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Gina Mizell: Expect a double-digit win for Oklahoma State

Gina Mizell Published: August 28, 2013

Oklahoma State beat writer Gina Mizell took questions this afternoon from readers, with much of the conversation surrounding the Cowboys highly anticipated opener this weekend against Mississippi State. Here's the transcript:

Sports Desk 10:47 a.m. Hey everybody. Welcome to a GAME WEEK Power Lunch live chat. It's sure nice to say that, and to know we'll be writing and reporting on actual football games (rather than just preseason projections and such) come Saturday. Already see some good questions lined up...but keep them coming. I'll be back in 10 minutes or so.
Gina Mizell 10:47 a.m. And I obviously forgot to change my display name. Clearly not in mid-season form yet. Hi, friends :-)
Gina Mizell 11:01 a.m. Ok, let's go.
LomPoke 11:01 a.m. Can't believe it's almost here!!!! What's your score prediction for Saturday?
Gina Mizell 11:03 a.m. My score prediction is OSU 38-26. A double-digit victory, but quite the two-touchdown victory Vegas thinks.
Sebastian 11:03 a.m. Your guess at the starting 5 offensive lineman.
Gina Mizell 11:04 a.m. I would guess Graham would move back to LT, at least initially. The rest? Webb, Jenkins, Grisbhy and Koenig. But, as you know, Joe Wickline will mix and match.
Guest 11:04 a.m. I feel like people are sleeping on Miss State a little this weekend, shrugging it off like it's an auto win. They could give us some problems.
Gina Mizell 11:07 a.m. It's definitely a bigger challenge than Savannah State or a typical cupcake opener. Mississippi State has a big O Line, a potential NFL QB and a 1,000-yard rusher in the backfield. So you're right. But the Bulldogs have big holes at WR and CB, and I think those play into OSU's favor. Like my score prediction suggests, I don't think it'll be a blowout. It might even be close for the first three quarters. But I ultimately think it'll be a double-digit win.
Bear 11:07 a.m. At the end of the season, who will lead OSU in passing, who will be second in rushing and who will be 1, 2 and 3 in receiving?
Gina Mizell 11:09 a.m. Wow, detailed question! I'm going to give you some boring answers though. Lead in passing: Chelf. Second in rushing: Roland. 1, 2, 3 in receiving: Tracy Moore, Josh Stewart, Jhajuan Seales. The No. 3 receiver is the one I'm least sure about...lots of candidates for that spot.
GoPokes 11:09 a.m. Ateman has been taking reps with the 1s and 2s according to Coach Gundy on his radio show this week. What are the chances he takes over Charlie Moore's spot on the depth chart?
Gina Mizell 11:13 a.m. It's a possibility, though I think Seales and Brandon Sheperd will push for that job, as well. Here's another scenario: Tracy Moore moves back inside, Ateman takes that spot and Blake Jackson ends up being the one getting bumped out of the starting lineup. So that would leave you with a starting four of Ateman-Stewart-T. Moore-C. Moore (or Seales/Sheperd). But you're right, Ateman has really impressed. We had a story in Tuesday's paper with comments from Parker Graham that compared Ateman to Dez Bryant. High praise.
GoPokes 11:13 a.m. MSU's got some big fellas on their O-line. Do you think OSU has the depth to not get worn down as the game goes on?
Gina Mizell 11:14 a.m. The Bulldogs certainly do. The "mass up front" is the first thing Gundy and Spencer mentioned when talking about Mississippi State's offense. Gundy said he's happy with the DT talent and depth for the first time during his tenure as head coach. Barnett and Castleman certainly make up a formidable duo. It will be interesting to watch the DE spots and how that all shakes out Saturday.
GoPokes 11:14 a.m. uniform prediction...go!
Gina Mizell 11:16 a.m. Go Pokes, you are dominating play. I honestly can't remember if OSU is the home or away team (I think home but don't hold me to that). If that's the are two home combos we haven't seen yet that I think would look cool: Orange-black-orange and white-black-white.
