The Cowboys and Wildcats are about to play their 2nd game of this young college football season. A week 1 review should give us a little glimpse into what to expect tonight.
Keep in mind I said "a little" glimpse.
What we learned from week 1 for Arizona:
The Wildcats have a new offensive scheme;
The Wildcats have a new defensive scheme;
What we learned from week 1 for OSU:
Gundy doesn't mind relaxing on the sidelines in a lawn chair during a mega-blowout;
Our freshman QB is really good at throwing wide receiver screens;
I told you it would be "a little" glimpse.
Neither team could really show us a lot that truly mattered. Toledo's worth as Zona's opponent is a mystery, and we all know what happened in Stillwater last Saturday.
So here we are, once again, waiting...wondering...trying to have SOME confidence in what will transpire late this evening out west.
RichRod has installed the zone read, and senior QB Matt Scott effectively directed it to over 600 yards in total offense against Toledo. While the Wildcats only put up 24 points and needed OT to dispatch the Rockets, two Zona TD's were called back due to penalties; Zona committed 3 turnovers; Zona missed two short FG's.
That's a big red flag for me...not for Arizona, but for OSU.
These Wildcats are NOT the kitty cats the Cowboys dispatched easily the previous two meetings, at least not on offense. I feel pretty confident that, at least initially, the OSU defense will struggle to contain QB Scott and RB Ka'Deem Carey, who both proved to be shifty and elusive runners against Toledo. I think the Cowboys' secondary will need to be up to the task, as the linebackers will need to stay tuned in to Scott's and Carey's every move. I've called for Calvin Barnett to be OSU's defensive MVP. If he can get a good push in the middle, it might be enough to cause some disruption for the Wildcats.
All indications are that the Cowboys' offense should have success against Arizona's new 3-3-5 "stack" defense. Their d-line is undersized but quick, so it would seem that OSU could utilize some power running to open up the passing game. The biggest question mark here will be Cowboy center Evan Epstein, Wes Lunt, and the unpredictable pressure that the "stack" can bring.
Score predictions are all over the place, from a Wildcat upset to easy OSU victory. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit has already put OSU on upset alert (nothing new). If the Cowboys have truly reloaded, then they should come away with a fairly easy win. If not, and RichRod has really rejuvenated Arizona's program, this could be a tough night for the Pokes. I've predicted Oklahoma State 38, Arizona 21.
Alas, Savannah State and Toledo have rendered us ignorant. Maybe we should all hold hands as we step over the cliff into the great abyss...
Even worse, I will be scrambling to find a bar that carries DishTV in Stamford CT that will be willing to switch a TV to the Pac 12 network, AND trying to explain to my wife WHY I need to go out at 10:30pm EST on a Saturday night.
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