UTSA Roadrunners (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date and Time: Saturday, September 13th, 2014. 7:00PM EST
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium Stillwater, O.K.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UTSA +16/OKST -16
Over/Under Total: OFF
After nearly pulling out an upset against no. 1 Florida State in the season opener, Oklahoma State bounced back last week to score their first victory of the season with a 40-23 mark over Missouri State. Despite the early season loss and a lot of inexperience, the Cowboys are still expected to be a force in the Big 12 this year behind Oklahoma and Baylor. However before the long and grueling 9 game conference stretch starts, the Cowboys will get one final test from an out of conference foe this week when the visiting UTSA Roadrunners come into Stillwater.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, known as UTSA, opened as 16 point dogs for this Saturday night’s contest at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Roadrunners entered 2014 with a football team that returned 19 starters which was tied with Central Michigan for the most in college football. Thus far, the Roadrunners have backed up their experience with solid play on the gridiron. UTSA opened the season as a double digit underdog to Houston but won convincingly 27-7 as the defense held the Cougars typically strong offense to just 208 total yards. Last week the Roadrunners nearly captured another upset but fell short to Arizona 26-23. Still, the Roadrunners have proved they can contend and will have another opportunity as a big underdog this week in Stillwater.
On the flip side of the experience card, Oklahoma State entered 2014 with the 2nd fewest returning starters (9) in college football. Even without much experience, Oklahoma State has played fairly well which was evident when they took the defending National Champions down to the wire. Offensively, the Cowboys are a bit behind the curve based off their normal high offensive standards. The Cowboys currently rank outside the top 50 in passing, rushing, total yards, and scoring. A lot of the offensive woes can be accredited to the lack of returning talent at the skill positions but things should get better as the season progresses.
However the main problems surrounding this Oklahoma State offense remain at the quarterback position. Last year the Cowboys were riddled with injuries behind center and the team has not had a proven quarterback in years on a consistent basis. In the last 3 years, seven different quarterbacks have taken the field whether it was due to injuries or performance issues among starters. Junior quarterback J.W Walsh was expected to be the bright spot of the offense this season and was living up to those expectations for the most part before he suffered a foot injury during the first half of last week’s game against Missouri State. Walsh will now miss several weeks of game action meaning the offense will again be under new leadership with quarterback Daxx Garman.
Garman was solid last week against Missouri State completing 16 of 26 passes for 2 scores. However this week’s contest against UTSA will mark the junior’s first start of his career and it will be very interesting to see how the offense performs under his leadership. The Roadrunners have not only proven they can contend in these football games but their defense has especially been impressive. If they can rattle Garman, things could get really interesting.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I don’t expect the loss of Walsh to be too big of a loss considering Walsh did commit a couple of costly turnovers against the Seminoles. As long as Garman plays decent, the Cowboys will be about the same as before. Perhaps a little better, perhaps a little worse. Still Oklahoma State has been extremely tough to beat in Stillwater as they have won 15 of their last 16 games SU. I believe that trend will hold true again this Saturday. However, I do believe UTSA will give the Cowboys all they can handle. Expect the Roadrunners to grind out this game and make it uncomfortable all night for Oklahoma State fans. Take UTSA +16