Friday here on Frogs O' War, but due to continued game film issues I don't have the Tech game to do a Video Rewind. Despite this, what I do have is friend of the frog Kyle Porter, who you may remember as the guy who answered the Okie State questions for our preview series. Porter runs the Oklahoma State blog Pistols Firing which you should definitely check out, and he was kind enough to answer questions on Oklahoma State for us. Since he answered questions in an orange font the interview looks kind of halloweeny, so enjoy that too!
HawkeyedFrog: Oklahoma State has been a bit of an enigma so far this season, mixing three solid games with three poor ones (Including Kansas). How good is this team really, and does the quarterback change mean that the Cowboys will be back to the outfit that lost to Arizona instead of the group that stymied Iowa State?
Kyle Porter: Well first of all, OSU didn't lose the Arizona game because of the QB. They lost it because they had 15 penalties and a -4 turnover margin (yes, Lunt had three picks, but two weren't even close to his fault). I don't know how good this team is because I don't really know how good Texas (loss) and Iowa State (win) are. I think it's probably an 8-4 team that could go 9-3 but will probably go 7-5. The starting lineup has been such a revolving door of youngsters though that pretty much nothing would surprise me.
HawkeyedFrog: Speaking of quarterbacks, we're heading into a freshman quarterback showdown this week as Trevone Boykin takes the Frogs up to Stillwater. How has the Okie State defense fared against running quarterbacks in the past and what do you think the plan will be to contain Boykin?
Kyle Porter: OSU has had mixed results against rushing QBs. Take last year for example -- Collin Klein ate us alive (144 rushing yards, 3 TD) whereas Bob Griffin didn't (27 rushing yards, 1.7 yard average). Griffin's numbers came through the air instead (425 passing yards). I don't know that OSU's defense is complex enough to slow Boykins in both areas (rushing and passing) so I expect they'll force him to throw and take their chances with creating turnovers that way (and with the way our secondary is performing, I would be excited about that as a TCU fan).
HawkeyedFrog: He's a man. He's over forty. He's two wins away from bowl eligibility with a monstrous closing stretch. What are the fanbase's thoughts on the job Gundy and the coaching staff are doing at the halfway point this season?
Kyle Porter: Oh he's been fine this year. It's hard to complain about much of anything after going 23-3 the last two years but he's handled the transition into a new era nicely. Get back to me after we lose four of the last six and head to the Pinstripe Bowl...
HawkeyedFrog: The cowboys have a great running back in Joseph Randle and a promising (but green) quarterback in Wes Lunt but the key to getting both of them going in this game will be the play of the Cowboy offensive line against the TCU D-line, led by All-everything freshman Devonte Fields. Will the Cowboys O-line be able to stand and deliver, or is there hand-wringing in the fandom about their performance?
Kyle Porter: I think that's the least of our worries so far this year. OSU has only allowed three sacks all year (3rd best in the country) and has been a stalwart of the Gundy era. They've paved the way for a running game that ranks 6th in the nation in yards per carry. Yes, they performed poorly against Kansas but it seemed like an anomaly (rain delay, on the road, bad team etc.). I guess we'll find out this weekend against an excellent TCU front line.
HawkeyedFrog: Last year Oklahoma State won its first Big 12 championship ever, and their first overall conference championship since 1976. With the Big 12 being the deepest (or second deepest if you're dealing with a dyed in the woll ESS EEE SEE-er) conference in the country, how often do you expect the Cowboys to be serious contenders for the conference championship in a four year window?
Kyle Porter: I think one time in four years as a serious contender (or favorite) and two others as a dark horse is a reasonable expectation. They've laid some strong groundwork as a non-traditional program (similar to TCU) in a conference laden with traditional champions (namely OU and Texas). As long as Gundy doesn't go crazy and jump somewhere else I think they should fine.
HawkeyedFrog: It's obligatory prediction time, woo! Who do you like in the game, what will the score be and what record do you think Okie State finishes the year with?
Kyle Porter: I like OSU 33-23. Football Outsiders actually has these teams pretty similarly ranked in their FEI rankings but I like a freshman QB at home over a freshman QB on the road. I think OSU ultimately settles in at 7-5 on the year and I'll give them a bowl win so 8-5 overall.
HawkeyedFrog: A different take on Oklahoma State's fortunes, but still picking the Cowboys to beat the Frogs on Saturday. I don't much care for that, but our thanks to Kyle for his insight, and be sure to check out Pistols Firing.