Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the UCF Knights.
Saturday, November 11; 2:30 p.m. (CT); FBC Mortgage Stadium; Orlando, FL
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb, and Robert Allen); AM 740/FM 96.9 The Game (Marc Daniels, Gary Parris, Scott Adams)
Records: Oklahoma State 7-2 (5-1 Big 12); UCF 4-5 (1-5 Big 12)
Rankings: Oklahoma State No. 15 (CFP); UCF not ranked
Series History: First-ever meeting
Last Meeting: N/A
Line: Oklahoma State (-3.0)
Fun Fact: Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon (12) and UCF running back RJ Harvey (9) rank first and second in the Big 12 in rushing touchdowns for the 2023 season.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
RB Ollie Gordon
Where else could we possibly start with this team? Ollie Gordon’s emergence as the top running back in the country has elevated Oklahoma State’s ceiling exponentially, making the Pokes a real threat to win the Big 12 Championship. Gordon leads the nation with 1,224 yards on the ground and has 12 rushing touchdowns on the season. As a legitimate Heisman contender, Gordon will carry Oklahoma State as far as his legs will take them.
LB Nickolas Martin
As one of, if not the best linebacker in the Big 12, Nickolas Martin has been at the heart of Oklahoma State’s defensive resurgence in conference play. Martin leads the Big 12 with 92 tackles on the season, but also ranks second with 11.5 tackles for loss, and fifth in the conference with 5.0 sacks. This week against a formidable rushing attack, Martin will be very busy and should have a chance to build on tackle lead.
QB John Rhys Plumlee
Oklahoma State has struggled at times with mobile quarterbacks this season, which spells major trouble with John Rhys Plumlee up next on the docket. Plumlee hasn’t been fully healthy since Week 2, but he’s still plenty mobile enough to hurt teams with his legs. With 5.2 yards per carry and four rushing TDs, including one in each of UCF’s last three games, Plumlee will be a player to watch against OSU.
DE Tre’Von Morris-Brash
Tre’Von Morris-Brash has been a game-wrecker this season, and has spent more time than anyone in opposing teams’ backfields. Morris-Brash leads the Big 12 and ranks second nationally with 16.5 tackles for loss, and is tied for the conference lead in sacks with 8.5 on the year. With Ollie Gordon being the focus offensively for the Pokes, Morris-Brash will have to pick his spots to make an impact on Alan Bowman in the passing game.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Can Oklahoma State come back down from the emotional win over their in-state rivals last week? It was one of the biggest wins in recent memory and meant so much to the folks in Stillwater, but they’ll be halfway across the country this week to play UCF in Orlando. Vegas only has OSU favored by 3.0 points here, which means they’re looking at a potential letdown spot here. If they can avoid a slip-up, OSU will be one game closer to a Big 12 title game berth.
Can the Knights stop Ollie Gordon? Taking down Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium has been difficult in the past, but the Bearcats are down bad this season and still managed 248 yards (5.8 ypc) on the ground. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is one of the hottest teams in the country, and has been running the ball better than anyone as of late. That spells trouble for a UCF defense that has been among the worst nationally against the run.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 38, UCF 35
This game has all kinds of weird numbers heading into the matchup, and it’s certainly something that had me thinking about taking the Knights in an upset. With Vegas only giving the Pokes a field goal, and FPI picking UCF to win 52.8% of the time, this feels like a trap game for Oklahoma State. However, after seeing Ollie Gordon continue to be inevitable week-in and week-out, I don’t think UCF is the team that knocks him off the tracks. While UCF will have plenty of firepower offensively, I think Ollie is just too much for the Knights in the end and carries OSU to a close victory on the road.