Big Bill Bob 11:16 a.m. How is it that Quinn Sharp has not made it with a team in the NFL? How about a comprehensive article about how all the OSU boys are doing in the NFL that came out last year.
Gina Mizell 11:19 a.m. I was surprised to see that Sharp was cut by the Bengals. Unfortunately, Bob, I'm so focused on the guys who are currently on the OSU squad that I honestly don't have the time to keep close tabs on the guys in the NFL. But that's Mike Baldwin's job, and he writes an extensive feature about a former OSU/OU player in the NFL each week. He wrote about Sharp a couple weeks ago. He's also written about Okung and Pettigrew. I know he's got stories in the works on Weeden and Lane Taylor (if he makes the Packers roster).
tom 11:20 a.m. FYI on Quin Sharp: he signed with the Bengals who are set with long term (reasonable) contracts for kicker and punter. No idea why he chose to sign with them, horrible fit with little opportunity.
Shayne 11:20 a.m. Earlier this morning I heard a Tulsa World Sports wtiter comment that from what he is hearing out of Stillwater is that some (I assume coaches) are really not sold on Jermey Smith being able "to do the job". Have you heard anything like that? If so what are the thoughts? Thanks!
Gina Mizell 11:22 a.m. I didn't see/hear what you're referring to. Jemal Singleton has told me that Des Roland will certainly push Smith for carries. But Jeremy Smith is the No. 1 back, at least at this moment. There are certainly things Smith needs to improve--staying healthy and being a viable receiving option. But he's the best back the Cowboys have got right now.
GoPokes 11:23 a.m. True or false: OSU defense forces >2 turnovers vs MSU on Saturday
Gina Mizell 11:24 a.m. Can I push? Just kidding. I'll say more. Three takeaways for the Cowboys Saturday.
Tom H 11:24 a.m. Have you heard how Kip Smith looks in practice?
Gina Mizell 11:26 a.m. I have heard good things, particularly on kickoffs. Good enough to win two jobs, obviously. He definitely was the better punter in the spring game.
John 11:26 a.m. Is it too much to hope that OSU will smoke Mississippi State and TCU will upset LSU and shut the mouth of the south known as the SEC up for a week or two?
Gina Mizell 11:29 a.m. Ha. That would certainly do it, particularly a TCU win. I'm the only person on our staff who picked TCU to win the Big 12. But I think it's going to take some time for Pachall to get back in the swing of things, for Devonte Fields to get back from suspension (although that suspension thing is really confusing, given what I've seen on it lately) I see LSU winning that game. A TCU victory would be a huge statement, though.
BostonPoke 11:29 a.m. Heard about JW changing his throwing motion, what took him so long to do it? And how come previous coaches didn't help him do that?
Gina Mizell 11:31 a.m. We'll see Saturday if he has indeed changed it. We can't watch practice anymore, so I haven't seen it from myself yet. If he has, it's hard to assume why he chose now to do it and not before. Those are things I can ask when we can finally talk to quarterbacks again.
GoPokes 11:31 a.m. D.Lowe and Shaun Lewis are the most underrated players on the defense. i think these guys are made for games against power rushing attacks. Who can be the Xfactor vs MSU for our defense?
Gina Mizell 11:33 a.m. I don't think Shaun Lewis is underrated, given he's a preseason All-Big 12 selection. But I agree about Lowe and have said that a couple times during the preseason. Lyndell Johnson is usually my go-to X-Factor player, but not really against this style of offense, as you mentioned. I'd watch out for LB Ryan Simmons, as well as DT Anthony Rogers, who should get a fair amount of snaps.
Big Bill Bob 11:34 a.m. Waiting these last few days for the first game is as murderous as watching grass grow. We actually, watching grass grow has been rather interesting this year.
Gina Mizell 11:35 a.m. It's actually pretty darn busy for us! I went to a concert last night and pretty much know that's the end of my free time until November. Lots of coverage coming your way this week and every week.
Gina Mizell 11:35 a.m. And when I saw November, I actually mean late December-early January, haha.
Gina Mizell 11:36 a.m. We're already in OT on the Power Lunch chat. If you've submitted a question, I'll try to get to it. I've got a few more minutes to hang around...
