OSU-Sam Houston State Matchups & Prediction

Robert Allen breaks down Saturday's game against Sam Houston State, and former Oklahoma Sooner Rhett Bomar, and gives his thoughts on the three key matchups in the game. Kickoff for the Cowboy-Bearkats matchup is 6:05 p.m. (Central time).

Three Most Dangerous Bearkats
1. Rhett Bomar, QB
2. Chris Brown, DE
3. Justin Wells, WR

Three Most Important Matchups
1. OSU Defense vs. Sam Houston Offense
If Oklahoma State faced the nation's premier spread offense in Texas Tech last week and a lesser but still potent spread that is more balanced in Troy the week before then Sam Houston will be a lesser version of the spread, in both talent and scheme. The Bearkats are a talented offense in the Championship Subdivision (I-AA), but don't have the overall talent of Troy or Texas Tech. In scheme they are more simple, using the zone read as their primary running play along with sweeps and zone runs. The passing game consists of screens, crossing routes (a problem for the Cowboys especially against Troy), and few veticals.

This is a situation where the Cowboy defense needs to show some improvement and gain some confidence before going back into Big 12 play. This should especially be useful for the linebackers which absolutely have to improve in short pass coverage and still be ready to come up and stop the run.
Advantage: OSU Defense

2. OSU Punt Unit vs. Sam Houston Punt Return Unit
Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest has re-worked the punt coverage unit and changed out personnel. There wasn't much of a test last week against Tech with a total of two punts for each team. The hope is OSU doesn't have many punts against the Bearkats, but SHS does have a good return unit with speedy Stanley Garrett (13.0 yards per return). So, if the Cowboys do have to punt this will be a good test for the coverage unit to show they have that situation under control.
Advantage: OSU Punt Unit

3. OSU Tackles and Tight Ends vs. Sam Houston DE Chris Brown
Brown is a former Texas Longhorn who is especially explosive with tackles for losses and sacks, so before getting back in Big 12 play he will give the edge of the OSU offensive line some challenging work.
Advantage: OSU Tackles and Tight Ends

OSU-Sam Houston Prediction
The Bearkats are a good team at their level, but Oklahoma State must use the momentum from last week's win over Texas Tech and push it forward to get ready for the key stretch of A&M and Nebraska in back to back road games. No looking ahead, just a strong, polishing performance in beating the Bearkats.
Oklahoma State 45, Sam Houston State 14
Season Record on OSU: 1-3
Last Week's Prediction: Texas Tech 31-27 (Final was OSU 49-45)

Big 12 Predictions
@Texas Tech 69 Northwestern State 20
@Texas A&M 24 Baylor 20
Oklahoma 38 @Colorado 14
@Nebraska 35 Iowa State 12
@Texas 27 Kansas State 10
Season Record on Big 12: 37-5

Cowboys Non-Conference Opponents:
@Georgia 31 Ole Miss 7 @Kentucky 41 Florida Atlantic 21 @Troy 45 Louisiana-Monroe 14 Season Record on Non-Conference Opponents: 10-2

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