OK Cowboy Fans,
Are you ready for a dose of reality after what was an amazing 2003-2004 athletic year?
The football team is going to struggle mightily vs. UCLA and TU.
The defense will be better, hopefully much better as the fruits of two really good recruiting classes start to pay off for coach Les Miles and staff. Bill Clay looks like he is comfortable enough with the team speed to include all kinds of blitz packages that will put pressure on opposing offenses.
The problem is on offense. Fields to Woods was the cornerstone of our offense and the Cowboys waved bye-bye to two of OSU's best players - EVER (the stat sheet don't lie, neither does the win-loss record of those two.) You don't just replace that. If the offense isn't clicking vs. UCLA or Tulsa, we could have MAJOR problems.
Not to be all doom and gloom because there is another scenario. The running game may save the day. Vernand Morency may not be a work-horse in the weight room, or on the practice field for that matter, but he is a stud on Saturdays. The O-line looks to be more solidified and Miles, being the Michigan man that he is, knows how to execute the running game. Anything is possible if our beloved Pokes can establish the run and a short passing game.
But if our beloved Pokes are consistantly faced with third and long situation in the Rose Bowl and against TU, it will be a struggle.
Forget what Vegas says, I haven't seen a preseason magazine rank UCLA or TU higher than OSU, so a lot of folks think we are better than these guys. Most of that stuff is based on what the Pokes did LAST YEAR.
Of course, OSU shouldn't be playing either of these teams, at least not when they have them scheduled now. They should be playing UCLA - AFTER the SMU game, and there is NO reason to schedule TU - EVER.
If OSU does stumble early, expect Miles to repeat his turn-around magic and get the Pokes rolling into Big 12 play. One thing about Miles, once he gets the kinks worked out of the running game, the team really seems to play well in October and November.
See you at the Rose Bowl.