Looking ahead, back: Is Zac Robinson poised to breakout?
By John Helsley
A look back and ahead at five key factors for Cowboys football:
1) Dee-fense! From the moment coordinator Bill Young was hired, we all wondered if he could pull off a makeover of the OSU defense. Consider it done, although that doesn’t mean it’ll always look as easy as it did against Georgia. These Cowboys tackle better than any in recent memory. Hit harder, too.
2) TEs will contribute. Brandon Pettigrew graduated to the NFL and projected replacement Jamal Mosley skipped town, leaving the Cowboys carrying question marks at tight end. Wilson Youman and Justin Horton relieved some concerns, each contributing big catches against the Dawgs. Expect more as the pair gains comfort and confidence.
3) Cox clamps down. Perrish Cox may finally be realizing the full potential expected when he was a coup recruit out of Waco. He shut off a quadrant of the field Saturday, helping limit Georgia stud wideout A.J. Green.
4) Zac’s mulligan. Not sharp in his 2009 debut, Zac Robinson still had a hand in all three Cowboys TDs, connecting with Dez Bryant for two scores through the air and sneaking for the other. OSU coach Mike Gundy pointed to inconsistent practicing for Robinson in the preseason, due to a minor leg injury. There’s a good chance, too, that the Georgia defense will prove to be stout. Look for Robinson to break out this week.
5) Orange appeal. OSU has been stepping out of its muddled football past for a few seasons now. Saturday was a major leap, on the field and off. The Cowboys won a huge game, for sure. But the atmosphere in and around the stadium, before the game, during and after, was like none ever seen in Stillwater. It’s a new day for Cowboys football.
1) Spread the faith. Wrote about it today, Houston will pose a new — and difficult — challenge for Young and his defense. The Cowboys bowed up and played tough against the Dawgs, who were massive up front. The Cougars will spread the field and finesse the field with speed and in-space plays. This will be a good indicator of how OSU will fare against the best offenses in the Big 12.
2) QB alert. Cowboys fans should know this from a year ago, Houston QB Case Keenum is good, seriously good. Wrote a bit about him today, too. Just one game into his junior season, he ranks in the top five nationally in four key career categories – passing efficiency (No. 4, 158.21); completion percentage (No. 3, 68.05); passing yards (No. 2, 282.9); and total yards (No. 1, 306.3).
3) BCS buster. The Cougars could be the favorite in Conference USA’s West Division. But they want more. They want to join the BCS-buster mix, along with Boise State, Utah and BYU. This is their chance.
4) Back on track. OSU’s offense should get back to looking like the dynamic force it was a year ago. Houston wasn’t good on defense a year ago and has had to replace seven starters. Robinson, Kendall Hunter and Bryant go off.
5) Pay attention. So much was put into the opener with Georgia — players who lost in Athens had circled the date for two years –it’ll be interesting to see how the Cowboys control their emotions. This is no time to relax, not even for a minute. The Cougars are a team that demands your attention. Upsets happen, more and more.
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