OSU-Arkansas State Matchups

Arkansas State represents a good opponent for Oklahoma State in the progression of nonconference foes. Unless the Houston Cougars find a defense in the next two weeks Arkansas State may be the toughest of the non-league opponents for the Cowboys. No secrets here as Arkansas State is going to run the football and try to run it right down the Cowboys throats much of the time.

Why shouldn't they? It worked last year in Stillwater with the Indians running for 200 yards. The backs from a year ago are gone, but Reggie Arnold and his 140 yards in the 14-6 win over Army last week looked plenty good. The defense is multiple with a mix of fronts and coverages. They have good athletes that can run and they will hit you. Special teams were a struggle for ASU in the opener and they better improve because the Cowboys proved they can win the game on special teams.

This is where the game will be decided. If OSU's veteran defensive line and young linebackers bow up and shut down the run, consider it game over. The Indians can't throw the ball well enough to win, especially if they are in obvious passing situations. While the Indians will use speed option and zone read, they have to get mileage out of the powers and traps. They have a standout center in Tanner Jenkins, a Remington and Lombardi awards candidate. Besides the experience up front and the speed at linebacker, coordinator Vance Bedford contributes as a weapon as he has some nifty run-blitz schemes he can toss out to confuse ASU up front. A minimum of three turnovers need to be forced by the Cowboys defense. The over/under number on ASU rushing the ball is 175, we think it will be under.
Edge to OSU

Arkansas State has the speed at the corners, but not the size and that means it's time to post up. Bobby Reid has imporved enough and is confident enough in his accuracy to play that game. Adarius Bowman and D'Juan Woods – and Brandon Pettigrew for that matter – will all get one-on-one attention and in those situations can be expected to come down with the football. You will take 6-4 and 6-1 on 5-11 and 5-10 anytime. If it were a basketball game it's a slam dunk. It may be anyway.
Edge to OSU

Oklahoma State returned kickoffs well in the season opener, don't you think? They also returned punts well, punted well, blocked a punt, kicked off well (5 of 9 were touchbacks), and hit a 53-yard field goal. In their opener ASU had an 18-yard kickoff return, averaged 5.0 yards per punt return, did cover kicks and punts well, punted for a 36.0-yard average, and had its only field goal attempt blocked. This looks like a no contest and may be worth two touchdowns or more if the Cowboys come anywhere close to week one's effort.
Edge big to OSU

Arkansas State is better than Missouri State, but there is a reason OSU is favored by 14 points. Oklahoma State is better than a year ago. Playing on the road is an area that the Cowboys need to improve in as well, and Little Rock is step one. We may be a little over optimistic on this one coming off last week, but we can't help it.

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