September 13, 2013
Could the Sports Illustrated investigation sidetrack Oklahoma State on Saturday?
Oklahoma State has had a busy, busy week.
Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you know about the five-part investigative report by Sports Illustrated that's been the talk of the nation since Tuesday, with the Cowboy football team sitting dead in the center of their sights.
Whether they fired a round or simply a blank depends on who you ask, but this isn't a case of "Any press is good press."
With that in mind, Oklahoma State still has a football game to play on Saturday. The Lamar Cardinals come to town, and it seems like some people might be forgetting that.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't me saying that Lamar has (much of) a chance to pull the upset against the Pokes come 6:30 pm Saturday. I live by the phrase "Any given Saturday", but it's a longshot.
Still, could the Cowboys overlook this one due to knowing that the entire country is watching?
Lamar presents some interesting matchups. They're outscoring opponents 89-27 this year after two games, and average a healthy 297.5 passing yards per game while posting a 191.0 average on the ground.
Their quarterback, Caleb Berry, is slinging it. He's completed 62.5% of his passes, and has 7 touchdowns on 40 completions so far to 13 different receivers.
It's because they're extremely similar to Oklahoma State's offensive attack, and everyone knows how deadly that can be.
They also have two guys who know the Cowboys very, very well.
Kevin Johnson used to be a receiver in Stillwater before leaving. He's with the Cardinals, and only has 4 receptions for the year. Of those four, two have been for touchdowns, and he also serves as their primary kick and punt returner.
In talking with some of the Lamar fans on their message boards (I'm doing a Q&A session this week at BigRedInsider.com), Johnson seems to be their wild card player much like Blake Jackson for Oklahoma State last season. OSU will likely focus on not letting him get loose, as everyone knows what kind of momentum a wild card player can create.
On defense, Lamar has Joe Okafor, who used to be a part of the defensive line at OSU. He hasn't done much this year, but he's a part of their rotation. The player to watch there is defensive back Tyrus McGlothen.
McGlothen leads the team in tackles with 17, and also is in the mix on a few blitz packages to get him into the backfield.
It's a long, long shot that Lamar derails the Oklahoma State training that gained so much momentum last week against UTSA, but is the weather right for a bit of a scare?
Are the Cowboys worried about the Sports Illustrated article, so much so that the Cardinals could catch them a bit off guard on Saturday?
They certainly have a few tools that might make it closer than most would think, so it's definitely something to keep an eye on when the Cowboys run out of the tunnel for the first time.
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