The Oklahoma State Cowboys appear to have underperformed last weekend against Tulsa. And they may have lost their quarterback. So is there some reason to support them against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday in Big 12 action? BetAnySports patrons will find out when this game kicks off at 3:30 PM ET at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, and they can use Sports Betting Prime to keep the wagers coming in real time.
OSU had made it a habit of destroying Tulsa, but alas, they found themselves behind 7-3 as they went into the fourth quarter of last week's game. Quarterback Spencer Sanders went out of the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter, and Ethan Bullock, a junior college transfer, was not able to move the team.
Then head coach Mike Gundy inserted Shane Illingworth, a freshman, and the team got moving, to the point where they were able to pull out a 16-7 victory.
Obviously the Cowboys' preference here would be to go with Sanders. But will it turn out that way? He may not be able to go with his ankle the way it is; which would force Gundy into a decision.
West Virginia hasn't necessarily been tested yet. The Mountaineers went through a bit of a transition last season as head coach Neal Brown came over from Troy. Brown is an exacting type, and his team made progress toward the end of the season , as they scored road victories over Kansas State and TCU. This coincided with Jarret Doege taking over at quarterback. Doege, who had previously been the starter at Bowling Green, threw seven TD passes in 3-1/2 games and had three touchdowns in the first half of the season opener against Eastern Kentucky.
In the NCAA football odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Oklahoma State is the favorite:
Oklahoma State Cowboys -6.5
West Virginia Mountaineers +6.5
Over 51 points -110
Under 51 points -110
You can theorize as to why OSU looked so sluggish against Tulsa, and some of it could center on Gundy, who got involved in the kind of controversy no coach really wants to encounter. Players were upset when he was spotted wearing a T-shirt with the logo of a conservative news network, and they made him apologize and capitulate and offer to make concessions in his contract with the university, and in general do everything he could to lose the locker room. Does this team respect its leader?
Maybe they will if he can make better decisions than the one he initially made at quarterback. Settling on Illingworth may turn out to be the prudent thing. The frosh had a few practices in the spring and missed substantial time in fall camp because of COVID-19 tracing.
But don't sell this kid short; he was Oklahoma State's top recruit, and was ranked the #6 prospect in the country according to the Rivals scouting site. He can play, if they give him time.
What you have to question here is what West Virginia can do in its running game. That was severely lacking last season, and one reason was the inefficiencies on the offensive line, which produced just 1.72 "line yards" per game, which was the worst figure in the nation. And although OSU is not known for defense, they brought back ten returning starters on that unit.
In this game, the Cowboys are the team with the standout weapons, like running back Chuba Hubbard, who did not have a great game last week but topped the 2000-yard mark last season, and wide receiver Tylan Wallace, who played through a groin injury last week but still had 94 yards in receptions. It will be all the better if Sanders, a dual threat (and last season's Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year) can play, but they don't necessarily have to be compromised with Illingworth. We'll lay the points.
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