CFB: Georgia at Oklahoma State (3:30E, ABC-GP)

CFB: Georgia at Oklahoma State (3:30E, ABC-GP)

Can Oklahoma State knock off opponent with real pedigree? That is the real question bettors are facing as the highly touted Cowboys open their season at home against one of the nation's top powers of recent years, Georgia, from the SEC. OSU is a 5-1/2 poi


2009-09-04

Can Oklahoma State knock off opponent with real pedigree? That is the real question bettors are facing as the highly touted Cowboys open their season at home against one of the nation's top powers of recent years, Georgia, from the SEC. OSU is a 5-1/2 point home favorite but the Bulldogs have always performed well for HC Mark Richt as road dogs. Get more on this exciting college football first Saturday encounter by visiting the GAME MATCHUP.

The Georgia Bulldogs seemingly are returning to what they do best under coach Mark Richt. In his eight seasons in Athens, Richt is 82-22 (51-47-1 ATS) and his best teams were usually those with less gaudy expectations. Matthew Stafford raised the SEC title beliefs and when they weren't delivered, enough Bulldogs backers wondered why. This year it is back to basics, with workman-like Joe Cox under center. Cox and the rest of the seniors were put thru the paces by Richt in the spring, expecting them to lead by example. Last year's offensive line failures are expected to be replaced by hungry individuals returning from injury or those seeking playing time. Sophomore A.J. Green is first team All-SEC pass catcher and will ease Cox's transition. Defensively, Georgia has the athletes on the line to quell running game and linebacker Rennie Curran is on many All-American lists. The Bulldogs are 8-0 and 5-2-1 ATS in first away game of the year.

Oklahoma State comes off its most successful season since 2003 at 9-4. Former Cowboys gunslinger and head coach Mike Gundy (27-23, 23-21-2 ATS) has the program headed in the right direction with three consecutive winning seasons and three bowl bids. The next order of business is climbing into top three in Big 12 South. For Gundy's squad to take this step, he must have defensive improvement. Since the 2002 season, Oklahoma State has not ranked higher than 74th in total defense. Cornerback Perrish Cox and linebacker Andre Sexton will try to lead the improvement, but it will be the D-Line that will determine fate. On offense, it's hard to find a better trio than quarterback Zac Robinson, running back Kendall Hunter and receiver Dez Bryant. This deadly trio helped lead an offense that scored 40.8 points per game last season. Though that imposing number might be difficult to reach again, the Cowboys will score a ten-gallon hatful of points. Sportsbook.com has Okie State as five-point favorites with total of 61 and Gundy's crew is 7-1-1 ATS as home favorites Boone Pickens Stadium.

This is return match from two years ago, when Georgia won at home 35-14. Okie State has won 13 straight home openers (5-3 ATS); however this is different type of opponent. The Cowboys are 4-18 and 6-14-2 ATS against ranked teams.

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