Friday Football Picks: Oklahoma St Vs Louisiana Lafayette

Oklahoma St Cowboys at Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA
Friday, October 8, 2010, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Oklahoma St -22
Current line: Oklahoma st -24
Opening Total: 65
Current Total: 62
Money Line: Oklahoma St -2000 / ULL +1250
Odds taken from Bookmaker Sportsbook

The Cowboys take the road and are -24 point road favorites tonight

Coach Mike Gundy leads his 4-0 OSU Cowboys on the road for the first time against the 2-2 Louisiana-Lafayette Cajuns. Last week, the Cowboys had an emotional 38-35 victory against Texas A&M. The Cajuns narrowly beat North Texas 28-27 on a blocked PAT. Oklahoma st has done well recently in October games and as a favorite. They are 8-1 against the spread in October in the last three seasons and 14-5 against the college football odds as a favorite during the same time period.

The Cowboys are 4-0 and are ranked #22 in the country. They are a young team, but certainly have a lot of talent. I actually attended their game last week against Texas A&M in Stillwater. The Aggies jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and it looked like they were going to run all over the Cowboys. However, the Cowboys came back and were up 35-21 in the 4th quarter on a fumble recovery and return for  a touchdown. The Cowboys forced Aggiesquarterback Jerrod Johnson to have 4 interceptions along with the fumble. By the fourth quarter, The Cowboy defense had spent so much time on the field that they were completely gassed, andallowed Texas A&M to tie it up with about 3 minutes to go. After the Cowboys went three and out, The Aggies took the ball down the field and looked like they were going to kick a game winning field goal before Johnson threw another interception. OSU kicked a field goal as time expired to win 38-35. Though the defense did give up a ton of yards and points, OSU’s defense only allowed 7 points in the 2nd and3rd quarter. Coupled with the turnovers, OSU’sdefense kept them in the game while the offense found their rhythm.  OSU did not play a perfect game by any means, giving up 3 turnovers of their own. They were outgained 535-351, and couldn’t stop the Aggies on 3rd or 4th down. Texas A&M was 11-20 converting 3rd downs and 4-5 on fourth downs. The Cowboy offense is led by quarterback Brandon Weeden who has thrown for over 1200 yards, 13 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions. Kendall Hunter is running for just under 150 yards a game and has 8 scores this season. Weeden’s top target is Justin Blackmon who has 34 catches for 558 yards and 9 touchdown catches.  The defense is pretty opportunistic forcing 10 sacks and 14 turnovers but is giving up over 400 yards a game. The Cowboys have 9 turnovers of their own on offense.

Lousiana-Lafayette is 2-2 but isn’t a very good football team. They got beat 55-7 by a Georgia team that has lost 4 games in a row since that game. They rank 69th in passing and 103rd in rushing. They are being outscored by an average of 35-20. to top it all off, they will be playing short-handed as they are expected to be without running back Kevis Streeter, starting tackle Jonathan DeCoster and tight end LaDarious Green are all expected to miss this game. Streeter and Green are huge losses as they are the team’s leading rusher and receiver respectively. Defensively, the Cajuns are giving up over 400 yards a game, and have forced 7 turnovers and 5 sacks. ULL does have problems protecting the quarterback as they have allowed 14 sacks.

Though Oklahoma St is clearly the better team against a short-handed opponent, bettors should beware of a potential letdown for the young Cowboys. They are playing on the road for the first time this season, andhad an emotional victory over  a conference rival on national television. However, the Cajuns can’t afford to get behind early because of their offensive deficiencies, especially if Streeter and Green miss the game. The Cowboys are 22-2 all time against Sun Belt opponents straight up, but they do need to be wary of this team. Last year, Kansas St came to Lafayette and lost 17-15 a loss that kept the Wildcats out of a Bowl Game. It will be hot andmuggy down in the bayou with gametime temps in the 80’s.

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