Oklahoma State faces a crucial road test on Saturday night when it heads to Boise to face the 2-0 Broncos. The Pistols Firing staff convened to discuss where the Cowboys offense is heading into Week 3, our level of confidence in OSU and how we view the Boise State program.
Kyle Cox: How much confidence are we feeling about OSU’s first road trip?
I’d say that I’m cautiously optimistic. I still think there are some qualifiers — not excuses — that can at least explain OSU’s spotty offense in Weeks 1 and 2. Those include QB changes, OL changes and those defenses both being better than most people probably give them credit for. That being said, it’s put up or shut up time.
Kyle Boone: Amped for the game itself. Amazing venue, very even matchup. Less amped for OSU’s prospects. Really haven’t seen too much to think the Pokes can win this one on the road so confidence level is … waning.
Marshall Scott: It’s weird because I’m immensely confident in OSU’s defense, and there’s that old saying that defense travels. For obvious reasons, I’m less confident in OSU’s offense, but I think they have the pieces to score points, it’s just about figuring it out. So if 10 is uber confident, and 1 isn’t confident at all, I’d say I’m a 6.42.
Cox: I’ll give it a 6.43, Bob.
Boone: 6.41 for me, gents.
Cox: I thought it was interesting that Spencer Sanders even mentioned the defense as a source of confidence this week. Hopefully Jim Knowles’ unit is up to the task of keeping OSU out of too much trouble until some of the offense’s youth gets seasoned and things get worked out. It’s a luxury not many OSU quarterbacks have had.
Scott: From the outside it’s hard to say exactly what hasn’t worked offensively. As Cox mentioned, the offensive line has struggled (and Woodard’s injury didn’t help), Sanders got a late start, some of it probably falls on schemes as Gundy has mentioned. But, the receivers, though young, have showed sparks, and the running backs are loaded. I think it’s moreso a matter of when they figure things out, not if.
Boone: It’s quite a world we live in where confidence in an OSU football team stems largely from the defense and special teams, not the offense.
Cox: A 40 burger on the blue turf would go a long way in calming the fears of the Loyal and True.
Cox: To that point, what is your (realistic) best case/worst case scenario for OSU’s offense?
Scott: Best case scenario is something that looks like the first half of the Cheez-It Bowl. We might be witnessing the worst case.
Cox: Famous last words.
Boone: I mean, yeah, worst case … I’ll agree with Marshall. Best case, the offensive line musical chairs stops playing, they get some semblance of a running game going and it’s complementary-enough to give OSU enough points for the W. Not crazy to think they could hang 40 points in this one and, as bad as the offense has been, can’t say I’d be too surprised by it. I’m both alarmed by what I’ve seen and optimistic that Gundy and Co. can figure it out.
Cox: I’d say realistically, a 35-40 point outing would be a great bounce-back. Worst case would be a loss on with more turnovers than TDs. I think a practical expectation is that the Cowboys break 30 for the first time but, more importantly, look good doing it.
Scott: Yeah, and I think Boise State is a good enough opponent that a win on blue turf should be celebrated no matter how it comes.
Cox: Where do you rank Boise State in comparison to the upcoming Big 12 additions (BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston)?
Cox: I think it would fit right into that mix and I could have been persuaded to include Boise over the say a Cincy. That was until I peeped the Bearcats’ Big 12 hype vid.
Scott: In football terms, it’d be up there with the best of them. Boise State has been good for a long time. With that being said, I see why all four of those schools got in before Boise State because of enrollment sizes, markets, etc. I’m not too high on the Big 12 expanding past 12, but I think if that’s something the conference decides to do, Boise State and Memphis are no-brainers.
Boone: I’d rank them behind the additions but not too far behind. Very good school, great football traditions, just doesn’t quite bring enough to the table to be in the same discussion with BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston. That said, if expansion comes around again in a few years I’m not opposed to the Broncos getting consideration.
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