In this week’s Sunday Poll, we’re looking ahead to the rest of the season.
At the halfway mark, OSU is 4-2* in what has been an up and down, and emotional season. The Cowboys’ first six opponents are a combined 23-16 . The next six? 20-15. Here’s what the schedule looks like:
at Kansas (1-5)
West Virginia (5-0)
at Kansas State (3-3)
Texas Tech (3-3)
at TCU (4-2)
at Oklahoma (4-2)
Both halves of the season have a one win team, and both have an undefeated team. However there are some major differences between the two halves of the schedule: the first half had a MAC and FCS team, while the back half is all Power 5. The first half had one road game, while the back half has three. It’s a challenging back half with multiple teams that have strengths where we are weak... which is what concerns me the most.
In my opinion, OSU will go as far this season as the defense can take them. Specifically the secondary. The first six opponents averaged a combined 227.8 passing yards a game. The teams with the highest averages were Texas (261), Central Michigan (258), and Iowa State (232). Four of the opponents we’ve played surpassed their average in passing yards. In fact, through six games, opposing teams are getting 42.2 passing yards over their season average. The problem is that includes the SELU game. Take out the Lions and the five FBS teams we’ve faced are averaging 74 passing yards over their season averages.
Now look ahead to the final six teams on the schedule; they average a combined 283 passing yards a game. The three highest individual averages are 453.3 (TTU), 362.5 (TCU), and 260.8 (OU). The third highest equals the highest average we’ve seen so far.
The run defense is a bit better. We’ve held three of the six opponents we’ve faced under their season averages on rushing yards. Two of the teams who went over, Pitt and Texas, have some of the best backs we will see all year. Outside of the backfield in OU, the best may already be behind us.
I have faith that the offense can keep up with any of the teams left on the schedule. The offense looks to be improving every week; they have a star QB in Rudolph. They’ve got an All-American level-talent at receiver in Washington. They’ve finally found a real weapon for the backfield in Hill.
So with all of this in mind, how will the rest of the season play out for the Cowboys? How many more wins can we expect from this team? Make your choice, and of course, share any other thoughts in the comments section.