OSU is closing the talent gap with Nebraska

The Cowboys can match the Cornhuskers' athleticism at several positions.
By Brandon Chatmon, Staff Writer, bchatmon@opubco.com Modified: October 20, 2010 at 8:24 pm •  Published: October 20, 2010

STILLWATER — The Nebraska Cornhuskers will always have talent.

The allure of playing at a tradition-rich program and the Sea of Red known as Lincoln Memorial Stadium on Saturdays in the fall are easy draws for high school recruits.

Nebraska holds a 36-5-1 all-time lead in their series with Oklahoma State thanks in large part to their superior athletes and depth throughout the roster.

But when the Huskers face OSU for their final meeting as a Big 12 Conference foes, the Cowboys might match the talent and athleticism Nebraska will bring to the table, especially at the skill positions.

"We have awfully good athletes," defensive coordinator Bill Young said before the season. "Speed is much better on this football team than it used to be."

The talent throughout the OSU roster has been on the rise under coach Mike Gundy, and the Cowboys recruiting class of 2010 has upgraded the speed and athleticism on the roster.

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden are both unique talents. Martinez's acceleration is what makes him special, and he has great straight-line speed. Weeden's arm is what makes him special. He can throw any pass needed from touch passes to bullet passes, and he has good accuracy. Weeden gets the nod based on his consistent production. Advantage: OSU

Running back: Husker running backs Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead are a terrific 1-2 punch. But OSU running backs Kendall Hunter and Joseph Randle are even better. And more versatile. Advantage: OSU

Receiver: OSU's Justin Blackmon is a midseason All-American, but the Cowboys are looking for other wideouts to step up. Niles Paul is solid for Nebraska, but the Huskers have combined for the same number of receptions (57) as Blackmon. Advantage: OSU

Offensive line: Both lines have been solid. The Pokes lead the Big 12 in total offense, scoring offense and passing offense. Nebraska leads the Big 12 in rushing offense. None of that success happens without quality play up front. Advantage: Even

Overall advantage: OSU

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