Colorado is young up front with a junior, a sophomore, a redshirt freshman and a true freshman starting on the line. However, the linebackers are veterans with Jeff Smart and Marcus Burton being seniors and good players, along with junior B.J. Beatty at the strongside backer.
The Buffs have forced turnovers and have created some havoc, but they also have allowed an average of 156 yards a game rushing and 374 yards on the whole, along with nearly 29 points a game. Oklahoma State averages 33.1 points a game.
It's time to exploit the Buffs defense. Keith Toston and Kendall Hunter must run and run a lot, and the passing game needs to click. Blocking and balance are the offensive watch words for Thursday night.
It is no fault of Rodney Stewart. The sophomore back ran off California "hot shot" Derrick Scott with his performance. Stewart, who has been coined "Speedy" by Colorado play-by-play man Mark Johnson, is averaging 74.8 yards a game. He has nine rushing touchdowns.
Those numbers need not grow Thursday tonight as Stewart needs to have plenty of face to face encounters with the likes of Donald Booker, Andre Sexton, and Patrick Lavine, who does make tackles when he is not swiping opposing passes. If the Cowboys will hold Stewart to his average or below the Colorado will lack the needed balance and the Cowboys can tee off some and have some fun.
These guys have a lot to play for besides their final home game in their career. We are talking an 11-win season, most ever at Oklahoma State, and a BCS bowl bid.
Colorado has tight end Riar Geer, fullback Jake Behrens, cornerback Cha'pelle Brown, strong safety Benjamin Burney, punter Matt DiLallo, and linebackers Marcus Burton and Jeff Smart that start and now their senior season is resigned to trying to play spoiler for Oklahoma State and Nebraska.
A couple of wills at work here. The Cowboys have to have the stronger will. They have to lead their team better and more effectively than Colorado. They have to.
Big 12 Predictions
This Week's Games
Oklahoma 17, @Texas Tech 14
@Texas 41, Kansas 20
@Missouri 31, Iowa State 20
@Texas A&M 28, Baylor 27
@Nebraska 30, Kansas State 21
Last Week's Games
@Kansas State 26, Missouri 20
Nebraska 17, @Kansas 9
Texas 45, @Baylor 14
@Iowa State 24, Colorado 13
@Oklahoma 38, Texas A&M 21
@Oklahoma State 28, Texas Tech 20
Note: Games that involved FCS teams did not have lines