When: Saturday, September 3rd, 2:30pm CST.
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
Listen: Cowboy Radio Network
#21 Oklahoma State University vs. Southeastern Louisiana University
Well folks, fire up the grill, crack open a cold one and pull on your lucky orange polo. It’s game day, baby! Your Oklahoma State Cowboys are opening up the season against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. SE Louisiana is an FCS program in the Southland Conference, but no opponent is to be taken lightly (looking at you, TENNESSEE.)
Mike Gundy’s veteran squad looks to use this first game to knock off some rust and get everyone up to speed. Lions’ head coach, Ron Roberts, plans on using this game to see which of his many new players is able to compete against strong D-1 talent.
The Southeastern Louisiana football team will feature plenty of new faces when it opens the 2016 season at No. 19/21 Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium.
When the Lions take the field against the nationally-ranked Football Bowl Subdivision foe, 45 of the 76 active student-athletes for Saturday's game will be making their on-field debut in a Southeastern uniform.
Three Things to Watch for — OSU
- Running game. This is #1 for a reason. I’m interested to see if the offensive line is gelling, and which running back is hitting their holes the hardest. In my opinion, it is unrealistic to expect the offense to have a good rushing attack this season. We need to aim somewhere between last year’s non-existent rushing attack, and a good one. If we can get our opponents to respect the run, we are going to be just fine. If we can bust a few big running plays against SE Louisiana, I’ll be happy. Watch for the true freshman, Justice Hill, to have a heckuva game.
- Defensive pressure. With the loss of Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean, the defensive line is going to need some new faces to step up. Guys like Jarrell Owens, Jordan Brailford and Trey Carter are the guys I’m looking at here. These fellas should be working over the SE Lousiana lineman all day, and if they aren’t, we may be in trouble when we are facing the teams in our conference. I expect to see dominance out of the front four today.
- The youngins. If this game goes how it is supposed to, we should be seeing backups early in the second half. From what we’ve seen from the depth chart, there are a couple freshman in crucial backup roles for this squad. Offensively, I would love to check out Justice Hill (who may be starting), Dillon Stoner, Tyrell Alexander and Obi Obialo. These guys have impressed the coaches, and I expect to see a lot of youth out on the field today. Defensively, Calvin Bundage is a guy I am interested in seeing. He’s a local Oklahoman with big upside. We will be seeing him fly around for the next four years, and it may start tonight.
Three Things to Watch for — SE Louisiana
- New faces. Like I mentioned above, a lot of the players that will be playing today, will be their first time putting on a SE Louisiana jersey. Coach Roberts will be looking for players who show up to compete against a big time Division 1 school.
- Chip on their shoulders. A few of the SLU players are former D-1 athletes, themselves. Utah, Texas A&M, TCU, LSU, Louisiana Lafayette, etc. These players have moved on from those schools for a multitude of reasons, but I would imagine that they want to show that they are still capable of competing against that type of talent.
- QB play. Starting QB, D’Shaie Landor, is one of the former D-1 athletes I talked about above, as he transferred from Louisiana-Lafayette in 2013. He was the #40 dual-threat quarterback in the nation coming out of high school. He is an experienced QB, as he played in a few games for Louisiana-Lafayette, played in seven games for SLU in 2014, and took over the starting position in 2015. Last season, he threw for 1,228 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran for 189 yards and four touchdowns, so he has the ability to tuck it and run. He looks to improve upon his numbers during his second stint as QB1.
Key to the game
Health. No one wants to see a key contributor go down against SE Louisiana. Oklahoma State needs to put their opponent away early, so that we can get our starters onto the sidelines.
Final Notes & Prediction
- This is the first game of the season, so try not to jump on Yurcich’s back when we don’t score a touchdown on the first play of the game. It may take a series or two to knock the rust off. However, if the score is tied at halftime, you have my permission to start freaking out. Tennessee hahahaha!
- I’m predicting that we will be running the ball a TON today. Expect Carson, Sanders, Childs, Carr and Hill to all get their share of carries.
Final Score — OSU 52 SLU 7