Oklahoma State (2-0) at Pittsburgh (1-1), Saturday @ 11:00 a.m.
Line: Oklahoma State by 10
Series Record: Oklahoma State leads 1-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Cowboys can wrap up a perfect nonconference schedule with a victory in their first trip to Pittsburgh, though the Panthers will be a step up in class from Tulsa and South Alabama. If Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph wants to get his Heisman campaign going, carving up Pitt on the road the way he did at home a year ago (540 yards passing in a 45-38 win) would be a pretty good place to start. Pitt’s defense appears to be on the upswing in coach Pat Narduzzi’s third year.
Pitt CB Avonte Maddox vs. Oklahoma State WR James Washington. Washington lit up the Panthers in Stillwater. His 296 yards receiving were the second-highest single-game total in the country last season and the second-highest mark in Oklahoma State history. Maddox is the most established player in a young secondary that will play without S Jordan Whitehead, who is serving the final game of a three-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma State: DE DeQuinton Osborne. The 305-pound Osborne already has three tackles for loss and a sack in limited action through two weeks. Pitt’s offensive line has struggled protecting the quarterback, allowing eight sacks in two games.
Pittsburgh: QB Max Browne. Narduzzi stressed there is no controversy brewing between Browne and sophomore backup Ben DiNucci, who scored Pitt’s only touchdown last week against the Nittany Lions. Browne is averaging just 7.72 yards per completion through two weeks by relying heavily on quick passes and shovel passes.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Cowboys are looking for their eighth 3-0 start under head coach Mike Gundy. Oklahoma State is 20-1 in its last 21 games as a ranked team playing an unranked opponent. Washington’s 29 receiving touchdowns are the most among active players in the FBS. Rudolph has gone 185 passes without throwing an interception, the longest active streak in the FBS. The Panthers are averaging 36:25 time of possession, sixth-highest in FBS. Pitt’s last home victory over a top-10 team at Heinz Field came in 2003 when the Panthers upset No. 5 Virginia Tech 31-28.
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