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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. South Alabama Jaguars Point Spread - Pick

Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. South Alabama Jaguars (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Friday, September 8, 2017 at 8PM EST
Where: Ladd-Peeples Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: OSU -28.5/USA +28.5
Over/Under Total: 64.5

The top-ten Oklahoma State Cowboys make the trip to Mobile to face the South Alabama Jaguars in week two Friday action. In week one, the Cowboys looked to be just what most people thought—a potent offensive machine with a defense that just might not be ready for primetime. They smashed the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 59-24, in a dominant win that wasn't even that close. South Alabama, meanwhile, was beaten by Ole Miss on the road, 47-27, but they covered the spread and give it another go against a team that is probably a little out of their element. Who can get the cover this week in Mobile? Let's break it down!

Granted, there is only so much to be gleaned from the Oklahoma St. win over Tulsa, but it might just offer a glimpse of what might happen against the Sun Belt's South Alabama Jaguars. Against teams with defenses that aren't up-to-snuff, it's going to be a feeding frenzy for the high-flying Oklahoma State offense, led by senior quarterback Mason Rudolph. In week one he threw for 303 yards on 20-for-24 passing with three TD passes. It took no time for Rudolph to re-establish a connection with his main aerial weapon, receiver James Washington. Against the Golden Hurricane, Washington had 145 receiving yards and a pair of TD grabs. He was aided in the cause by Marcell Ateman, and rising sophomore Tyron Johnson, who caught a 44-yard touchdown.

Over half of Oklahoma State's 640 yards on offense came on the ground. Returning top back Justice Hill galloped for a big 132 yards and a touchdown, aided by JD King, who romped for a 71-yard score among his 95 yards. With an ability to sail up and down the field via the run or the pass, this is an offense that might be outside of South Alabama's depth. The line did really well and the offense looked to be in midseason form. Then again, Tulsa's defense looked rough and it might be harder moving forward for the Cowboys' offense.

Alas, the Cowboys' defense is the weakness on this team. Tulsa running back Corey Taylor, II. and the rest of the Golden Hurricane didn't have that hard of a time running against this bunch with 244 yards rushing. Against Tulsa, we saw some of the things we saw last season—a defense that isn't terrible and does have consistency, but at the end of the day they give up a lot of yardage and stopping a good run-game is entirely too difficult. They have playmakers, guys like MLB Chad Whitener, but the defense as a whole is indeed porous. Can South Alabama exploit this enough to make this game competitive or at least put a cover in play?

Maybe a plucky South Alabama offensive line can make things happen against an Oklahoma State defensive front that looked dicey in week one. And on the road against an SEC team in Ole Miss, this USA offense did pretty good. Junior QB Cole Garvin was 19-for-31 for 204 yards and a touchdown with no picks. He showed a useful set of legs, as well, in scooting for a pair of touchdown runs. A good offensive line gave him decent protection and opened holes for a couple of good backs in Xavier Johnson and Tra Minter. They lost a lot of juice at wide receiver, but got some good production against Ole Miss with Sa'Mory Collier, Sam Harris, and others. Receiver Jamarius Way could be a big contributor down the line. He caught a 30-yard TD against Ole Miss.


Despite the loss, longtime South Alabama head coach Joey Jones had to be happy with how the Jaguars performed and fought against Ole Miss. They lost in a good way, not by sabotaging themselves with turnovers or penalties. The South Alabama defense is out of its element and opening the season with games against Ole Miss and Oklahoma State is no way to let this defense round into shape. When it's all said and done, South Alabama usually has one of the strongest rosters in the Sun Belt. They just haven't been able to put it all together yet. Some of that talent includes a pass-rushing linebacker in Finesse Middleton, a good free safety in Jeremy Reaves, who plays opposite of SS Neiko Robinson (questionable). And at LB, Darrell Songy is a real player. The secondary is iffy, as evidenced by Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson putting up 429 yards. So those forecasting trouble against a high-octane Cowboys' aerial offense are certainly within their rights to do so.

These are games where Oklahoma State can shine. They're playing a team from a lower-end conference that has a defense that probably can't stop their offense in any kind of meaningful way. Making it interesting is South Alabama's offense, which might make it hard for even higher-powered teams to cover spreads, like how they covered in week one against Ole Miss. South Alabama has just enough juice on both lines of scrimmage to keep it interesting as far as the point spread is concerned.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the South Alabama Jaguars plus 28.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Cowboys vs. Jaguars game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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