A week ago, if you asked me, I would have said that the Oklahoma State Cowboys could beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but it wouldn’t be easy.
Today, I say the Cowboys (6-0, 2-0), ranked No.14 in the initial BCS standings released earlier this week, should cruise to their seventh win this year with ease when they wplay host to Big 12 conference rival No. 16 Nebraska, (5-1, 1-1) on Saturday.
Because Nebraska’s got weaknesses, and they have been exposed. Last Saturday, Nebraska, who at the time was the No. 5 team in the nation, was defeated for the first time in 2010. The Cornhuskers fell victim to a Texas Longhorn team that is having an off year (4-2, 2-1), to say the least.
And the Cowboys need to take advantage while the Cornhuskers lick their wounds.
The matchup to watch will of course be the Cowboys’ high flying offense, against the Cornhuskers’ stout defense, both of which are ranked in the Top 10 in the country.
To put it simply, the Cowboys’ offense finds the endzone and they find it often, both passing and running. The 34 points Oklahoma State put on the board against the Texas Tech Red Raiders last Saturday continued the team’s streak of scoring more than 30 points a game during the 2010 campaign.
Whether it’s by air with wide receiver Justn Blackmon (995 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns) or by ground with senior running back Kendall Hunter (830 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns), coach Mike Gundy has provided quarterback Brandon Weeden with options in the team’s scoring endeavours.
But, Oklahoma State has not seen a D like the Nebraska D, which is allowing opposing teams to average only 14 points a game. Only the Washington Huskies of the Pac-10 scored more than 20 points against the Cornhuskers this year. They scored 21.
Weeden and his receiving corps., led by Blackmon, could have the toughest day, as Nebraska’s passing defense is No. 1 in the conference, allowing opponents just a 98 passing yard average, well below the Cowboys’ 361 yards-per-game average this year.
So it will be a test.
On the other side of the ball, the Oklahoma State defense has one task, and one task only; contain frosh quarterback Taylor Martinez. After Michigan freshman Denard Robinson, Martinez is the best field general on wheels in the nation.
This year, Martinez has thrown for 723 yards and three touchdowns. Not too bad for a freshman.
But it’s what he has done with his feet that has college football fans around the country gawking; 758 yards, which leads the team in rushing, to go along with 12 touchdowns.
However, Martinez proved to be human against Texas, who held him to just 21 yards rushing on 13 attempts and no touchdowns. And the Cowboys’ defense proved it can handle tall orders, allowing a pretty good Red Raider offense just 17 points.
On Saturday, Oklahoma State has a very good opportunity to not just take hold of the Big 12 South, but to announce to the entire conference and the nation that the Black and Orange have arrived.
About the Author
Written by Joe O'Connell
I live in Massachusetts and currently write news articles for a local newspaper. I love sports and covered college football while working as sports editor for my college's student newspaper. I am hoping that this blog can help me get back into the swing of things of covering all sports.