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9th Ranked Oklahoma State Favored over 13th Ranked Georgia

Week One College Football Picks

9/5/09

College football is finally here. There is nothing quite like watching two heavyweights from top conferences buck heads to start the season. We will get to see just that when Georgia travels to play at Oklahoma State on Saturday. Both teams boast high scoring and fast offenses. They both also have lackluster defenses, so get ready for a shootout. The Betting line at SBG Global and Bodog currently stands at -4.5 for Oklahoma State and was as high as -6.5. The total is 61.

There is a big question for the Georgia Bulldogs offense. How will the loss of #1 overall draft pick Matthew Stafford effect the team? Joe Cox is the replacement. Admittedly, he is a far cry from Stafford. However, he is probably good enough to lead this offense and get the job done. Cox is an accurate passer, but he doesnít have a rocket for an arm like Stafford did. Georgia boasts one of the best offensive lines in the SEC and by default the country. Coach Mark Richt is expecting the running game to pick up over 2,000 yards just as it has many times in the past.

The Georgia Bulldogs were road warriors last year. They went 5-0 on the road, including a 14 point victory over LSU. Clearly going to Oklahoma State and facing a hostile environment will not bother them. They are returning 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense. The offense lost some skill players, but itís important to remember that the replacements were all members of top recruiting classes.

Defense could pose a problem. They are weak at DE and in the secondary. The LB corps is a bright spot and easily the best part of the defense. They played well against Michigan State in their Bowl game last year, bailing the offense out many times while giving up only 12 points. Does this mean they are going to be good this year? Only time will tell.

There is good news for fans of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. QB Zac Robinson is back along with RB Kendall Hunter and WRs Dez Bryant and DeMarcus Conner. What does this mean? Points; and lots of them! The gun slinging Cowboys offense is one of the most prolific in the entire NCAA. They put up over 50 points in five games last year. Zac Robinson threw for 3,064 yards last year and 25 TDs. He also picked up 562 on the ground and 8 more TDs. Dez Bryant is nearly unstoppable when playing his best football at WR. The junior had 1,480 yards and 19 TDs last year. Kendall Hunter is also an integral member of the offense. He had 1,555 yards last year at RB.

The defense is worrisome for the favored Oklahoma State Cowboys. The secondary is replacing several members, and it ranked a dismal 109th in the country last year. This team hasnít been able to successfully rush the pass in recent years. This could be bad news for them because Georgia is a team that does very well in the air. If they are somehow able to apply good pressure to Cox it could mean big things. Keeping the new starter from getting comfortable would go a long way towards helping them come out of this one with a win.

These two last met in 2007 in a game which Georgia had an easy time with Oklahoma State, dominating them in a 35-14 win. The defense, or lack of it, is what keeps the door open for Georgia here. That and there great road play over the years. We'll take the Bulldogs +4.5 or more with no opinion on the total.

 

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