Missouri State Bears (0-0) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday August 30, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Oklahoma State Cowboys -34.5 -- Over/Under: 73
The Missouri State Bears and Oklahoma State Cowboys meet Thursday in college football action at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The Missouri State Bears are coming off a 3-8 record last year and were waxed in majority of the games they stepped up in competition. Missouri State has won a combined eight games the last three seasons, so any sort of success this year will be considered progress. The good news is that Missouri State returns 13 starters from a year ago, including quarterback Peyton Huslig, who led the team with nine touchdown passes and 621 rushing yards. Huslig is a playmaker and could form a nice QB-WR tandem with the addition of JUCO transfer Antwan Woods. Defensively, Missouri State was one of the worst in the country, but the Bears do return eight of their top-10 tacklers from last season, including senior safety Jared Beshore, who had three interceptions and was one of the more consistent players on this side of the ball. The Missouri State Bears could have one of their better seasons in recent memory, and a game like this will only help with confidence come conference play.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have won a combined 30 games in the last three seasons and haven’t missed a bowl appearance since 2005. Mike Gundy consistently gets the most out of his players and has OK State a contender in the Big 12 more times than not. However, there’s a lot of turnover with this years squad, as James Washington and Mason Rudolph have to be replaced, two of the top players at their positions on the offensive side. Justice Hill, a 1,000-yard rusher does return at running back and Jalen McCleskey has shown he has the ability to be a top wide receiver option. Oklahoma State should be fine offensively regardless of who wins the starting quarterback job. Defensively, Jim Knowles will bring in his weird 4-2-5 scheme over from Duke, and he has seven starters from last year to work with. Justin Phillips was a really productive linebacker last season and Jordan Brailford returns after five sacks. It’s just a matter of adjusting to the new and confusing scheme in such a short time. Regardless, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are once again a team that’s going to contend for the Big 12 title. Zach Sinor is questionable with a hernia injury.
The over is 5-1 in Bears last 6 non-conference games, 5-1 in Bears last 6 games on fieldturf and 5-1 in Bears last 6 road games. The Cowboys are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in August. The over is 5-1 in Cowboys last 6 games overall.
I'm not worried about the Oklahoma State Cowboys offensively, as Gundy always figures it out and still has a world class running back who should have a field day against Missouri State. The Missouri State Bears have enough returning starters to be decent in FCS play, but this is a team that lost to Missouri last year 43-72 and then followed that up with a 34-point loss to North Dakota. The Bears get crushed whenever they step out of their comfort zone. The only reason to fear this large number is the motivation factor, as guys could take their foot off the gas in the second half. This should be an ugly blowout.