Oklahoma State could be a dark horse in the new-look Big 12 in 2011, and the Cowboys should have no problems in their season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Oklahoma State comes off one of the best offensive seasons in the school's existence, and returns both quarterback Brandon Weeden and go-to receiver Justin Blackmon to fuel the 2011 version of Mike Gundy's attack. But running back Kendall Hunter and offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen have both departed Stillwater for greener pastures, casting doubts on the Cowboys' chances of coming up with a similarly explosive attack. The Oklahoma State defense was notably porous in 2010, giving up 51 points to Nebraska and 47 to Oklahoma, but another year of seasoning may have toughened up the unit.
Louisiana-Lafayette is unlikely to pull a massive upset of the Cowboys. The Ragin' Cajuns went 3-9 in 2010, and replaced head coach Rickey Bustle with Mark Hudspeth. Louisiana-Lafayette also has no running backs on its roster with more than 350 yards in 2010. It could be a long Saturday night in Stillwater for the Ragin' Cajuns defense, too, as it conceded 22 or more points in every game in 2010, including 54 to Oklahoma State at home.
Game date, time: 7 p.m. Eastern, Saturday, Sept. 3
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
TV channel: Fox College Sports Central
Spread: Oklahoma State by 38.
For further reading, news, discussion and more: Head to SB Nation's Oklahoma State blog, Cowboys Ride For Free.