Thursday, August 21, 2014
Oklahoma State Offense vs. Oregon Defense
RB Kendall Hunter, who averages 126.5 rushing yards per game, and QB Zac Robinson headline one of the nation's most productive ground games. Hunter is quick and a stronger runner than his 190-pound frame suggests while Robinson runs the read option well. That said an Oregon run defense that's giving up an average of 3.1 yards per carry will force Oklahoma State to work for every yard it picks up on the ground. Defensive end Nick Reed is quick enough to hold his own working against left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Brady Bond is going to have a difficult time keeping defensive end Will Tukuafu out of the backfield. On the inside, 300-pound defensive tackle Ra'Shon Harris anchors well and he's capable of holding his ground working against the Cowboys' interior offensive linemen.
While the strength of Oklahoma State's offense has been its ground game, the Cowboys are more than capable of moving the ball though the air and that doesn't bode well for a porous Oregon pass defense. Wide receiver Dez Bryant has the burst to get open underneath and he shows a second gear when tracking the ball downfield. He's capable of getting open any time corners Jairus Byrd and Walter Thurmond III try to match up in man coverage. In addition, 6-foot-6 255-pound TE Brandon Pettigrew has the body control to compete for any jump balls and he rarely drops passes he gets his hands on. Making maters worse, the Cowboys have done a sound job of protecting Robinson and he can scramble for yards when defenders get caught out of their rushing lanes. So even though an Oregon pass rush that has been one of the most productive in the nation should get to Robinson at times the pressure won't be as consistent as it has been in most games.
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