OSU-Troy Matchups & Prediction

Robert Allen breaks down Friday night's nationally televised game against Troy University and gives his thoughts on the three key matchups in the game which kicks off at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN2.

Three Most Dangerous Trojans
1. Omar Hougabook, QB
2. Leodis McKelvin, CB
3. Austin Silvoy, WR

Three Most Important Matchups
1. OSU Wide Receivers vs. Troy Secondary
You saw the difference last week against Florida Atlantic in this offense when it is fueled by big plays, and those will be needed again on the road to beat Troy.

Adarius Bowman should be a mismatch for everybody in their secondary, and Troy, fortunately, is not a team that plays it safe. They take chances on defense in order to get the ball back for their offense. I think that Jeremy Broadway (with his speed) and Scott Broughton (speed again) could be a big help too

Troy will blitz and if the offensive line and backs can protect, that means going deep. This is a must to get the big plays and also unlock the running game with the hopeful emergence of Julius Crosslin along with Keith Toston, Kendall Hunter, and maybe Dantrell Savage.
Advantage: OSU Wide Receivers

2. OSU Defensive Front vs. Troy Offensive Line
Troy's offensive line is big, averaging 6-3, 313 pounds per man across. They move fairly well, but this is not the kind of offensive line that OSU saw at Georgia or that they will see in the Big 12. I expect Tim Beckman to blitz some, but this offense is a lot like Texas Tech in it is quick rhythm and doesn't allow for a lot of sacks. Omar Hougabook doesn't hold onto the ball very long unless he is taking off and running with it, and they will send out five receivers quite often.

The defensive line has to generate the pass rush, so Maurice Cummings, Tonga Tea and Jeray Chatham on the inside, and Marque Fountain, Nathan Peterson, Rod Johnson and Derek Burton outside have to not only get to Hougabook and apply pressure but also contain him because he is a dangerous runner. This is a major test for the defensive line and good prep work for next Saturday when OSU hosts Texas Tech. The only difference is that Tech's Graham Harrell will be a more stationary target.
Advantage: OSU Defensive Front

3. OSU Special Teams vs. Troy Special Teams
Troy's special teams have been terrible. They use the shield punt formation and had two blocked last week at Florida. When they get punts off they are averaging only 36 yards and have given up several returns, including a 32-yarder. They also give up plenty on kickoff returns, a 38.7-yard average so far.

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said they were going to overhaul the special teams this week. These problems can't be fixed in a short week of practice, so Oklahoma State must continue to make Troy pay for special teams transgressions, and Joe DeForest, Perrish Cox, and the OSU special teams are quite capable.
Advantage: OSU Special Teams

OSU-Troy Prediction
Yes, this is a trap. Troy's Stadium, Movie Gallery, holds 30,000 and it won't be full, but it will be rowdy and the home folks will be there to see the home team slay a BCS dragon. A fast start is important. Win the toss, take the ball, get a long kickoff return because Troy gives those up often, and go score.

Over the long haul, Troy's aggressiveness and chance taking on defense should give the Cowboys the big plays they need to fuel their offense. I love the addition of Crosslin to the backfield for this one as his pounding style will offset Toston and Hunter, and maybe, Savage.

The Cowboys defensively will have their hands full, but Troy has been known to turn the ball over and the OSU defense needs to be accepting those opportunities. It won't be a blow out like the games with FAU, but the Cowboys will keep their Sun Belt win streak alive and come home 2-1 to get ready for an early Big 12 opener with Texas Tech next Saturday.
Oklahoma State 38, Troy 17

Season Record on OSU: 1-1
Last Week's Prediction: OSU 38-6 (Final was 42-6)

Big 12 Predictions - Blow Out Weekend
Iowa 48, Iowa State 14
Texas 31, Central Florida 7
Oklahoma 63, Utah State 6
Baylor 28, Texas State 21
Texas A&M 41, Louisiana-Monroe 20
Kansas 47, Toledo 10
Kansas State 45, Missouri State
7 USC 35, Nebraska 14
Texas Tech 56, Rice 20
Florida State 23, Colorado 20
Missouri 54, Western Michigan 21
Season Record on Big 12: 19-3

Cowboys Non-Conference Opponents:
Georgia 45, Western Carolina 3
Minnesota 27, Florida Atlantic 17
North Dakota State 31, Sam Houston State 21
Season Record on Non-Conference Opponents: 5-1

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