Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Oklahoma State vs. McNeese State preview and prediction.
6:00 p.m. CT, Saturday, September 7, 2019. Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+ (Link below to sign up now!)
Home Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb, and Robert Allen)
WR Trevor Begue
The five foot eleven, 185 lb receiver is just the kind of player that causes nightmares in coverage for linebackers. The bigger, slower backers have a hard time keeping up with the smaller, jitterbug receivers, a trend that has even crept it’s way into the NFL of the last decade. Begue caught two tds in their game last week, so look for McNeese to try to take advantage of OSU’s lack of ability to pressure the QB combined with its banged up linebacker core to hit those short passes in the flats and over the middle.
The Running Backs
In their opener McNeese had four different backs log at least 11 carries. To knock off an opponent that overmatches you controlling the game is a must, and then run game is how you do that. If McNeese can find a way to have success rushing the ball, a four deep running back rotation keeping everyone fresh will help them to keep it going.
CW Jelani Woods
Part fullback and part tight end, the hybrid Cowboy Back has been hit and miss at Oklahoma State. There have been some success stories like Zac Veatch and Blake Jarwin (Jarwin is now an NFL tight end) in 2016, but mostly they have been relegated to blockers. Woods, a RS sophomore, is a six foot seven, 265 lb ex-quarterback who is athletic for his size. While still a work in progress he showed flashes last season and played well in the opener against Oregon State. He blocked well, and although he didn’t catch a pass he looked good running routes and was completely over-looked on one play by new QB Spencer Sanders on what would’ve been a sure touchdown with no defenders within 10 yards of him. A game like Saturday’s would be a good chance for the coaching staff to work on building a connection between their new passer and Woods, who could be another weapon for the powerful Cowboy offense.
LB/S Malcom Rodriguez
Rodriguez started at safety last season but due to a lack of depth due to injury he was forced to play linebacker in the season opener and will have to again in this weeks game. He played well enough, using his history as a state champion wrestle to log 9 tackles and using his safety speed in coverage. While OSU’s secondary is talented and experienced (less so without Rodriguez) the linebacker depth is thin even with Bundage and the defensive line is all new. If the injury to Calvin Bundage continues to linger Rodriguez needs all the reps he can get to improve and help an already weak defensive front.
McNeese forced 5 turnovers in its opener and should probably hope for something similar to happen in Stillwater for them to have a chance. Going against a RS freshmen QB in only his second start means that maybe with some luck and well timed blitzes they could force some poor passes and hope for the best. While it is rare for an FCS team to go on the road and beat a FBS team it dozens happen occasionally. Their were quite a few upsets in “paycheck games” last week, something I’m sure new head coach Sterlin Gilbert will point out to his team.
What can a storyline be for a the Cowboys like this? I’m one of the people who’s opinion is that the FBS schools shouldn’t play games against FCS schools. What you want is to get your starters some work and be them out early without injury. Work on a few things you need to work on (like the Jelani Woods connection I mentioned earlier) and then sit everyone down before half time. One thing OSU fans should hope to see is some QB pressure, especially from the defensive line. The Cowboys only recorded one sack against the Beavers and that was from a linebacker. If the defensive front can’t generate pressure on a completely overmatched team they are in serious trouble for the rest of the season.
Oklahoma State 59 McNeese 10
After being the only Big 12 team to play a Power 5 team on the opening week of the season OSU gets to knock around a little guy. Spencer Sanders goes for 250 combined yards total offense, Chuba Hubbard rushes for 150 yards and Tylan Wallace gets his first 100 yard receiving game, all before halftime. Dru Brown and the backups continue to run the score up after the break but a lot of it on the ground to keep the clock running.
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