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2017

Oklahoma State

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule

If there was ever a season for Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State, this might be it. After repeatedly reaching 10 wins and making cases to be one of the nation’s best in 2010 and 2011, it didn’t happen. But now, in 2017, the Cowboys may have their best chance to enter the Playoff picture behind an offense that can’t be matched by many after scoring 38.6 points per game a year ago.

Quarterback Mason Rudolph returns on the heels of a dominant campaign finishing with 4,091 yards, 28 touchdowns and only four picks. In the spring, he had decent +2000 odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the Heisman. The pieces are there to succeed as stud wide out James Washington (1,380 yards, 10 TDs) also returns with Jalen McCleskey (812 yards, 7 TDs). But this team can do more than pass as seen when Justice Hill broke open the running game with 1,142 yards and six touchdowns. The Cowboys figured things out last season and with a lot of those same guys back including most of that offensive line, this is a group that should reach more than 40 points per game.

But to reach that next level, the defense will have to show a bit more than the 457 yards per game allowed in 2016. Sure, the Cowboys gave up 28 points per game, but some of that luck won’t show up down the stretch in a new year. Either way, playing in the Big 12 doesn’t allow much room for error on the defensive side. Senior linebacker Chad Whitener is one of the best in the conference, but what about the pieces around him? The secondary is mostly unknown with safety Tre Flowers one of the better playmakers from a group that was torched too often last year. It’s the same situation on the line where more guys have to step up, not only against the run, but also on the edges.

That defensive inconsistency showed up in the loss to Central Michigan last season and that’s something this team can’t afford again. Two road games in non-conference play aren’t great, especially the one to a difficult Pittsburgh team that OK State beat 45-38 in Stillwater last year. But while that will be tough, the Pokes have one of the easier Big 12 schedules in the conference with only four road games combined with hosting the Sooners.

If they can get past a tricky non-conference slate, the opportunity will be there for another 10-win season and maybe a Playoff appearance if all goes well. The offense will be one of the best in the country behind Rudolph, but to get to that next level, it’ll require more from the defense if it wants to steal a couple games on the road like at West Virginia and Texas. The odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook still had Oklahoma as early favorites with the Pokes at +450 to win the Big 12.

 

2017 Oklahoma State Cowboys Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Tulsa
Sept. 9 at South Alabama
Sept. 16 at Pittsburgh
Sept. 23 vs. TCU

Sept. 30 at Texas Tech
Oct. 14 vs. Baylor
Oct. 21 at Texas

Oct. 28 at West Virginia
Nov. 4 vs. Oklahoma
Nov. 11 at Iowa State
Nov. 18 vs. Kansas State
Nov. 25 vs. Kansas

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