#17 Boise State at #24 Oklahoma State: Keys to Victory
Expect Frequent Big Plays as #17 Boise State Steps up to play #24 Oklahoma State
#17 Boise State takes to the road to take on #24 Oklahoma State for their toughest non-conference game of the year. While both teams have been incredibly impressive, there are some weak spots that need to be improved to come away with the victory. Here are the keys to victory for both teams.
How Oklahoma State Wins:
We can all admit that Oklahoma State has some gaudy offensive numbers. The key to this game is the numbers that are buried past the 674.5 yards and 56.5 points per game. These are the less focused on numbers, but the numbers that tell a bigger story when you play lesser opponents. The key to victory for Oklahoma State is in improving these numbers.
The Cowboys need to have better play out of their inexperienced offensive line to come away 3-0 Saturday. Against South Alabama QB Taylor Cornelius was sacked 3 times and pressured into 2 interceptions. The running game didn’t do much to take the pressure off of him either. With 44 carries, the running game only produced 164 yards, an average of 3.7 years a carry. 3rd down conversions can’t be placed only solely on their offensive line, but they will need to convert more than 3 of their 14 chances if they want to keep up with Boise St
The offensive line will have their hands full with the faster and more athletic Bronco defenders. There will need to be a marked improvement in this unit to keep Cornelius clean in the pocket and to open up the run game.
How Boise State Wins:
Just like Oklahoma State, the Broncos have put up Xbox type offensive numbers. Boise State has also put up impressive overall defensive numbers, including 6 sacks and 5 turnovers, through two games. They have also given up big plays in each game. UConn’s lone score was set up by a 55 yard run by Kevin Mensah on a 3rd and 5 play, while Troy’s scores were set up by passes of 33 and 25 yards and a 23-yard run.
Big plays like that are staples in the Oklahoma State offense. Through their 2 games, the Cowboys have 22 plays that have gone for over 20 yards including 4 that have been over 50 yards. Against Missouri State 252 of Oklahoma State’s 431 rushing yards came on just 5 plays and 56 of their 164 rushing yards came on 2 plays against South Alabama.
For Boise State to win Saturday, they will need to limit those kinds of plays. With an offense like Oklahoma State has, big plays are going to happen. The key is to try to keep the big plays out of the endzones and to be able to make stops after the play has happened.
This is a hard game to get a good read on leading up to it. While Boise has played better teams overall, neither team has played a team that is in the same league by comparison. With high power offenses and solid defenses, any result is possible. It feels like it will come down Oklahoma State’s offensive line. If they make the improvements this game could be 64-58 for either side, if they can’t it could be a 54-32 win for Boise State.
In the end, Boise State’s defensive front will be too much for the Cowboys. The Broncos move to 2-0 all-time against Oklahoma universities, winning 54-32.