Here is everything you need to know about the Week 1 showdown in Stillwater, Oklahoma between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Missouri State Bears.
7:00 CT | Thursday, August 30, 2018 | Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: FS1 (Joel Klatt, Gus Johnson, Jenny Taft)
Local Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, Dave Holcomb, and Robert Allen)
Internet Radio: https://okla.st/osutunein
QB Taylor Cornelius
With Mason Rudolph moving on to the NFL after leading the nation in passing and rewriting the Oklahoma State record books last season all eyes are now on the fifth year senior and four year Rudolph back up. No one knows much about Cornelius, he’s only thrown 10 career passes, but the coaching staff and his teammates have nothing to say but good things. He’s more athletic than Rudolph is and WR Jalen McCleskey said at media days he might have a stronger arm as well. He should shine against an outmatched opponent but if he doesn’t Gundy might have to start rethinking his loyalty to the long time Cowboy.
WR Tyron Johnson
The Cowboys have talent and depth at receiver but with Biletnikoff Award winner James Washington and Marcel “Throw It To Me On Third Down” Ateman moving on to the NFL there is a need for a receiver to step up and become the man the quarterbacks look to when they need to make a play. Johnson was a five star recruit that originally went to LSU but transferred to Stillwater after just one season. He showed flashes last season but struggled to find his place in a crowded position group. His best game was on the biggest stage though, stepping up and playing great in Bedlam when Washington went out with injury. While Missouri State is in no way like playing the Sooners there shouldn’t be an athlete on their defense that can stop him. This would be a great game for him to show that he’s finally bought in and become aplayer that can dominate.
Let us be honest with ourselves here: there are no storylines in this game beyond watching what the new OSU starters look like in an actual game. Even then what does beating up on an FCS team really show us about a Power 5 team? Oklahoma State and most of the Big 12 really need to do a better job of scheduling non conference games. I understand wanting a tune up game but that can be done against Group of 5 teams without having to dip into the lower division and paying a team to come in and get destroyed by 50 points.
OSU 55 , Missouri State 21
Mike Gundy never opens up the playbook for games like this and sometimes it bites him like it did against Central Michigan a few seasons ago. The Bears are not the Chippewas though and it would take nothing short of an act of God for them to win in Stillwater. The Cowboys will run the same six plays over and over again, pound the ball with Justice Hill and JD King and let Corndog throw some easy passes. This will keep the score lower than it could be and hopefully get the game over without injury. Missouri State is just outmatched here and will score late after the Cowboys have the 2nd and 3rd strings in to make it seem closer than it actually was. The most interesting part of the game will probably be when either Dru Brown or Spencer Sanders comes in to relieve Cornelius, and I personally hope for a Cuba Hubbard sighting.