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Three and Out: Can OSU Win the Turnover Battle for Just the Second Time This Year?



Oklahoma State hosts a winless Baylor team for Homecoming that it should beat handily. There are several reasons why this game could be more interesting than it should but if the Cowboys play a clean game and win in these three areas, we should get a good look at Taylor Cornelius against Big 12 competition.


Baylor is allowing 4.37 points per red-zone attempt on defense which ranks fourth in the Big 12 (just a hair better than OSU at 4.40). Opponents have scored on all but two trips to Baylor’s red zone (Duke went 2/4) but the Bears have forced 9 field goals to 8 touchdowns. The obvious concern here is that Oklahoma State missed two such field goals in Lubbock.

Are the Cowboys going to be more aggressive in the score zone? Does the coaching staff really have a “tweak” that will improve Matt Ammendola on the close kicks? It’s worth keeping an eye on. Does it decide the game? Doubtful. But if you’re Mike Gundy you’d like to see an improvement in red-zone scoring and you’d love to see your kicking game earn some confidence.


Justice Hill carried the ball 30 times against Texas Tech which followed a 25 rush game against TCU. J.D. King has carried the ball three times in that span. Do we see the handoffs spread around a little more this Saturday? Gundy talked about the distribution of carries during this week’s press conference.

“Justice is playing really well,” said Gundy “and if we feel like he’s not fatigued then we need him in the game because we think that he can change the game. Would I like to limit his carries? Sure. Do I have confidence in J.D.? Yes. Is J.D. the runner that Justice now? No.”

The Bears have been very accommodating to opposing rushing attacks. Their 5.3 yards per carry allowed ranks 118th in the country and dead last in the Big 12. Expect Mike and Mike to try to control the game with Justice and hopefully more J.D. King than Mason Rudolph. I think we see those carries spread around a little more this weekend, especially since I think this might be a boring game for most of the second half.


Oklahoma State, who has prided itself on forcing turnovers on defense and avoiding them on offense, has stumbled out of the gate in 2017 and sits in the bottom third of the Big 12 with a minus-1 turnover margin. The Cowboys only have won the turnover battle in one game this year and that was in a high school stadium in Mobile. Mason Rudolph has already equaled his interception count from a year ago – in five games.

A defense that thrives on turnovers has only forced one in each conference game. This is a bad Baylor team with depth and experience issues and a quarterback who has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns in all but one game this year. Glenn Spencer’s crew needs to “take it back” in a bad way.

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