Oklahoma State has not exactly impressed in its first two games of the season. An 11-point victory over Central Michigan and 24-point victory over Central Arkansas has some wondering where the Cowboys' high-powered offense has gone.
UTSA looked impressive in its opener against Arizona but took a step back last week against Kansas State. Make no mistake though, UTSA has not backed down in either game this season and has arguably played stiffer competition to this point than the Cowboys.
UTSA at Oklahoma State
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: Fox Sports 1
Spread: Oklahoma State -23.5
Three Things to Watch
1. UTSA QB Blake Bogenschutz
The Roadrunners' redshirt freshman quarterback looked great against Arizona in the opener. Although his completion percentage was under 60, he ended the day with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns. His performance last week against Kansas State. was not as good although he did not commit any turnovers. Blake has the ability to spread the ball. Oklahoma State allowed five plays over 20 yards against Central Michigan. UTSA may be able to effectively move the ball downfield against a Cowboys secondary that hasn’t truly been tested yet.
2. Oklahoma State rushing attack
The Cowboys have only averaged 158.5 rushing yards per game to this point in the season. With the Big 12 slate only a week away Oklahoma State will need to get that part of the offense on track. With only three rushing touchdowns, two of which came from quarterbacks, the Cowboys aren’t scaring anyone in the running game. Starting back Chris Carson is only averaging 3.6 yards per carry against defenses the Cowboys' line should have been able to dominate.
3. Oklahoma State defense
The Cowboys' defense has only allowed a total of 15 points this season. The unit also has been able to shut down rushing attacks, allowing only 85 total yards on the ground. Where the Oklahoma State defense will be tested against the Roadrunners is in the air. The Cowboys have not allowed either opponent to establish a run game this season. Don’t expect the Roadrunners to establish one this weekend either. However, UTSA has found success through the air. If that passing attack it had against Arizona shows up, Oklahoma State will need to be ready to defend over the top.
This will be the third straight year these two have met with the Cowboys winning both prior games. UTSA has the ability to move the ball through the air, but just like the Cowboys have not been able to find a running game.
Do not expect this to be a high-scoring game from either side. If the same UTSA team shows up this weekend that went into Manhattan last week you can expect the Cowboys to shut them down offensively.
Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph is starting to find his groove in the pocket and will be able to eventually wear down the UTSA defense. Regardless, I would not expect the Cowboys to be able to cover the spread.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 31, UTSA 10
— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.