Oklahoma State is playing its fourth consecutive game in the state of Texas, this time against an upstart program in Texas-San Antonio.
1. Will the receivers get more involved?
By far the biggest question/storyline/talking point that came out of OSU’s victory over Mississippi State was how the offense will change with new starting quarterback J.W. Walsh. The option play out of the three-back formation was super successful, but the receivers — arguably OSU’s deepest and most talented position group — rarely got involved. Josh Stewart was the leading pass-catcher with four grabs for 39 yards. Mike Yurcich’s task of meshing the run game with the Cowboys’ playmakers at receiver is the topic of my pregame story.
2. Can the Cowboys get off to a faster start?
OSU’s offense went nowhere with Clint Chelf and continued to struggle even when Walsh first came in the game. The Cowboy defense allowed an opening drive that lasted more than eight minutes and ended with three points. Both units will be looking for stronger first quarters.
3. Which reserves get solid playing time?
Stranger things have happened (see: Week 1 of college football), but this game figures to be over fairly early on. When do the Cowboys pull the starters, and who gets the bulk of the rest of the reps as a result? Does a No. 3 running back like Rennie Childs or Corion Webster make their Cowboy debut? How much does Chelf play? We should get a good look at a lot of newer faces.
Key matchup: UTSA OG Scott Inskeep vs. OSU DTs Calvin Barnett and James Castleman
For the second consecutive week, the best player on OSU’s opponent is an interior offensive lineman. Inskeep was a preseason All-Conference USA selection. The Cowboys’ front seven obviously handled Mississippi State’s formidable offensive line last week.
Uniform revelation: Orange helmet, white jersey, orange pants
I thought the Cowboys would go white-white-orange for the first true road game of the season, but they went with the same look they wore at Kansas State last November.
Final score prediction: OSU 45, UTSA 10
With Walsh behind center from the get-go, expect the OSU offense to find an early groove and cruise to victory.