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UTSA Roadrunners vs Oklahoma State Cowboys 2014 Preview

UTSA (1-1) travels to Oklahoma State (1-1) with dreams of a Big XII win.

UTSA will head to Stillwater seeking to give the fans back home something to cheer about.
UTSA will head to Stillwater seeking to give the fans back home something to cheer about.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK

When: 6 pm CST

TV: Fox Sports Network

Vegas says: OSU -13.5, O/U 55 points

Mike Gundy had high praise for UTSA as his Cowboys prepared to host the upstart this week:

I think this is a league game for us. I told our team that and told it to the press. They are very capable of winning games and having success in the Big 12 conference.

Gundy, who formerly played under UTSA head coach Larry Coker at Oklahoma State, knows first hand how tough UTSA can play. The Roadrunners hosted Oklahoma State last season in a semi-competitive 56-35 match that forced the then-ranked Cowboys to bring their starters back into the game in the fourth quarter. UTSA was able to make some big plays against Oklahoma State but turnovers and a stout OSU defense prevented UTSA from ever giving OSU a real scare, though UTSA scored more points against the OSU defense than any other team they played in the regular season.

Both programs will be starting new quarterbacks in this game-- OSU due to injury and UTSA due to the graduation of Eric Soza. Redshirt junior Daxx Garman will get the start for OSU. An Arizona transfer, Garman has an accurate arm that has some laser zip to it. Tucker Carter will be stepping into his third start at UTSA. The 6'3" senior has looked progressively better each quarter this season and will look to finally get UTSA's offense to click for four quarters this evening.

Noteworthy miscellaneous:

  • UTSA ranks first in returning experience while Oklahoma State ranks dead last on Phil Steele's experience chart.
  • This game is a homecoming of sorts for the UTSA staff; Defensive coordinator Neal Neathery was born and raised in Stillwater, defensive line coach Eric Roark played at OSU for three years, and Larry Coker coached at OSU before rising to prominence in Miami.
  • UTSA wide receiver Kenny Bias racked up three touchdowns against OSU last season but the junior is still serving a four game suspension.
  • By my unofficial count, Oklahoma State has nine players on its roster from the greater San Antonio area.
  • Starting UTSA defensive tackle Ashaad Mabry started his career at Oklahoma State before transferring home. The connections between these programs clearly run deep.

Prediction:

Both teams should be pretty energized for this game. UTSA nearly knocked off Arizona after falling to a 10-0 deficit and the Cowboys were definitely roasted all week in the film room and on the practice field after letting Missouri State hang around last Saturday. I can't envision a scenario in which UTSA comes into Stillwater and completely shocks OSU but the Roadrunners should provide a tough fight. UTSA's run game should recover after floundering against Arizona but they will be hard pressed to go blow-for-blow against the Cowboys for four quarters. Watch for Tyreek Hill to make a huge impact for OSU in the return game as the Cowboys escape with a ten point win.