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The MVP Draft: Week 4 - Baylor

It’s time to get serious in here!

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

It’s week four of the post where analysis matters and the points don’t.

Here’s the rules: Every week, each writer picks the player they think will be the MVP on offense, defense, and special teams for OSU and their opponent. If a player has the best game out of those chosen, the writer who picked him gets a point. We’ll keep track of the points through the season.

Here are the standings after week three. First, a slight change. After week 3 I awarded the OSU Offensive point to Mason Rudolph. It should have been James Washington. So, we’re changing it. Here’s the updated point standings.

1. Joel - 9 points
2. Cade - 8 points
Christopher - 8 points
4. Dustin - 7 points
Phillip - 7 points

This week Oklahoma State begins conference play in Waco against Baylor.

Phillip

Oklahoma State

O - Rennie Childs | D - Jordan Burton | ST - Zach Sinor

Offense: Gundy has said that when it comes to the run game, they will right the hot hand. After last week, I’ll do the same thing. Baylor is going to work to take the deep pass away after OSU threw bombs all over Pitt. Hopefully this opens up some running lanes for Childs to slip through.
Defense: Burton is the tackle leader this far into the season, and got me the point last week. I’ll stick with him to rack up more tackles, and hopefully add to his sack total.
Special Teams: Sinor was the man down the stretch last week, planting his final two punts at the 10 and 11 yard line when the game was on the line. Field position could play a big part this weekend, and Sinor will be the man to help win that battle.

Baylor

O - Seth Russell | D - Davion Hall | ST - Drew Galitz

Offense: Russell was one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 last season, already throwing for 761 yards and 9 touchdowns. I expect this game to be a high scoring affair, and Russell to get his chances.
Defense: The junior safety Davion Hall is third on the team in tackles and already has one interception. Hall is going to be busy trying to handle OSU’s deep receiving core which will give him plenty of opportunities to add to his stat sheet.
Special Teams: Galintz handles kickoffs and punts for Baylor. I’m hoping for a lot more of the later than the former this week, but expect a lot of both of those.

Cade

Oklahoma State

O - Mason Rudolph | D - Ramon Richards | ST - Zach Sinor

Offense: I’m taking Rudolph here because I’m expecting a much better performance than what we’ve seen out of him the last two weeks. I know that’s a little odd, given that he just threw for over half a thousand yards against Pitt, but he was rusty again. He can’t be on Saturday, and I think he knows that. I feel a big game coming for Mason.

Defense: I’m going out on a limb, and it might be the shakiest one on the tree. I like Ramon Richards this season. He’s been making huge plays when the Cowboys need one most, and I like to think he can continue that in Waco. They may need him to make a play or two, and I can see him having a big game.

Special Teams: This is two weeks in a row that i’ll be breaking my “always take the kicker” rule. I’m going with Sinor here because of the impact he could have on the game. He has had a fantastic start to the season, and his abilities could become crucial in a game where field position is going to be very important.

Baylor

O - Seth Russell | D - Orion Stewart | ST - Chris Callahan

Offense: I think Baylor goes as Seth Russell goes. He is the main cog in a fast-moving machine. If he is off, the whole system is off. But if he is on ... Well, let’s just hope he’s not.

Defense: The most experienced member of the Baylor secondary returns from injury this week, and should make an impact on the game, simply by being out there. Expect him to help out over the top on James Washington. He should be involved in plenty of plays.

Special Teams: Okay, I lied. I’m taking the kicker here. This is good for two reasons. One, if Baylor is kicking field goals, I get the points for it here. Two, if they are kicking field goals, that means they aren’t scoring touchdowns. Here’s to you, Chris Callahan.

Dustin

Oklahoma State

O – James Washington | D – Jordan Sterns | ST - Ben Grogan

Offense: After his record breaking performance last week, I’ve got to go with James. The Cowboys will definitely be throwing the ball around all night, and I expect Washington to be on the receiving end of those passes. In his two previous matchups against the Baylor defense, he’s combined for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns. That’s an average of 23.1 yards per reception. I think we are in for another great outing from #28.
Defense: The Cowboy safety will need to have a big game against this powerful Baylor offense. With all of the run/pass option plays in Baylor’s offensive strategy, Sterns will need to have great awareness on the field at all times. He’s been playing great in coverage so far this year, and he is due for an interception If Sterns can make a few plays on the defensive side of the ball, this will greatly increase the Cowboys’ chances to win this game.
Special Teams: I think Grogan gets his number called to knock in a couple of field goals against the Bears. I know he missed one last week, but I’m not worried about it. I think Grogan has a solid outing against Baylor.

