We’re two weeks in and we still don’t know as much as we’d like to know about this team. That’s what happens when you graduate one of the most decorated senior classes in school history and then schedule Missouri State and South Alabama to start the season. This season’s first test will come at home against #17 Boise State next weekend in Boone Pickens Stadium. Here are three things the Cowboys need to improve on in order to beat the Broncos.
1. The Offensive Line Needs to Play Better
The blocking against South Alabama was sad. Justice Hill and J.D. King both had 9 carries for 32 yards. Chubba Hubbard led the way with 6 carries for 46 yards, but overall it was a poor performance for that group. We know there isn’t a lack of talent at running back, but they can’t run if the offensive line doesn’t block. These guys can only be as good as their offensive line. On the other hand, their pass protection wasn’t great either. The group allowed 4 sacks and a QB hurry to go along with 11 tackles for loss. This group will have to improve next weekend. The Pokes will probably need a big day from Justice Hill and a respectable one from Corn Dog in order to pull out a win.
2. Speaking of Corn Dog....
Taylor Cornelius played better than in the home opener. Some of his passes really impressed me while others had me hoping I’d never have to see him throw a football again. His two interceptions were absolutely horrendous. On the other hand, he delivered some bullets in narrow windows. You don’t pass for 428 yards in 3 quarters without dropping some dimes. He still needs to be more consistent on some of his throws, but I can live with what I saw on Saturday night. It was an encouraging showing.
What I still can’t get over about Corn Dog is his reads. He missed several wide open receivers last week, just like the week before. If he can improve on that he can take his game to the next level. That may never happen, but it would be huge if he could acquire that skill this season.
3. Defensive Consistency
I probably have unrealistic expectations for the Oklahoma State defense. However, they played a much more consistent game against South Alabama. There is one thing they really need to improve on and it’s been an issue for years. Long third down conversions. Typically when a team is facing a 3rd and 13 against the Cowboy defense, they have OSU exactly where they want them. That won’t fly against Boise State. This defense needs to stay off the field in order to win this week. If they can’t do that, we might be in for a long afternoon.