The Oklahoma State Cowboys manhandled the McNeese State Cowboys 56-14 on Saturday to move to 2-0 on the season, and they continue to be a heavy favorite this week as they travel up the road to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane.
The Cowboys head into this weekend a two-touchdown favorite, and while the defense looked much better on Saturday, it came against an FCS foe without much firepower on the offensive side of the ball. As for Oklahoma State’s offense, they failed to scored until the very end of the first period, but they picked it up in the second quarter to get the ball rolling. Still, there are some areas the Cowboys can work on if they want to keep getting better in preparation for conference play.
The fact that it took Oklahoma State nearly an entire quarter of football to score an offensive touchdown against an FCS school isn’t exactly comforting, but the rest of the game went pretty smoothly as they racked up plenty of touchdowns.
This week, the Cowboys need to get to work early rather than taking their sweet time to put up some points. Being a two-touchdown favorite is nice, but this is the type of game that could just as easily go south for Oklahoma State as it could go in their favor.
Tulsa isn’t exactly a scoring machine, but their defense has been admirable through two games so far. Simply put, the Cowboys need to get on the scoreboard as early as possible.
Grind It Out on the Ground
The Cowboys are averaging over 250 rushing yards through two games so far. By contract, the Golden Hurricane has allowed just a little over 100 yards of rushing per contest through two games.
Chuba Hubbard received plenty of rest last week as he rushed the ball just 8 times for 44 yards and a touchdown. This was a stark contrast from his performance in the season opener against Oregon State where he ran the ball 26 times for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Oklahoma State needs Hubbard to have at least have a game somewhere in the middle of his first two performances of the season so far. If Chuba can rack up at least 100 yards rushing and a touchdown or so, then they will be off to a good start.
Also, don’t forget about Spencer Sanders’s rushing ability. Sanders is one of the top rushing quarterbacks in the country so far, averaging 80 yards on the ground per game, and as Hubbard opens up the running lanes, it will make the job much easier for Sanders, whether he’s throwing the ball or running it himself.
Keep Improving Up Front
For the second week in a row, the Cowboy offensive line allowed Spencer Sanders to be sacked just once. In 14 games last season, Oklahoma State allowed 1 or no sacks just twice, allowing quarterback Taylor Cornelius to be sacked a total of 34 times. To say there are improvements already might be overstating things, but they definitely do not appear to have gotten any worse.
Sanders deserves some credit, as he’s quite the elusive runner when he needs to be, but the line has done a decent job of improving already. After allowing 9 tackles for loss against Oregon State in the season opener, McNeese State managed to tally just 3 tackles for loss against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
The competition is only going to get tougher as the season progresses, and the line is going to be key to any success that the Cowboys will end up having. If they can continue to improve week by week, then this offense could very well be one of the most dangerous in the country, let alone the conference.