OSU’s first road game of the 2021 season comes Saturday in Boise, Idaho against a 2-0 Boise State team that oddsmakers predict will win the game outright. The Broncos are 1-1 after a tight loss to UCF before blowing out UTEP last weekend. OSU is 2-0 but coming off two shaky single-possession wins over Missouri State and Tulsa.
Because of this, our staff is somewhat split on how we think things will go down Saturday. Our predictions are below.
Score prediction: Oklahoma State 31, Boise State 28
Thoughts: I’m basing picking the Pokes off two ideals: 1. I trust Jim Knowles’ defense, and 2. I think OSU has the guys to be better offensively, it’s just a matter of some things meshing. Thus far, those things haven’t meshed offensively. People who understand Xs and Os on a deeper level than I have been critical of the Cowboys’ schemes. Maybe the data the Cowboys have on what doesn’t work will help them find something that does.
Score prediction: Boise State 30, Oklahoma State 27
Thoughts: OSU’s defense has been stellar thus far this season. It ranks top-20 nationally in sacks per game and its third-down defense has been exceptional. I expect that if OSU wins, it will be on the strength of the defense. I’m just not so confident about the offense. Based on what we’ve seen thus far I think the Cowboys will struggle to put up points if the running game isn’t working and the offensive line is struggling to get real push. OSU can definitely pull this win out — Gundy seems to coach best when his teams are underdogs — but this is a terribly tough spot for them on the road in a tough environment to try and correct some issues that have shown themselves in recent weeks.
Score prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Boise State 24
Thoughts: I’ve picked the Cowboys to break 30 every week so far. If at first you don’t succeed… I think there are several reasons that you can point to for OSU’s struggles on offense so far including a QB rotation, OL shuffling and other injuries and youth. But this is it. If OSU can’t come out with a decent scoring output, in a win, I will reset my bar heading into Big 12 play.
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