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Saturday Will Define the Season

Which direction will the Cowboys’ season go after Saturday?

Central Michigan v Oklahoma State Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Mike Gundy said it himself. Last week is over and we need to move on. He is exactly right, no matter how bad the call by the referee was, or how stunning the final four seconds were. It is this week that matters now, and it is a pivotal one for the Cowboys.

In come the Pittsburgh Panthers, coming off a win against Penn State and looking for a big non-conference victory on the road. They are a good team and will be a tough challenge for the Cowboys, and the Cowboys must live up to that challenge. There is a lot that will be learned about this year’s OSU football team after this coming Saturday, no matter what the result ends up being.

I still have Voldemort (per Cade Webb) running through my head on repeat, and I’m sure it won’t leave for a while. I am sure many guys on the team still see the same thing, but I am interested to see how the team reacts and comes out to play this week. This game will be a turning point for the remaining nine games after Pitt. There are two doors the Pokes can go through, and which one they enter will show how the rest of the season will go.

Door #1

The Cowboys come out angry, and ready to prove Saturday was a fluke. Mason Rudolph rebounds from the game against CMU and doesn’t look like he’s trying to throw to Steven Adams every time. The ball flies out of his hand with confidence and accuracy. The running game (against a good rush defense) finds a way to work, and the Cowboys finally settle on a starting running back (JUSTICE HILL!!!). The defense shuts down James Conner and the Panther offense, the game is won convincingly and the Pokes move onto Baylor next week. The Cowboys are 2-1 and still in the thick of things in the Big 12 heading into conference play.

Door #2

The Cowboys are defeated walking into the stadium and just look demoralized from the week prior. James Conner runs roughshod over the Poke defense, and has three rushing TD’s. Meanwhile, the running game of the Cowboys looks anemic once again, and the running back carousel (that doesn’t work) continues for another week. The offense is just as vanilla as last week and the team as a whole looks flat. The Panthers come into a striped out BPS and handle the Cowboys in a big non-conference victory. The Cowboys now have a losing record heading into conference play, and the season is heading south too early. If the Cowboys want to get back into contention, it is a steep uphill climb, even in a conference with 7 teams having at least one loss.

Door #2 might be a slight overreaction, I have far more faith in the team than to be a defeatist fan going into the game on Saturday. While I believe Door #1 is realistic (and what I believe will happen), Door #2 isn’t that far out of the question either. Voldemort was something that was a very demoralizing moment for a team, so until kickoff we do not know how the team will react. After 60 minutes of football on Saturday, we will all look up at the scoreboard and see which door the Pokes are headed for, and I for one am hoping it’s Door #1.