Missouri Tigers (4-1 2-2 ATS) at No. 16 Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-1 1-2-1) Boone Pickens Stadium Stillwater, OK 9:15 PM EST Saturday October 17, 2009 on ESPN and ESPN 360
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Tigers +7/Cowboys -7
This Saturday night the 16th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys host the Missouri Tigers. OSU is 1-0 in the Big 10 and Mizzu is 0-1 and if the Tigers lose this game their Big 12 title hopes are dashed. The Tigers played a pretty weak schedule in their first 4 games and they fell back down to earth with their first loss of the season last week falling to Nebraska at home 27-12. Last week the Cowboys beat Texas A&M 36-31.
Mizzu looked like they were going to come away from their home game against Nebraska last Thursday night, well at least until the beginning of the 4th quarter. The Tigers had a 12-0 lead in the beginning of the 4th quarter, but then had 2 interceptions and gave up 27 unanswered points to lose the game. Mizzu’s QB Blaine Gabbert came into the game as the 4th rated QB in the nation, but he was only 17/43 for 134 yard with 0 TD’s and 2 INT’s, which showed that maybe he is not as good as his ranking since the Tigers played a cream-puff early season schedule. The Tigers were underdogs by 4 points so they did not cover the spread and the posted total of 50 was not reached.
Even though the Cowboys did not have their top 2 playmakers they still came away from Texas A&M with a victory. The reason they won is that they out-gained A&M in the rushing game 169 to 109. Even though they won OSU played a sloppy game, as they were penalized 11 times for 118 yards. Texas A&M led the game at halftime 15-14, but OSU scored 22 points in the 2nd half, as their offense started to come around. The Cowboys were favored by 6 points and since they won by 6 points it was a wash. The posted total of the game was 59 and since 67 points was scored in the game the bettors that took the Over were a little richer after the game.
Missouri has the nation’s 45th ranked defense and they will have to contain the Cowboys and their offense that ranks 10th in the nation in scoring this season.
OSU’s WR Dez Bryant and RB Kendall Hunter missed last week’s game and their status for this game is still uncertain. Bryant, who is a top NFL prospect, has missed the last 2 games after being suspended for lying to the NCAA and Hunter, who was the Big 12’s leading rusher last season, has an injured ankle.
Just because Hunter may not play the Mizzu D has to worry about backup RB Keith Toston, (410 yds 4 TD), who had 130 yards rushing against A&M. The Tigers only have the nation’s 52nd ranked D and if they let the Cowboys run all over them they will be in trouble.
The Tigers also have to worry about Cowboys’ QB Zac Robinson (1070 yds 8 TD 3 TD), who is a legit passer and can move the ball in the air even if Bryant does play.
Mizzu only has 9 sacks in 5 games and they will have to step up against a Cowboys offensive line that has only allowed 2 sacks this season.
Mizzu’s Blaine Gabbert (1,295 11 TD 2 INT) has to bounce back and have a good game after a poor performance last week. Luckily he will be facing a Cowboys’ D that has had their problems defending the pass, as they only rank 89th in the nation in passing defense.
The Cowboys are much better at defending the run, as they rank 37th in the nation in run defense.
The Tigers do not feature the strongest rushing attack, but if they can run for some yards and take some pressure off Gabbert it will give them a much better chance to win.
A few of the trends for this game are the Tigers are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 road games, the total has gone Over in 10 of the last Tigers 14 road games, and the Cowboys have not beat Missouri in their last 4 home games.
Jason’s Pick: Even if the Cowboys are without Bryant and Hunter in this game I really do not think it matters, as the Cowboys have too many offensive weapons. Last week showed that Mizzu is not the team they were last season and Gabbert’s legit numbers were racked up against weak teams. I see the Cowboys dominating this game on both sides of the ball, as they will win this game, cover the spread, and move to 2-0 in the Big 12.