OSU football: Can Spencer Sanders continue his consistent play at TCU?
Here’s a look at key players and important questions facing No. 15 Oklahoma State as it takes on TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday, televised on ESPN2:
3 players to watch
The OSU running back: It’s unclear who might lead the charge out of the trio of Chuba Hubbard, LD Brown and Dez Jackson. Coach Mike Gundy said at the start of the week that Jackson was the starter as the other two worked their way back from injuries. Whoever it is, the Cowboys need production on the ground to keep the offense two-dimensional.
Receiver Tylan Wallace: Wallace is the most impactful player in a Cowboy jersey and he’s coming off his third 100-yard game of the season. Wallace’s connection with quarterback Spencer Sanders is strong, and it needs to continue to be productive.
Linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga: TCU likes to run the ball and they’ve got a talented group of backs. So it’ll be up to the Cowboys’ leading tackler with 62 stops to help keep the Frog run game at bay. OSU has dipped into the bottom half of the Big 12 in run defense, allowing 162.4 yards per game.
2 big questions
Can Sanders continue the consistent play he showed last week? The sophomore quarterback made only one bad decision against Texas Tech last Saturday, throwing late across his body into traffic. That resulted in his only interception of the day. Otherwise, Sanders was solid, getting rid of the ball quickly and finding multiple targets. He completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 222 yards and a TD. A day like that against TCU’s tough defense will be welcomed.
Will the offensive line hold up once again? Perhaps the biggest and most underrated key to the Cowboys’ 50-44 win over Texas Tech last Saturday was the play of the much-maligned offensive front. The Cowboys were consistent across the board on the offensive line, opening holes and preventing big losses. TCU poses a different threat, particularly with its stout linebackers and safeties that help in run support.
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1 wild prediction
The OSU defense intercepts three passes. For as well as the Cowboys have played in coverage this season, they only have five interceptions. But they’re close to grabbing a few more, and on Saturday, they make the necessary plays.
Scott Wright, Staff writer