No. 2 Oklahoma State (10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS) at Iowa State Cyclones (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS), Friday November 18th, 2011. 8:00PM EST. College Football Week 12
Jack Trice Stadium Ames, Iowa
By Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU -24.5/ISU +24.5
Over/Under Total: 67
Make OSU a -4.5 favorite by placing them into a 20 point football teaser at 5Dimes.
With each passing week it is beginning to look more and more like an LSU vs. Oklahoma State battle for the National Championship. The Oklahoma State Cowboys have captured the nation by storm with one of the most explosive offenses in all of college football. Last week many so-called experts had the Cowboys on upset alert as they played a Texas Tech team that was capable of such upsets as they proved against Oklahoma earlier this year. Instead, the Cowboys responded with a 66-6 shellacking over the Red Raiders to prove once again that they deserve to be in the midst of the National Championship discussion.
This week the no. 2 ranked Cowboys take to the road to battle the Iowa State Cyclones in a Friday Night affair on ESPN. The Cyclones have had an up and down season thus far through 2011. Iowa State jumped out to a 3-0 start on the year before losing 4 straight conference games. After their 4 game losing slide, the Cyclones responded with a 41-7 blowout over then no. 20 Texas Tech and then again with a win over Kansas in their last outing 13-10. The Cyclones have had an extra week to come up with a game plan to slow down the Oklahoma State offense and score a huge upset. Therefore, we will see just how well the Cyclones can contend with the Cowboys this Friday night.
For Oklahoma State, you just can’t say enough how good they are on offense. QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon are the best 1-2 combination in the entire country. Blackmon won the Biletnikoff Award last year given to the nation’s top receiver and may very well be on his way to capturing the award again this season. Blackmon has posted stellar numbers this season catching 93 passes for 1,142 yards and 14 touchdowns. Blackmon’s 14 touchdowns ties for first in the country and has helped spur a Cowboys passing attack that currently ranks 2nd in the FBS averaging 394 yards per game.
QB Brandon Weeden is the guy that has managed the Cowboys high flying passing attack and has done an excellent job doing so. In fact, it’s rather surprising Weeden has not received more Heisman Trophy acknowledgement this year. Weeden’s numbers have been incredible completing 73.1% passing for 3,635 yards with 31 touchdowns and 9 picks on the year. In the last 2 games, Weeden has completed over 80% passing for nearly 1,000 yards with 9 scores and 2 picks. That blistering pace is bound to slow down at some point, but then again nobody has had an answer for the Cowboys offense.
The Cyclones offense differs a bit more than your standard pass happy Big 12 offense. Iowa State has rather struggled throwing the football this season with QB Steele Jantz. Jantz has completed just 53% passing for 1,322 yards with 10 scores and 9 picks. Therefore just from the numbers you can tell that Iowa State has not had much success throwing the football. However, the Cyclones have found some success running the football as they have averaged 183 yards per game on the ground (37th in NCAA).
Running back James White has been the primary focus for the offense. White has recorded respectable numbers rushing for 618 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. When successful the offense loves to run the football behind White as it has proven much more consistent that the errant passing attack with Jantz. In the big win over Texas Tech, White carried the ball 31 times for 138 yards and helped keep that Red Raiders offense off the field. Of course in a perfect world for Iowa State, that same scenario would play out again this Friday night as they will do their best to keep the Cowboys offense off the field.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This line is fairly low for the Cowboys who have been demolishing opponents. Perhaps Iowa State’s extra week of preparation has odds makers expecting a hard fought game. However, I see Brandon Weeden using the Friday Night stage to make a big statement to the rest of the nation. Take the Cowboys for another blowout!
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