We are only halfway there Cowboy fans, and here is what you need to know about the second half of the season.
Kansas is always a game that I worry about when I see the Jayhawks on the schedule. In recent years they have played Oklahoma State tough. With a new coaching staff and the emergence of their head coach who is in his second year in the Big 12, they are making improvements playing close ball games early in the season. Look for them to try to continue the trend of playing Oklahoma State down to the wire. Although we match up well and our athletes should be able to beat them on the outside, it's still a game to be concerned about.
West Virginia is the team that everybody is worried about in the Big 12 and that is no different for Oklahoma State. Robert Allen mentioned to everybody on his radio show that West Virginia was the surprise team of the season and they have proved him right. They are firing at all cylinders and are still undefeated. And it's always a tough game for Oklahoma State because of the fact that their head coach Dana Holgerson was our old offensive coordinator back when I was playing, so he knows coach Gundy and what they are always trying to do against his Mountaineers.
But it's not just Dana's offense that is doing the job as the West Virginia defense is pretty impressive too and it is going to be interesting to see what Mason Rudolph and the offense can do against them.
A trip to Manhattan, Kansas is never easy and with this possibly being the final time that Bill Snyder faces the Cowboys in his illustrious coaching career I'm sure that it will be a tough matchup. The way the Wildcats play in all phases of the game is tough, hard nosed, and sometimes unique. On offense they use the quarterback in the running game in a creative way which can be tough because they block very well and when you have an extra blocker with the quarterback running the football it can be difficult to get him down. They have also been on the cutting edge in using RPOs, the run-pass-option.
Defensively, the Mountaineers do a good job stopping the run so our offensive line is going to have their hands full. Then last but not least, special teams is something they really take pride in, and you know they're not going to shoot themselves in the foot. I still think Oklahoma State might have a slight upper hand on them because from what I can see when they matchup athlete for athlete, OSU has a leg up.
I think we all know what to expect when Texas Tech comes to town. In the recent years when Oklahoma State and Texas Tech get together, no matter if it's in Stillwater or in Lubbock where the tortillas are always flying, it's always a high scoring matchup. This year should be no different. With number five at quarterback for the Red Raiders it's going to be tough for our defense to try to slow down that offense. But I believe with our defensive line success this season it will help us in that game by getting some pressure in the backfield and disrupting the timing of that high-flying offense. So, depending on how our defense plays that day, and if they can get one more stop then Texas Tech I think we should be all right.
TCU is another team in the Big 12 that is known for its up-tempo offense and putting up a lot of points. Their head coach is more known for his defense though, coach Patterson has been regarded as one of the top defensive minds in college football. But this year they seem to be struggling a little bit and having trouble to close out ball games late. With Oklahoma State, in my opinion, being a second-half team with the great adjustments that they have made early in the season it's easy for me to say that I like our chances, especially if it is a close ball game toward the end.
Bedlam! Oh, bedlam, oh bedlam. Well, you can do your best to try and analyze and break the game down in your head, and figure out the ins and outs and what could happen, but we all know what they say in a rivalry game, the record and what you have done throughout the season all goes out the window. So, there's no telling what could happen.
But what I do know is that this year OU seems to be struggling in the secondary and they haven't been pleased with what their guys at wide receiver have been doing thus far. So being able to use that to our favor and getting the deep ball to work for us should help the Cowboys be really competitive in that game.