Welcome to the CRFF Roundtable. This week the staff answer my questions about the OSU QB situation, what they want to see out of the defense and more. With that, let’s get to it. They had some thoughts.
1.) How long does Cornelius stay in?
Zach McCoy:The plan is for him to be the guy. Unless the offense is really inept that will be the case.
Colin Price: We’re riding this Corndog Train until he gets hurt or the offense derails. Gundy obviously trusts him to overcome his rough patches all while looking to preserve the QB depth for the future by not burning any redshirts unnecessarily. As long as Taylor is getting the ball out well and not turning it over, Gundy will keep trusting him to do what we know he can do: get the ball into the hands of his playmakers and letting them make plays.
Phillip Slavin: Until Mike and Mike no longer believes he can win the game. That would be either if he is turning the ball over too often (2 or more times in the first half) or the offense isn’t able to get anything going and it looks to be Cornelius’ fault. To be honest though, don’t be surprised if two things happen: 1. Cornelius never gets pulled so long as the game is close and 2. Even if OSU loses, Cornelius is still the starter next week.
Louis Pineda: FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON. Look, Cornelius is Gundy’s guy, so barring injury we all have to just accept that he is our QB1, for better or for worse.
Matt Harris: Cornelius stays in until the game starts to get away. If Boise goes up 17+ in the third or fourth, I would think Gundy would look to make a change. Of course this is dependent on Cornelius’ own game. If the problem is the line or the running game then a switch may not be made. Hopefully the game never gets away from the Pokes and we see Taylor all night.
Ryan Harris: Taylor Cornelius won’t come out of the game unless he looks absolutely horrible. He is QB1 and he will be until his play suggests otherwise. I think he will play well enough to stay in the entire game.
Brodie Smith: Ugh. I hate this question is necessary, but I say Cornelius stays in the whole game...and not just at quarterback. I see Gundy using him on defense and special teams just to prove how committed he is to Corndog Playa. Heck, I say Yurcich should roll out all four quarterbacks (and Jelani Woods) for the first offensive play/series as a nod to all those rejecting Corndog’s status as the guy. “You want someone else to play!? Fine, they all play!”
Robert Whetsell: Until the fans storm the field with pitchforks.
2.)Are you worried about this BSU defense based on how the O-line played last week?
Zach McCoy:I think the Boise State defense was stout enough to worry about anyway, but I think the o-line will look better because Boise State won’t put 8 in the box.
Colin Price: USA did the same thing two years in a row to the same effect: stacked the box and made the QB beat them in the air. Mason, Taylor, and Keondre were happy to oblige and scorched them for a combined 795 passing yards. Boise State is far more talented than South Alabama so they won’t have to dedicate as much man power to keeping the run game in check which means more opportunities for Justice and Co. Now if BSU is putting 5-6 in the box and they’re still averaging less than 4 yards per carry, then we’ll need to start showing some more concern.
Phillip Slavin: I’m worried about any defense the way the offensive line looked last week. That said, I don’t want to go overly negative as we all obviously went overly positive after week one. I still think this offensive line is better than last year, but I no longer think it’s by much. I do expect less switching around of players at various positions.
Louis Pineda: I‘m worried about both sides of the ball, and not just because of the O-line play. I honestly think the O-line is less of a concern than the secondary.
Matt Harris: I’m fairly concerned for Boise’s defense but not too much. I think that last weeks running game was discouraging but we also know what that group is capable of. This is a big game and I believe the line and backs will put a little more effort in that might not have been there while up 24 points in the second quarter against an Alabama team not named the Crimson Tide. This is still a high powered offense and I think OSU goes punch-for-punch with Boise State for at least three quarters.
Ryan Harris: There aren’t many teams worse than South Alabama so yes, I am worried about the Boise State defense. The offensive line has to get better to give Corn Dog time to throw and our running backs space to make plays. If that doesn’t happen it’s going to be a long season.
Brodie Smith: Um...yeah. We have next to nothing to go on because of the competition the Cowboys has faced. My guess is BSU will load the front to keep the running game in check and force Cornelius to make quick decisions he’s not prepared for and capitalize on potential mistakes. This defense could, maybe should, make it difficult for OSU to get any rhythm early on.
Robert Whetsell: Can we get Flex Tape for the offensive line?
3.) With this being it’s first real test, and based on the first two games, what are you expecting out of Jim Knowles defense?
Zach McCoy:I think we’ll see more of the high risk, high reward aspect of this defense. We’re gonna give up some really big plays, but we’ll create more turnovers/3-and-outs than the first two games too.
Colin Price: I‘m expecting them to really get tested this weekend. I think they will be scrambling to find some consistency early but if they can settle in, pin their ears back, and avoid the costly penalties they made last week, they can drive a big enough wedge between the offenses to win the game.
