Lampkin, and #17 Michael Hunter
vs. TCU wide receivers #7 Kolby Listenbee and #9 Josh Doctson
I believe the Cowboys will have Peterson and Lampkin and they will need that duo plus Michael Hunter, Miketavius Jones, Ramon Richards and Darrius Curry. You need them all. The memories are fresh from last season of seeing Kolby Listenbee shut down by Peterson while Josh Doctson exposed the young and inexperienced Richards in Fort Worth. Now, for this matchup to work the defensive front has to do their job and they have to pressure Heisman Trophy candidate and all-around stud Trevone Boykin. He needs to have a tight clock on getting rid of the football and the front needs to contain his scrambles. However, for this matchup the corners with safety support need to have things covered. Also, keep an eye on the freshman inside receiver KaVontae Turpin as the 5-9, 160-pounder is lightning quick.                                                   

Oklahoma State safety #13 Jordan Sterns
vs. TCU quarterback #2 Trevone Boykin
Spying, I don't buy into it much as I think it is a group effort to stop Boykin. Somebody has to lead the charge and understand it's time to call in the cavalry on corralling the man that is averaging 431.4 yards of total offense a game. By the way that is obscene to average that much offense. It will be Emmanuel Ogbah, Vincent Taylor, Jordan Burton, Tre Flower, everybody needs to be in, but we will make the team's top tackler and a very smart and dedicated defensive soul to lead the way.

Oklahoma State quarterbacks #2 Mason Rudolph and #4 J.W. Walsh
vs. TCU safeties #30 Denzel Johnson, #26 Derrick Kindred, and #31 Ridwan Issahaku
Kind of the same thing in reverse as OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said it well when he said his job and that of TCU head  defensive mastermind Gary Patterson is the same thing. The only difference is Spencer is dealing with one quarterback that can do it all and Patterson has to prepare for two different players that major in two different styles but create great danger by being proficient in the talents that you don't expect them to primarily call upon. Walsh can throw quite well, just ask Texas Tech about it. Rudolph can run pretty good as West Virginia saw a 40-yard scramble that was pretty important. The plus in this matchup for Oklahoma State is TCU is stretched thin and if Kindred can't go then the senior at free safety is listed as being replaced by freshman Niko Small.

I picked Oklahoma State to be 9-3 back in August. I had losses pegged against West Virginia on the road, TCU at home, and Baylor at home. I've already been wrong, so I am going to backtrack. Honestly, how can you pick against an unbeaten Oklahoma State team at home in Boone Pickens Stadium in November? I can't, although I know TCU is favored and I picked them in August. Since then the Frogs have been able to get back some of the defenders they lost to injury. OKC Millwood product and a key defensive tackle Davion Pierson is back and he is important. However, I think the Frogs may have lost a trio of players last week against West Virginia in offensive left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, strong linebacker Montrel Wilson and free safety Derrick Kindred. There are rumors that the Cowboys lost  defensive end Jimmy Bean and that would be a loss. Attrition is part of the campaign in college football. TCU will still be strong, Oklahoma State has constantly found ways to persevere and survive. At home, I will take the Cowboys that are healthy and ready against the Frogs that are healthy and ready. I do believe, obviously, a lot of points will be scored, and OSU will find a way to get a few more.  
#3 TCU 51, @#10 Oklahoma State 54   
Big 12 Predictions
Last Week: (Straight Up) 3-1 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point  spreads) 3-1
Season:  (Straight Up) 47-7 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point  spreads) 26-23-1
Thursday night
#2 Baylor 49, @Kansas State 17 

Texas Tech 34, West Virginia 38
Iowa State 20, @#14 Oklahoma 45
Kansas 10, @Texas 31

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