Editor's Note: Christian Alexander returns to the betting counter this weekend with another winning ticket. Click to win!
Thursday, November 19
Colorado (3-7, 2-4 Big 12) at #12 Oklahoma State (8-2, 5-1 Big 12)
TV: 7:45 PM ESPN
Venue: Boone Pickens Stadium (Desso Sports Systems Artificial Grass)
Sports.com Line: Oklahoma State -17, O/U 47.5
For the second time on a Thursday night this season we get a chance to take a look at coach Dan Hawkins and the Colorado Buffaloes. Earlier this year, Hawkins took his program to West Virginia to face the Mountaineers and put up a good fight before losing 35-24 as 17.5 point underdogs.
That’s just about the spread this time around as Colorado travels to Stillwater, OK to face the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. The road has not been kind to the Buffaloes lately as this program has dropped 11 straight away from home. Even worse, Colorado has rarely been competitive during that streak, especially this year, losing by an average of just over two touchdowns in the five losses away from home this season.
And it could very well be more of the same this Thursday as Oklahoma State will be looking to finish the season strong in case they can get a chance to sneak into a BCS bowl. The key this week for the Cowboys will be the health of QB Zac Robinson. The senior collided with a Texas Tech defender in the final two minutes of last week’s game over Texas Tech and had to be helped from the field.
The good news for Oklahoma State fans is that Robinson has responded well this week, but all indications are that coach Mike Gundy will sit his veterany signal caller. Therefore, Alex Cate will get the nod and he's a considerable drop off from Robinson considering the junior has never started a game.
With 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions so far in 2009, Robinson hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations that were placed on him coming off his previous two seasons in which he threw 48 touchdowns and just 19 interceptions. Part of that blame can be placed on the fact that Robinson hasn’t had his main weapon, WR Dez Bryant, basically all season after he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
Of course, if any Cowboys fans want to complain about Robinson’s stats and play this season – and it’s doubtful they would – they should check with Hawkins first. Something tells me he would take a paycut just to get half of Robinson’s production from the QB position.
As if dealing with a losing program weren’t enough, Hawkins had to remove his son from the starting QB role because he wasn’t getting the job done. Hawkins replaced his son Cody with QB Tyler Hansen, who immediately led Colorado to an upset of then 17th-ranked Kansas last month but has since cooled off, throwing four interceptions and three touchdowns as the Buffaloes have lost three of their last four since that win.
If Colorado is going to have any chance this Thursday, Hansen is going to have to lead the Buffaloes to more than the combined 30 points they have scored in their previous three losses.
Last season Robinson led Oklahoma State to a 30-17 win over Colorado as he threw for 217 yards and accounted for two touchdowns (one passing, one running). This will be the first time Colorado has played at Oklahoma State since demolishing the Cowboys 34-0 in 2005. Since that point the Buffaloes are a horrible 3-21 on the road.
So far this season Colorado is 5-5 against the spread but as mentioned the road trends are horrible as the Buffaloes are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 away games. On the other side, Oklahoma State is 5-3 ATS so far in 2009 and the Cowboys are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as a home favorite and 37-16-2 ATS in their last 55 games as a favorite.