GoPokes 11:36 a.m. OSU WRs vs MSU secondary seems to be the best mismatch in OSU's favor. What mismatch favors MSU the most?
Gina Mizell 11:38 a.m. Good question. I think OSU's receivers are going to be a mismatch for just about every secondary the Cowboys face this season. I think right now, I would give a slight edge to Mississippi State in the trenches. I think the OSU DTs will hold their own, but as mentioned before, the DEs are largely unproven. Not saying they won't perform...just saying we don't know if they will yet. And maybe give MSU the edge in the kicking game. I'll admit I don't know a ton about the Bulldogs' kicker/punter situation, but OSU's is obviously largely unknown.
Joshua 11:39 a.m. Do you think we'll be able to run on Miss St? I know the defenses in the SEC are strong up front.
Gina Mizell 11:42 a.m. The Bulldogs have a solid lineman in Denico Autry and linebacker in Benardrick McKinney. The rushing situation will be interesting to monitor Saturday, especially with the Devin Davis news. How are the carries divided? Will this new-look offensive line gel immediately?
GoPokes 11:42 a.m. Who is making the trip to Houston from the NewsOK crew?
Gina Mizell 11:42 a.m. I will be there, along with John Helsley and Berry Tramel.
Dirty Joe 11:43 a.m. Do the Cowboys finally go unbeaten, and if not, who do you suspect they lose to?
Gina Mizell 11:44 a.m. I predicted OSU to go 10-2 in the regular season. As I mentioned before, I have TCU winning the league, so that's a predicted loss. The other toss-up games I think are Baylor and Texas. So I think OSU wins one and loses one.
JB 11:44 a.m. Any news on the who will be opposite of Gilbert on Saturday at CB? How are the DEs coming along?
Gina Mizell 11:46 a.m. It sounds like it will be Peterson, though I've heard a lot of positives about both Tyler Patmon and Ashton Lampkin during camp. All of those guys will be needed, particularly when we get to Big 12 play. It sounds like Spencer and Joe Bob Clements are pleased with how the DEs have developed. Tried to get Spencer to nail down starters there the other day and he wouldn't do it. My guess is it'll be Ty Johnson and Jimmy Bean, but that you'll also see a heavy dose of Sam Wren and Trace Clark.
tom 11:46 a.m. What question are you most asked by MSU fans and media members?
Gina Mizell 11:46 a.m. I actually haven't gotten a ton of questions from that side yet. But I'm doing a radio interview with a station out there later this afternoon. The most common questions I get, in general, are about the quarterbacks (shocking, right?) and the revamped defense.
Jacob W 11:47 a.m. Love your coverage, Gina. And yes, I'm sucking up. But do you think Gundy's reason for not just going ahead and naming Chelf the starter has anything to do with Yurcich and the fact that he likes to have a more mobile quarterback? Chelf clearly is the better fit when you talk about throwing the ball. Or do you think coach G is still trying to keep Miss St. on their toes?
Gina Mizell 11:51 a.m. Appreciate the kind words. I think Gundy not naming a starter has more to do with keeping Mississippi State guessing than Yurcich's past. I've also heard that J.W. Walsh has made a real push during fall camp. So I think, in a lot of ways, he's going to let those two decide things on the field. The QB situation will be fascinating to watch Saturday. Is it a full platoon? Does it look like what we saw at the end of last season? Does Walsh start?
Brian Wick 11:51 a.m. Has Rennie Childs solidified a hold on the 3rd RB spot?
Gina Mizell 11:52 a.m. I wouldn't say that's totally solidified. It sounds like he's been a bit better in camp than Webster, though. I would expect one of those two freshmen to jump Muncrief for the No. 3 job, though.
waimea cowboy 11:52 a.m. Does Ofa have a red shirt season available?
Gina Mizell 11:52 a.m. That won't matter, because the Cowboys expect him to help this season.
Gina Mizell 11:53 a.m. OK, everybody. Thanks again for joining. Lots of good questions today. If you're traveling down to Houston, have a safe trip. Happy the season is finally here! Enjoy your Wednesday.


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