The optimism has all but left the staff here at Cowboys Ride For Free. However not enough to deter them from talking a little Oklahoma State Football. We chatted about this weekends game as the Cowboys get ready to take on the Longhorns in BPS. We talked about what Homecoming and the recognition means to this team and more. Let’s get to it!
1.) With it being Homecoming this is a big week for the Cowboys, do you see them playing with a little more vigor than in games past?
Robert Whetsell: We like to keep our composure, stay level headed, keep doing the same things we’ve been doing over the last four games even though we lost three. We don’t want to act like anything is different, and we definitely don’t want to do anything different.”
Matt Harris:With a sold-out crowd at 7 pm on ABC with some former Cowboy greats in attendance, I could see the team playing with a little more edge to pick up a statement win to possibly push for a bowl berth. I also think that it is totally possible to play with more “vigor” and energy and still lose. I think it will be blatantly obvious if the Cowboys come out and play more inspired ball with more energy than in weeks past which I think is something to keep an eye on.
Zach McCoy: I think the team has already been playing hard but I think their eagerness to cleanse the taste of losing will drive them more than it being Homecoming.
Grant Boston:I think Barry Sanders jerseys will get anyone playing with more vigor. Seriously, those things probably give the wearer +4 speed and +3 agility.
Phillip Slavin: think they come out motivated to win. But that initial “vigor” only lasts so long. If they fall behind, I’m still not sure this team has the vocal leaders, especially on offense, to get them motivated to mount a comeback. It’s not a lack of effort or desire, but this team doesn’t have a Mason Rudolph-type guy. Someone who is vocal, has an edge and an attitude, that says to rest of the guys, “we are going to do this, let’s go.” Without it, it’s hard to see them mounting comebacks like they did so often with Rudolph under-center.
2.) Both teams are coming out of a bye week, how do you think that impacts the game?
Robert Whetsell: Funny, this entire game will revolve around what happens at the QB position for both teams. Ironic....
Matt Harris: Both teams had the opportunity to rest, prepare and in some cases “get healthy” before this weeks’ game. I think this probably benefits OSU a little more than Texas given that the Pokes had an opportunity to take a week off and reenergize ahead of a huge game and sort of break a streak of bad momentum. It’s the exact opposite for Texas, whose momentum was trending in a positive direction before the week off. Of course they could pick right back up where they left off, but that would have been easier to do coming off of a win opposed to coming off a week off. The big benefit for Texas having a bye week is that it gave quarterback Sam Ehlinger a chance to get healthy again after suffering an injury in the first half of the Longhorns’ last game.
Zach McCoy: It helps both teams get healthy mostly. But I also thinks it helps stymie momentum as well which is a bad thing for them and a good thing for us.
Grant Boston: Texas has spent a week hearing that they’re infallible and Oklahoma State has spent a week hearing that they can’t do anything right. I think we’ll see the Cowboys come out of the gate early. Texas will almost certainly come blitz heavy hoping to get to Cornelius. Can he step up in the pocket and find Wallace in one-on-one opportunities? An early score would give the Cowboys hope
Phillip Slavin: Out of the gate? I bet both are rusty. But, my hope is that it means guys like Calvin Bundage and Dillon Stoner are healthy. Having a healthy Bundage back will completely change how good the defense can be.
3.) Oklahoma State won a close one last year in Austin, Do you think Texas plays like they’re out for some revenge?
Robert Whetsell: Texas will curb stomp OSU despite the throwback jerseys. The level of curb stomping will depend on which QB plays for Texas.
Matt Harris:Texas will be more motivated to keep its top 10 ranking and potential shot at the playoff alive far more so than any past game against Oklahoma State. If Texas comes out and plays with some fire and passion, I highly doubt it’ll have anything to do with OSU.
Zach McCoy: Ehlinger seems like a guy that would use that as a chip, but Herman seems more even keel. I don’t think it makes much of a difference but it might be in the back of their minds.
Grant Boston: No, I think this is the perfect time to catch Texas: overconfident, fresh off a bye week, and already looking ahead to the West Virginia game. Texas will see Oklahoma State as a pit stop on the road to an upcoming showdown with the Mountaineers. With WVU looking vulnerable lately, the Horns faithful have the Big XII title in their sights. We could be their Iowa State.
Phillip Slavin: If I was Texas, I’d be looking at OSU as the inferior team who beat us six of the last eight year. I’d look at a Homecoming night game on national television as the perfect opportunity to put the hurt on a team that has beaten me at home five times in a row. Yeah, I think Texas will get up for this one.
4.) With the injury to Sam Eilenger, it’s kind of up in the air who’s going to be their QB. How do you think that impacts the way OSU prepares for this game?
Robert Whetsell:“They run the same system regardless of QB, so we’ll do the same things we always do to get the players ready.”
Matt Harris: I think they’ll prepare more so for the assumption that Ehlinger will be the starter, but I would assume that the defense will be preparing for both him and Buechele, who started for the Longhorns the last time they came to Stillwater.
Zach McCoy: I think they prepare for both, but like Robert... quoted?... they play a very similar system regardless. I’m much more concerned with our offense figuring out their defense.
Grant Boston: Nathan Peterson could be the Texas quarterback and it wouldn’t change the game plan one bit. Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Calvin Johnson can catch anything within an 8-foot radius. It will be up to AJ Green, Jr. and the Cowboys secondary to corral the Longhorns’ talented receivers. Hopefully they’ll attempt to play the ball and force an interception rather than choosing to only key in on the receivers.
Phillip Slavin: I think they prepare for both, but expect Sam Ehlinger to play. The latest report says he’s expected to play, so if I’m OSU, I make sure to do some preparation for Buechelle, but put most of my focus on stopping Ehlinger.
5.) Score Prediction.
Robert Whetsell: Sam Ehlinger plays semi-healthy, 2-3 TD curb stomping (34-14). Shane Buechele plays, 10-14 point curb-stomping (28-17).
Matt Harris: Texas hasn’t had a particularly impressive season outside of the win over OU. This includes a loss to Maryland, a seven-point win over Tulsa and six-point wins over Kansas State and Baylor. The two other wins are over TCU and USC. Texas always gets up for the Red River Rivalry and have played the Sooners close or won several of the last meetings that they had no business even being in the game. I need to see a little more from the Longhorns before I’m convinced that they’re worthy of a top 10 ranking.
I think Oklahoma State beats Texas... in terms of being America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration amiright?! In all seriousness, Horns win a defensive battle 17-14.
Zach McCoy: 28-17 Texas. I think the defense looks a little better but mostly because Texas isn’t dynamic on offense. The offense figures it out for a few drives but not often enough. More inconsistency and questions about QB’s and mullets.
Grant Boston: I hope I’m wrong: Texas 48, OSU 24
Phillip Slavin: I have no reason to believe OSU is going to have a great game. I think OSU plays well in the first half, like they have in most games, but it’s the second half where I don’t have faith. Texas 38 - OSU 20.
Have you own thoughts on these questions? Leave them in the comments below!