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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. UTSA Roadrunners Free Pick 9/7/13

Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0) at UTSA Roadrunners (1-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Alamodome)

The Line: UTSA Roadrunners 28.5 -- Over/Under: 60 See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox

Storyline: Now that the quarterback woes seem to be out of the way for the moment, the Cowboys can concentrate on polishing their offense because it was anything but smooth against Mississippi State in their 21-3 opening day victory. Soph. QB J.W. Walsh eventually found some semblance of an offense and although they stifled the Bulldogs and kept them out of the end zone, the Oklahoma State defense is unlikely to be able to bail them out against real offenses when Big 12 conference play starts in a couple weeks. For the University of Texas-San Antonio, opening the season with a 21-13 win against New Mexico in only its third season of football existence puts the Roadrunners that much closer to the school’s first ever bowl bid.

The Breakdown: J.W. Walsh all but erased the lingering quarterback questions that loomed over the Cowboys for much of last season, using the opener against Mississippi State as a springboard into the starting role. Walsh threw for 135 yards and ran for another 125 yards and a score after Sr. Clint Chelf started the game, but got the hook after two ineffective possessions, going 3-for-6 for 11 yards. Walsh will get the start against UTSA and should have a monster outing against a defense that’s not quite up to FBS standards yet after moving from the now defunct WAC to Conference USA this season. A step up, but still far from a team that should even be on Oklahoma State’s radar. Sr. RB Jeremy Smith also provided a spark, with 102 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. Defensively, the Cowboys won’t have much scouting to do. The only real playmaker for the Roadrunners is Sr. QB Eric Soza, who orchestrated a 99-yard game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter against New Mexico. Soza led the way in both passing (21-of-34, 237 YDS, 2 TDS) and rushing (11 ATT, 48 YDS).  Defensively, an undersized UTSA will have its hands full with more talent, size and speed than they’ve ever faced.

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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. UTSA Roadrunners Free Pick  9/7/13

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rick’s Pick: The Cowboys are extremely fortunate to have maybe the lightest first half schedule in the Big 12, especially after such a lukewarm display against Mississippi State. Their season doesn’t really get going until week 4 when they travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia and they’ll be favored in that game, as they will the following week against Kansas State, who were on the losing end of one of week one’s biggest upsets against North Dakota State. So if the stars align and the offense finds its form, Oklahoma State will be 5-0 heading into the showdown with TCU. Then the fun really begins.  For UTSA, meeting its toughest opponent in the school’s short football history won’t be pretty, but regardless of next week’s massive roadblock, head coach Larry Coker is headed in the right direction with this program after an 8-4 finish last season. Unfortunately for Coker, though, this game will be an unfriendly reminder of how far the Roadrunners have yet to go. The Cowboys cover the 4 TD spread.

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