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Crossfire: Oklahoma State Q&A

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For a better look at Oklahoma State, we turned to one of the blogosphere's newest additions: Pokes Pride. Here's what Pokes Pride had to say about the Cowboys and how they matchup with Mizzou this weekend.

RMN: Just exactly how good is this OSU team? Is it hard to judge OSU from playing the likes of struggling Wazzou and Texas A&M teams?

PP: Good Question. We will find that out when we play a more talented team (Saturday). I do believe it's a little hard to tell how good we are when we've played horrid teams in A&M, MSU and WSU. Our offense has been steamrolling teams all year but then again, didn't Cal drop 66 on Wazzou? I'm not trying to say that our offense isn't good enough because they are extremely talented, but we have yet to play a stronger defensive team. As for our defense, they are starting to create more turnovers and pressure the quarterback. However, our run defense still needs a lot of improvement.

RMN: Much like Mizzou, OSU is putting up eye-popping offensive numbers. Obviously, Hunter, Toston, Bryant and Robinson are all great players, but what is the key to slowing down the Pokes' offense?

PP: Stopping the run should be the only concern for Mizzou. We are 2nd in the nation with 315 rush yards/game so If they can stop the run, they will take away our offense. Our passing game hasn't been the same since last year (that might have something to do with our stronger running game). Dez Bryant has basically been the only receiver thrown to all year, so if he is covered, there is not much we can do through the air, unless Pettigrew plays.

RMN: As we've harped on many times at RMN, the only shot teams have against Mizzou's offense is to create pressure with the front four. What should we expect from OSU's defensive line?

PP: The weakest part of our defense has been our D-Line. I have no idea what Gundy's plan is on getting to Daniel, but it better be a good one. Our pass defense has actually been pretty good so far but Maclin scares me. He could have a HUGE day.


(More questions plus a prediction after the jump)

RMN: OSU has run the ball well, while Mizzou has stopped the run pretty effectively despite struggling against the pass at times. How do you expect Oklahoma State's offense to attack Mizzou?

PP: Missouri has done a pretty good job stopping the run thus far; however, Illinois, Nevada, SEMO and Buffalo don't have any talent in their backfield. Not to doubt Missouri's rushing defense or anything, but they have not proven anything yet. I think Gundy will try and establish a strong rushing attack early to keep the defense on their heels. If Hunter and Toston are able to run the ball effectively, they will empower a pretty dangerous play-action, which we have used all year. Whatever they do, the Pokes need to consume a large amount of the clock so they can keep Daniel & Co. off the field as long as possible.

RMN: What's the general feeling you're getting from OSU players and fans about this game?

PP: The general feeling around Stillwater has been pretty optimistic for the most part. We all know that Mizzou is one of the best teams in the country; however, every fan here believes that we have the capability of pulling off the upset. We are all expecting a lot from our Pokes on Saturday but at the same time, we don't want to get our hopes up.

RMN: Finish the following phrases:

PP:

- Mizzou will win if: Their defense doesn't allow OSU to get off to a strong start. They can't just simply overlook OSU.
- Oklahoma State will win if: Their defense can get to/contain Chase Daniel and prevent Washington from having a huge day. Their offense needs to continue to produce and at the same time minimize turnovers.

RMN: Finally, give us your prediction for Saturday night's game.

PP: Missouri 48, Oklahoma State 31

RMN: Bonus question! Erin Andrews will be in Columbia on Saturday. On a scale of 1-10, how jealous are you?

Well, I'm not sure. Depending on the day, Stacey Dales is pretty fine herself. I'd say a 7 though anyways because Andrews is a fox...