Critical Cowboy: OSU vs. Baylor

Robert Allen, Austyn Iven and Terry Tush select their "Critical Cowboy" for the Big 12 Conference opener against Baylor.

Oklahoma State will be on the road for the first time this season when it travels south to face No. 16 Baylor, the highest ranked Big 12 team in this week's Associated Press Top 25. The Cowboys have lost three of their last four meetings with the Bears, including a 45-35 loss a year ago at Boone Pickens Stadium.

OSU has beaten ranked Baylor teams twice since 2010, and will be looking to make it three in the past seven years on Saturday night at McLane Stadium.

The Bears are averaging 44.3 points per game (14th best among FBS schools), while allowing only 10 points to their opponents (third nationally). Baylor has the nation's best team passing efficiency defense but will be facing the OSU offense that averages more than 360 passing yards a game (ninth best).

Will Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph continue to show why he has to be considered as one of the Big 12's best quarterbacks just a week after setting the school record with 540 passing yards? Are the Cowboys receivers prepared to have big games this week following the performances by James Washington (296 receiving yards vs. Pitt) and Jhajuan Seales (career-best seven catches for 129 yards last weekend)?

Will OSU's front seven be able to slow the Baylor run game that is averaging 282 yards per game, a year after leading the nation in rushing (326.7 yards per game)?

Or will special teams determine the outcome? Cowboys punter Zach Sinor has only allowed 16 return yards on 14 punts this season, and he pinned Pittsburgh deep in its own territory in the fourth quarter of last week's victory. Could the game come down to senior kicker Ben Grogan, who made game-winning field goals in victories over Texas and Kansas State a year ago?

GoPokes.com's Robert Allen, Austin Iven and Terry Tush will select one player who they believe will be the "Critical Cowboy" for each game this season. Who did they pick for Saturday's game? Let's find out.

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