5 Questions; Oklahoma State
1. Daxx Garman has filled in nicely since the injury of J.W. Walsh. What are his biggest strengths you've seen and what are some areas you see he needs to improve on? Garman, a fourth-year junior, will be playing in just his sixth game since 2009 (his junior year of high school) when OSU takes the field Saturday. Entering the TCU game, he ranks 13th nationally in yards per completion (14.79) and is 19th nationally in yards per attempt (8.56). That’s because Garman has a strong arm and throws the deep ball with more accuracy and touch than any OSU quarterback since Brandon Weeden. He has struggled in recent games with throwing the shorter routes and it was obvious he was nervous in the pocket when Kansas forced him into making some quick decisions last week by bringing pressure in the form of a blitzer. 2. Tyreek Hill is one of if not the most explosive player in the Big 12. How has Oklahoma State utilized his talents this season? I'm assuming he'll be doing plenty of vertical routes this weekend. Hill is one of the fastest players in all of college football, if not the fastest. He touched the ball just four times in last week’s win over Kansas, including the game-winning 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Cowboys used Hill at running back and receiver through the first five games of the season but don’t be surprised if he lines up exclusively at receiver against the Horned Frogs. All his speed and Garman’s accuracy throwing the long ball could be a good weapon don’t be surprised if the Cowboys attempt to get the ball into Hill’s hands in space (quick slants, bubble screens, etc.) this weekend. 3. This will be a reunion of sorts for OSU and Doug Meacham and other former assistants now on TCU's staff. Has Mike Gundy spoke of any challenges he sees defending an offense ran by one of his former coaches? Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer and Meacham became good friends while working together on Gundy’s staff. When asked earlier this week if he was going to try to get inside Meacham’s head on Saturday, Spencer laughed and answered, “I don’t know if I want to get inside his head.” The play calling of Meacham against Spencer’s knowledge of TCU’s offense will be interesting to watch. OSU forced more turnovers (163) from 2009 to 2013 than any FBS team in the nation. However, the Cowboys have only forced seven turnovers through six games. Getting some takeaways against the Horned Frogs will be a priority, although TCU ranks seventh in turnover margin (1.40 per game). 4. Oklahoma State's defense doesn't have a big name, rather it's a collection of good players at each position. What are the biggest strengths on the defensive side of the ball for the Cowboys. The Cowboys strength on defense starts up front with tackles James Castleman and Of a Hautau and ends Jimmy Bean and Emmanuel Ogbah. Castleman (6-2, 302) and Hautau (6-2, 290) don’t have eye-popping numbers but they do their job, which is to control the line of scrimmage. Bean, a junior who played at Denton Guyer, has developed into a playmaker for the Cowboys defense, registering 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in his last nine games. Ogbah, a redshirt sophomore from Houston (George Bush HS), is coming off a record-setting day against KU in which he registered 5.5 tackles for loss, the most by an OSU player in a single game and the most for any player in the country this season. But don’t overlook Josh Furman, a transfer from Michigan, whose five sacks leads all Big 12 linebackers and ranks him sixth among all linebackers nationally. 5. What are your keys for Oklahoma State to get out of Ft. Worth with a victory? The Cowboys have scored 20 or more points in 58 consecutive games dating back to the start of the 2010 season. That streak is the longest active streak in the country and the second-longest since Division I split into the FBS/FCS in 1978 (trailing only USC’s 63 straight games of 20 or more points from Sept. 2, 2002 through Nov. 25, 2006). Garman and the Cowboys offense must keep that streak alive Saturday, and scoring early and often will be important. Tyreek Hill must be more involved in the game plan, similar to how he was used in the season opener when he gashed defending national champion Florida State for 278 all-purpose yards. Defensively, Glenn Spencer must find a way to slow down Doug Meacham’s offense, and the Cowboys have to find a way to come up with some big turnovers. OSU has won eight straight and 22 of its last 25 games over teams from Texas. Since 2009, the Cowboys are 19-7 on the road, including a 16-6 record in road games against Big 12 opponents.
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