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Best and worse case scenario: SE Louisiana

Every week we will predict the best and worse case scenarios for each opponent. This week, the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Mississippi v Oklahoma State
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: The Oklahoma State Cowboys enter the field before playing against the Mississippi Rebels during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

I’m not sure how we’ve all made it this far without Oklahoma State football, but it’s finally back. Oklahoma State and Southeastern Louisiana will meet for the first time on Saturday, in front of a energized Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Cowboys are ranked 21st nationally, while Southeastern Louisiana is receiving votes in the preseason FCS poll. Saturday should be little more than a tune-up game, but with every season opening game there will be question marks and jitters for both teams. Oklahoma State should cruise to victory and probably will.

Best Case: Barry J returns the opening kick to the house to officially, and finally, begin the 2016 season. Rudolph is nearly perfect in the first half with 200 yards and a few touchdowns, which is as far as he gets into the contest before Taylor Cornelius takes over.

Sanders rushes for over 100 yards, while Chris Carson and Rennie Childs give us reason to hope for rushing success this season. The offensive line doesn’t allow a quarterback to get hit all game, or at least not one named Mason Rudolph, and the Cowboys bully their FCS opponents.

Led by Glenn Spencer, the Cowboys defense forces five turnovers and scores at least one touchdown on defense. Nobody gets hurt, and the Cowboys start the season 1-0.

Worse Case: Let’s be real. Worst case scenario, Oklahoma State still wins; just not as convincingly. The Cowboys rush for 150 yards total, and Rudolph is sacked five times before Gundy takes him out in fear of losing his franchise quarterback.

Even with the addition of Sanders to the backfield, the rushing offense is no where to be found. The offensive line doesn’t get any push up front against a smaller defensive line, and the offense is forced to throw the ball on every down.

Rudolph is picked off twice, but he still gets his yards. The Lions don’t have any defensive backs capable of hanging with James Washington or Jalen McCleskey, meaning Rudolph will get his numbers.

The defense looks like they’re in rebuilding mode, giving up 28 points in an ugly 41-28 OSU win. I don’t see any scenario where the Cowboys lose this game. Gundy has never lost to an FCS team, and he isn’t going to start now.

I think the Cowboys come out fired up, and play a solid game. Maybe not 2012 Savannah State solid, but the Cowboys won’t be starting the year with a loss.