Oklahoma State receiver Josh Cooper could make a huge impact when the Cowboys host Nebraska on Saturday. The junior receiver is OSU's second-leading receiver with 27 receptions for 297 yards and one touchdown.
With Nebraska likely to play a lot of man coverage, Cooper should have the opportunity to make plays opposite Justin Blackmon.
"As a receiver you have to look forward to the one-on-one matchups you get," Cooper said. "It gives you the opportunity if you get the ball in space to run away from them."
If the Huskers choose to double Blackmon, the nation's leading receiver, it will leave OSU's other receivers in one-on-one situations.
"They play a lot of man and will be keying in on Blackmon pretty good," Cooper said. "Hopefully, I can work them over the middle with some routes."
OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden already has shown confidence in Cooper. The Cowboys quarterback throws the ball to Cooper an average of 6.4 times per game this season, second only to Blackmon on the Pokes' roster.
In a span of a week, OSU will go from facing Texas Tech, ranked No. 6 nationally in pass offense, to facing Nebraska, ranked No. 4 nationally in rushing offense.
"It's a task, changing from Texas Tech who passed the ball to someone who runs the ball," defensive tackle Chris Donaldson. "You have to switch your demeanor in a matter of two or three days."
FIRST BIG TEST
Nebraska's offense brings a first of the season for OSU's defense: An offense that relies on its running game for most of its success.
"The game is going to come down to how well myself, (Shane) Jarka, Nigel (Nicholas), Cooper (Bassett), the guys in the middle, how well we handle the run," Donaldson said. "We have to get our pads low, drive them back and make plays. That's what's going to determine how well we do this weekend."
Donaldson has been very solid this season with 11 tackles, including two for loss and a sack. His ability to get penetration into the Nebraska offensive backfield will be a key on Saturday.
"I pride myself on being a run stopper," he said. "I'm going to try to do my best to hold up that reputation this Saturday."
BLACKMON EARNS ANOTHER HONOR
Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon was named AT&T All-America Player of the Week on Thursday. Blackmon had 10 catches for a career-high 207 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys' 34-17 win over Texas Tech last Saturday.
Blackmon received the most votes from fans who participated in the voting, winning the closest vote this season. He finished ahead of Wisconsin running back John Clay, Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline and USC quarterback Matt Barkley.