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John Helsley: OSU-Texas A&M winner will take 'major step forward' in Big 12 race

by John Helsley Modified: August 2, 2011 at 11:25 am •  Published: August 2, 2011

The Oklahoman's Oklahoma State basketball and football beat writer John Helsley answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch chat. Read the entire chat recap here. Participate in our Power Lunch chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at

On OSU's game vs. Texas A&M in College Station:

Patrick, that's one of the key swing games of the season, not just for OSU, but certainly for A&M and the entire Big 12. The winner of that game takes a major step forward in the league race. Among OSU's road games, that one is the toughest. Mizzou, Tech and Texas have issues. So yes, their chances rise significantly if they win in College Station.

On potential breakout players for the Cowboys in 2011:

On defense, watch out for LBs Tyler Johnson and Alex Elkins, the projected replacements for Lemon and Gent. Those guys are critical, with Caleb Lavey also in the mix with Johnson at MLB. The young DTs, Castleman and Mustafa, will be given a chance to contribute. On offense, much is set, but JUCO OL Michael Bowie is a stud and could start before long.

Chat Recap: John Helsley Blog: A&M on the Cowboys' radar

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