Baylor

O – Seth Russell | D – Orion Stewart | ST – Chris Callahan

Offense: I’m going to go with the quarterback as my offensive selection. Russell got off to a slow start last week against Rice, but ended up pulling everything together and finished with 337 and 3 touchdowns. On the year, he’s thrown for 761 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 1 touchdown on the ground. I have a feeling this one is going to be a shootout, and believe that Russell will rack up plenty of passing attempts against the Cowboys.
Defense: The Bears’ senior safety is a big-time playmaker and was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after Baylor’s matchup with Rice. He has 8 total interceptions in his career and he’s already snagged two this season, taking one back for six. He also isn’t afraid to come up and make a play with 194 total tackles in his career.
Special Teams: I’m going with the kicker. I think it’s a safe pick, however, Callahan did miss two field goals pretty badly last week. But, those were his first two misses on the season. Also, I like him because he’s not afraid to get physical… even with his own players.

Christopher

Oklahoma State

O - Mason Rudolph | D - Jordan Sterns | ST - Ben Grogan

Offense: I'm tempted to go with either Childs or Hill here because Baylor has been bad against the run so far this season. Rice came in averaging 98.5 rushing yards per game and rattled off 234 yards on the ground against the Bears. All that being said, even if the Cowboys can run enough to be balanced in Waco, they aren't winning the game on the ground. It's just not who this team is. The game is going to come down to Rudolph. Defense: Baylor is incredibly balanced, averaging over 275 yards rushing and passing. The defensive line is going to have to play its best game yet, but they'll still need help to slow down Baylor's run game, which features three different guys averaging over 70 yards per game. Enter Jordan Sterns. Sterns will also have a ton of opportunities to make plays defending the Bears' passing game, so I'm banking on him being all over the field on Saturday.
Special Teams: We haven't seen much from the return game so far this season, and the number of guys potentially involved in returns limits any one player's potential, so I will continue to go with the safest pick which is, somehow, Ben Grogan.

Baylor

O - KD Cannon | D - Travon Blanchard | ST - Chris Callahan

Offense: It's really very difficult for me to imagine Seth Russell not having his way with this Cowboy pass defense. I just think his way seems to involve a lot of KD Cannon, who the Cowboys absolutely could not cover last year in Stillwater. Cannon comes in accounting for just over 46% of Russell's passing yardage, so I expect him to have another big day.
Defense: Blanchard missed the beginning of the season with a minor knee issue, but he's back and was a menace against Rice, amassing nine total tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, and a pass breakup. Judging from the success Pitt had being more aggressive defensively in the second half last week, I could easily see Blanchard having a productive day.
Special Teams: The Bears haven't been particularly explosive in the return game so far in 2016, which makes Callahan an easy choice. He's just 5/7 on the season with a season long of only 38 yards, but hey, he has a much more impressive resume coming in than Chris Blewitt had last week and that guy stepped up and nailed a 48-yarder against OSU like it was nothing.

Joel

O - Jhajuan Seales | D - Chad Whitener | S - Ben Grogan

Offense: I am going bold with my pick this week. Washington will still have a good game this week, but he will receive a lot of attention from the Baylor secondary after torching the Pitt DB's for 296 yards. With the attention on Washington, this will open up more throws to Seales.
Defense: Whitener totaled 8 points last week against Pitt. I will go with him since he was so close to getting the point last week.
Special Teams: Ben Grogan will get back on track after going 1/2 last week. He'll make a couple field goals this weekend and continue his climb up the Cowboys' all time points leaderboard.

Baylor

O - KD Cannon | D - Aiavion Edwards | S - Chris Callahan

Offense: KD Cannon is one of the best receivers in the Big 12. He will be a tough test for the OSU cornerbacks, already totaling over 400 yards receiving and 4 TD's so far.
Defense: The 5th year senior totaled 11 tackles against Rice last week, leading the team. He'll look to replicate that this week against the Pokes.
Special Teams: I'm just going to keep with the theme of picking the kicker every week. He'll make just about every extra point, but with field goals he is a little more shaky. He is 5/7 this season, missing two against Rice.