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Pokes Preview: Oklahoma State returns home to face Kansas State

Gina Mizell Modified: October 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm •  Published: October 5, 2013

 

After a shocking loss at West Virginia last week, Oklahoma State returns home to face Kansas State in what has become a very, very interesting game for the Cowboys.

Three questions

Who plays?

Sounds like a really simplified question. But it’s a legit one. Do Josh Stewart and/or Jhajuan Seales miss the game with a head injury? Does Justin Gilbert sit out any length of time as further punishment for his ejection in Morgantown? Does Desmond Roland (or Rennie Childs) get more carries? Who plays right guard? Do we see Clint Chelf if J.W. Walsh really struggles again (doubtful, in my opinion). Lots of personnel things to keep track of early and often.

Are those mistakes really “correctable?”

After the West Virginia loss, the buzzwords were “mistakes” and “correctable.” And lots of them–penalties, dropped passes–are, I think. But some of them–Walsh’s arm, offensive line woes–I’m not so sure. And what does Mike Yurcich’s play calling look like? We’ll start to see today.

How do the Cowboys defend Tyler Lockett?

Lockett is one of the most electric weapons in the conference, both on offense and special teams. Does defending Lockett become Gilbert’s sole responsibility, or do the Cowboys throw some interesting coverage looks out there? This will also test Kip Smith on kickoffs and the Cowboys’ coverage unit, which has been very good so far this season.

Key matchup: Kansas State front seven vs. OSU offensive line

The Wildcats no longer have Arthur Brown and no longer have a particularly strong defense. But they–and every team here on out–are likely to load the box and force Walsh to move the ball with his arm. Walsh was forced to scramble a lot last week when the pocket collapsed, which contributed to some erratic throws. And can this line open holes for whoever carries the football? This Cowboy offense needs balance.

Uniform prediction: Orange helmet (OSU logo), black jersey, orange pants

This is a look I’ve been pinpointing for a long time. Yet I’ve missed on all predictions so far, so take that for what you wish…

Final score prediction: OSU 34, K-State 23

My bold prediction in the newspaper: Blake Jackson has his best game as a Cowboy, tallying more than 100 yards and a touchdown.