OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (1-0)
at SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS (0-1)
Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile, AL
Kickoff: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma State -26.5, Total: N/A
#11 Oklahoma State will be looking to get off to a quick 2-0 start with a road victory over South Alabama on Friday.
Oklahoma State had a tough opening week matchup with Tulsa, but the Cowboys had absolutely no trouble taking care of business in that one. They ended up winning that game 59-24 as 19.5-point favorites, racking up 332 yards on the ground and 308 yards through the air in the process. As for the Jaguars, their season didn’t quite get off to the start they were hoping for. South Alabama had to face Ole Miss in the opening week of the season, and the Jags lost 47-27 as 21.5-point underdogs. They gave up 429 yards through the air, which is a pretty bad sign when considering the fact that they’re now facing one of the best quarterbacks in the country. One trend to keep an eye on when looking at this game is the fact that road teams (Oklahoma State) that return five defensive starters after allowing 400 or more total yards per game in the previous season are 57-25 against the spread since 1992. That record only improved with the Cowboys’ cover over Tulsa last week and they’ll now do their best to take care of a weaker South Alabama team on Friday.
The Cowboys were expected to have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation this season and they did nothing to prove any of the experts wrong in their opening week meeting with Tulsa. QB Mason Rudolph was 20-for-24 for 303 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions in that game. He also added a score on the ground in that one. Rudolph is expected to be in the conversation as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL Draft next year, so it’d be quite surprising if he were to struggle against South Alabama in this one. Especially considering the Jaguars were just torched through the air by Shea Patterson and Ole Miss. Look for Rudolph to do everything he can to find WR James Washington deep. Washington is one of the best receivers in college football and started the season with six catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns against Tulsa. He should be able to turn in another big performance in this one, but also keep an eye on RB Justice Hill. Hill rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on only 15 carries last game and his explosiveness out of the backfield should be a big factor this season.
If South Alabama is going to have any chance of pulling off an upset at home on Friday then the team will need to find a way to stop the pass in this game. The secondary put on an embarrassing display against Ole Miss last week and things are going to be even more difficult against Rudolph and this Oklahoma State offense on Friday. The Jags would almost be better off letting the Cowboys work shorter routes and doing everything they can to have extra coverage over the top on Washington. On offense, QB Cole Garvin will be counted on to make plays once again for this team. Garvin was 19-for-31 for 204 yards with a passing touchdown and no interceptions against Ole Miss last week. He also rushed for two touchdowns in that one, but it’s likely that he’ll need to do even more in this one. The Cowboys will almost definitely put up 35 or more points in this game, so Garvin will need to have his offense ready to match that.