Phillip Slavin: More than we’ve seen thus far. I think the defense has looked pretty basic up to this point, and it hasn’t been as aggressive about going after the quarterback as I thought it was going to be. Less blitzes than I expected. I expect that to change this week. The last thing OSU can do is let Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien get overly comfortable. I expect some new looks, some creativity, and a dialed up D ready to wreck havoc. I also expect Knowles to completely let Calvin Bundage off his leash
Louis Pineda: I’m expecting some really big plays from Boise State, but all in all we should expect a shootout. In other words, they will have a rough day...
Matt Harris: I’m expecting a lot of quarterback pressure. Sacks, hurries and knockdowns will be in abundance but in turn, the secondary will definitely get burned. This is a defense designed to get after the quarterback and trust its defensive backs in coverage. I’m expecting a couple big plays, but I think they also let up a lot of points (and rightfully so, Boise State is a top 10 offense in America). Put me down for the Pokes forcing two turnovers as well.
Ryan Harris: I’m expecting him to throw the kitchen sink at this game. If OSU can find a way to win this game, they could be undefeated going into the rough part of the schedule at the end of the year. Knowles should be prepared to pull everything out of his bag and let this defense run wild. With that being said, Boise State will convert at least two long third down conversions. Those are the rules, I don’t make them.
Brodie Smith: Knowles has been a change of pace and a breath of fresh air, and this game is why Gundy brought him in. Forget that these players are learning a new scheme. Knowles has to have them ready to play in the first matchup against a ranked, experienced opponent. Get to Rypien and keep momentum in the home team’s favor, and the Pokes will have a shot.
Robert Whetsell: Stress
4.) Should Oklahoma State not win this game, would you say it was an upset? Why or why not?
Zach McCoy: I think the media has talked this game into being a pick ‘em, but based on Boise State’s recent history against Power 5 teams and considering it’s in BPS, I’d call it a minor upset.
Colin Price: If OSU wins, I’d consider it the smallest of small upsets. The line for the game is nearly even and the gap in rankings isn’t big enough to say for sure that one team is that much of a favorite. The game is in Stillwater but most people are still picking Boise. So if OSU wins, it’ll be a small upset. If OSU blows them out, then it’ll be a significantly bigger upset just because it means that Cornelius isn’t a hindrance to the team and they’ll be much more capable this year than what we all expected.
Phillip Slavin: Yes and no. No, in the fact that Boise State is higher ranked, and has a more experienced team especially at quarterback, which we all know is the most important position on the field. I’d say Yes because -- and this is meant with no disrespect to Boise State -- but OSU should be more talented and have a deeper roster of talent than Boise. Plus, the Cowboys are at home which should give them an advantage (in theory). I hate to say this, but I think this is a pretty evenly matched game and am not sure either team winning is really an “upset.”
Louis Pineda: Boise State is a contender for the playoff this year. They have a great team with lots of veteran leadership. I don’t think this would be an upset if they were to beat OSU.
Matt Harris: I would absolutely not say that this would be an upset. Boise State has been one of the premier group-of-five teams for the past decade and in my opinion should be in a power five conference. They field solid teams almost every year and have finished in the top 25 in seven out of the last 10 years. They are currently ranked higher than Oklahoma State, have a top 10 offense in college football and did not just lose several school record holders. Boise State “upsetting” OSU, even in Stillwater, is a tough sell to me.
Ryan Harris: It won’t be an upset either way. These are two good football teams. Last year I’d have said Boise State beating Oklahoma State would be an upset, but not this year. We still aren’t entirely sure what Oklahoma State is capable of. It should be a close game but don’t be surprised if either team wins.
Brodie Smith: Well hello there pessimism! It wouldn’t be an upset, but I might be. Going in, these are pretty evenly matched teams. They are both programs still trying to break through the ceiling that separate the blue bloods from everyone else. A win for either doesn’t accomplish that but it wouldn’t be an upset either.
Robert Whetsell: How Boise State was not favored on the road was shocking to me, so frankly if OSU wins I would consider that a mild upset, and yes, I expect abuse for this.
5.) Score predictions?
Zach McCoy: OSU 38-BSU 35
Colin Price: Gimme the Pokes, 38-28 in a game that feels really close until the middle of the 4th.
Phillip Slavin: Sorry. This is one of the four games I called a loss before the season. I see no reason to change my prediction based on what I’ve seen from both teams thus far into the season. Boise 35 - OSU 31
Louis Pineda: I love OSU, I really do. And that is why I’m picking us to WIN BABY!! 48-45 Pokes!
Matt Harris: The defense has bright spots, but ultimately fails its first test. Cornelius plays above average again, but not well enough to beat a better-than-most-may-think Boise State squad. Broncos win 59-45.
Ryan Harris: Boise State: 35 Oklahoma State:30. It will be a close game that could go either way. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see Corn Dog leading a game winning drive late in the fourth. If Oklahoma State wins it will be because of excellent defense and a better performance from the offensive line.
Brodie Smith: I have a feeling this one won’t be as close as it appears on paper, and I really want to pick the Pokes to win. But...I can’t. Experience matters in college football, especially on the road. Give BSU the edge there and expect lack of experience to keep the game out of reach.
Robert Whetsell: This is my lock of the week...one team will score more points than the other.