Colorado Buffaloes (3-7 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-2 SU, 5-3-1 ATS), NCAA Week 12, 7:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, November 19, 2009, Folsom Field, Boulder, Col. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Colorado +18/Oklahoma State -18
Thursday night on ESPN, Colorado travels to Oklahoma State in a late season Big 12 matchup.
Despite not having much of a chance to win the Big 12, Oklahoma State has had a successful season. The Cowboys are 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big 12 with losses to Houston and Texas. The Cowboys would have to win their last two games and have Texas lose its last two games in order for them to reach the Big 12 Championship. While that’s highly unlikely, it’s still important for the Cowboys to finish strong and make it to a very important bowl game.
The difference for Oklahoma State this year than last year is its defense. Last season, the Cowboys only relied on their offense, but this year their defense has come to play on many occasions. Last week, in a 24-17 win over Texas Tech, it was their defense getting the job done. While Cowboys quarterback Zac Robinson had only 90 yards passing, they intercepted Texas Tech three times and held the Red Raiders to 50 rushing yards. The Cowboys dominated with their running game, totaling 243 rushing yards, including 99 from Robinson.
In the previous week, Oklahoma State rebounded from the loss to Texas with a 34-8 win at Iowa State. Robinson was 19-for-24 for 142 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys once again got it done on the ground, as Keith Totson ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns. They came away with three interceptions in that game.
For the season, Robinson has 1,922 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also has 302 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Totson has 958 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. With Dez Bryant ineligible, Hubert Anyiam leads the team with 38 receptions for 455 yards and three touchdowns.
Colorado has had a trend all season long that will likely continue on Thursday. The Buffaloes lost their first two games of the season, then won one, then lost two, then won one, then lost two, then won one. They lost last week, so if the pattern continues they will lose again to Oklahoma State before defeating Nebraska next week to end the season.
Both of Colorado’s Big 12 wins this season have been nail-biters. The Buffaloes won 34-30 over Kansas and 35-34 over Texas A&M. Five of their seven losses have come by double digits.
Colorado has alternated quarterbacks this season between Tyler Hansen and Cody Hawkins, but Hansen started in the team’s last game against Iowa State and played every snap. Hansen has completed 56.7 percent of his passes and has 1,000 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. Hawkins has 1,208 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions and has completed only 50 percent of his passes.
Rodney Stewart is the running back for Colorado. He leads the team in rushing with 673 yards and nine touchdowns. Scotty McKnight is the No. 1 wide receiver for the Buffaloes. He has 62 receptions for 708 yards and three touchdowns.
Colorado has not played well defensively this season, having given up 30 or more points to Texas A&M, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, West Virginia and Toledo. The Cowboys have a strong offense, so the Buffaloes will have to step it up on defense to keep it close. Colorado can move the ball on offense, but it can’t afford to turn the ball over. Oklahoma State is one of the best teams in the country at intercepting passes, so Hansen will have to be careful.
Oklahoma State is 4-1 ATS in its last five games and the total has gone under in four of its last five games. Colorado is 6-15 ATS in its last 21 road games. The total has gone under in six of its last nine road games.
Ryno’s Pick: Although both of these teams have gone under a lot recently, both of these teams can score points. And Colorado’s defense is weak, so the Cowboys should be able to at least score in the 30’s. The Cowboys have six interceptions in their last two games, so they also could score some points with their defense. Hansen does not have a lot of experience, so the Cowboys should be able to force him to make some mistakes. Robinson and Totson should be able to run all over the Buffaloes. The Cowboys will win the game but with such a high number, the over is a better play. Take the over of 49.