College Football

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Lamar (1-1) at (12) Oklahoma State (2-0)



Saturday, September 14, 7:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 12th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys will try and put the threat of a potential NCAA investigation on the back burner on Saturday night when they host the Lamar Cardinals at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Lamar opened its season with a bang by destroying Oklahoma Panhandle State at home, 75-0. The Cardinals challenged themselves with a difficult non- conference road matchup at Louisiana Tech last Saturday, fighting hard for four quarters before falling, 27-14.

Oklahoma State began the season ranked No. 13 in the country and managed to creep up one spot in recent weeks after two strong wins. In a neutral-field contest to open the season against a formidable Mississippi State squad, the Cowboys earned a 21-3 victory. They were on their way to a blowout win last week against Texas-San Antonio before the Roadrunners responded with a flurry of points late. Still, OSU escaped with a 56-35 triumph.

Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated reported that several Oklahoma State football players apparently received improper benefits dating back to 2001. Although an NCAA investigation appears imminent, head coach Mike Gundy is concentrating on what's happening on the field for the time being.

"There won't be any further comment from me concerning this issue," Gundy told the media on Monday. "I will say that we -- our staff and myself -- are focused on our team doing the right things. I'm very proud about what we've accomplished here, on and off the field."

This contest marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the football field.

Although Lamar's offensive output against Louisiana Tech last week was lackluster at best, the explosion of points in the opener still allows it to own an outstanding scoring offense (44.5 ppg), as well as total offense (488.5 ypg).

Quarterback Caleb Berry is off to a fast start, completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 528 yards, tossing seven touchdown passes against only one interception.

The Cardinals strike a good balance between the pass (69 plays) and run (88 plays). Payton Ploch is the top rusher with 105 yards and a touchdown, while Kade Harrington has 88 yards and a pair of scores. Berry has the ability to take off and run as well (77 yards).

Jordan Edwards is the top playmaker in the receiving corps, logging seven receptions for 164 yards and three touchdowns. Mark Roberts has just three receptions, but they've all resulted in big plays as he has amassed 112 yards.

The Lamar defense (13.5 ppg, 309.5 ypg) put forth a solid effort against a strong Louisiana Tech offense, holding the Bulldogs (FBS's top scoring offense in 2012 with 51.5 ppg) to just 27 points.

The front seven has done its job creating pressure, with Jesse Dickson (13 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and Mark Murrill (3.5 TFL) the standouts. Tyrus McGlothen leads the unit with 17 total stops.

Oklahoma State's offense moved the ball at will against UTSA last week, racking up more than 600 yards to up its season averages to 38.5 points and 518.5 yards per game.

J.W. Walsh was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week after his record-setting performance versus UTSA. Not only did he throw for 326 yards and four touchdowns, but he completed 24-of-27 passes, and his single-game completion percentage (.889) set a new school record.

"J.W. has an uncanny ability to put aside pain and fatigue," Gundy said. "The greatest asset he has going is his ability to lead. He's improved in the throwing game and certainly has the ability to run. As a coaching staff we couldn't be more proud of him."

In addition to throwing for 461 yards, Walsh is the team's leading rusher with 137 yards, adding two more touchdowns on the ground. Jeremy Smith is the featured back and has turned 27 carries in 136 yards and a pair of scores.

The Cowboys have no shortage of receiving threats, as Josh Stewart (nine rec., 136 yards, TD), Jhajuan Seales (eight rec., 101 yards, TD), Charlie Moore (seven rec., 61 yards, TD), Brandon Sheperd (four rec., 73 yards, TD) and Blake Jackson (four rec., 82 yards, TD) are all off to impressive starts.

In the high-flying Big 12, it's important to possess a defense that can stop the opponent from time to time. The Cowboys appear to have a solid unit (19.0 ypg), but they took their foot off the gas late in their last game, allowing UTSA to score 28 fourth-quarter points.

Caleb Lewis leads the team in total tackles (15), tackles for loss (4.0) and sacks (1.5). Tyler Johnson and Calvin Barnett also have 4.0 TFL, and the squad leads the league and ranks ninth nationally with four interceptions.

The news of Oklahoma State's alleged NCAA infractions sent shock waves through the college football community, and could have huge ramifications on the squad going forward, but for this week at least, the distractions won't be big enough to derail the Pokes as they take on an obviously inferior opponent at home.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 56, Lamar 17

09/11 10:38:12 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR