TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Beating up on Savannah State in its opener gave No. 18 Oklahoma State a nice confidence boost, allowed everyone but the ball boys a chance to get into a game.
But can anything really be gained in beating a team 84-0? Probably not much. The Cowboys may have gotten more out of their spring game than by pummeling the overmatched Tigers.
"It's hard to really say where we are as a football team," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said.
That should change this week.
A week after their most lopsided win since World War I, the Cowboys get their first real test of the season in the desert against Arizona and new coach Rich Rodriguez.
The Wildcats may not have a lot of depth on defense, but they'll certainly put up more of a fight than Savannah State. Arizona also is athletic, plays at a snap-as-quick-as-you-get-it pace and has Rodriguez's unique offense, even if they are still trying to get the nuances down.
A team from a BCS conference, on the road, in the heat of the desert — yeah, this will be a much better gauge of where the Cowboys stand.
"This will be a good challenge for our guys to play on the road with some of the younger players to see how they handle being away from home," Gundy said. "We definitely have our work cut out for us."
It goes the other way, too.
The Wildcats are facing a big step up in competition after a so-so game against Toledo in their opener.
Arizona rolled up 624 total yards, second-most in school history, but didn't finish off the Rockets until Matt Scott hit Terrence Miller on a 10-yard touchdown pass in overtime and the defense held.
The Wildcats had three turnovers, two touchdowns called back by penalties and kicker John Bonano missed two short field goals, including what would have been a winning 25-yarder at the end of regulation. The miscues led Arizona to go 1 of 4 inside the 20-yard line, which won't work against a talented team like the Cowboys.
"It's going to be a great challenge for us," Arizona center Kyle Quinn said. "They are a well-established program with great coaches and athletes."
These teams will be meeting for the third straight year. Oklahoma State has dominated the series by jumping on Arizona from the start, outscoring the Wildcats 44-7 in the first half on the way to a 36-10 win in the 2010 Alamo Bowl and 37-14 victory last season in Stillwater.
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