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Point/counterpoint: If Zac Robinson doesn't play, can OSU win with a conservative approach?

By Brandon Chatmon and John Helsley, Staff Writers Modified: November 19, 2009 at 9:34 am •  Published: November 19, 2009

If Zac Robinson doesn’t play, can OSU win with an ultra-conservative approach?
→Brandon Chatmon: OSU’s rushing dominance the past few weeks leaves no doubt in my mind that they can win this game with a conservative approach. The Pokes’ offensive line is one of the best in the Big 12, and they have been proving it over and over this season. Just give the ball to Keith Toston and Kendall Hunter, then let your defense do the rest.

→John Helsley: No doubt, the Cowboys’ run game has no peer in the Big 12. But much of that stems from Robinson’s presence, either throwing or running himself. A one-dimensional OSU offense might not be so difficult to defend.

→Chatmon: That’s what makes Kendall Hunter’s return to near-full strength so important. Toston will be tough and physical, while Hunter will be shifty and explosive. The Pokes were three-dimensional against Texas Tech. If they’re two-dimensional against Colorado, they should win.

→Helsley: That’s one dimension — running. At some point, the Cowboys are going to have to hit some passes, because there’s bound to be a Buffalo herd around the line of scrimmage. Not saying Alex Cate can’t pass, he just hasn’t had much of a chance, which may be regrettable tonight.

→Chatmon: Even if that is one dimension, I’d rather that than having Cate try to learn on the fly. The Pokes’ defense has proven it can force turnovers, so run the football and let the defense win the game if need be. You don’t want a situation where Cate’s inexperience comes back to haunt you and gives the Buffs life they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

→Helsley: Sounds like a low-scoring, tight game. Sounds risky, too. It guarantees the scuffling Buffs will be sticking around, when they could be ripe for routing. The Cowboys have the firepower. They should use it.