The Colorado Buffaloes might get some help tonight against the 12th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. According to the Tulsa World, sources have told them that QB Zac Robinson is not expected to start tonight and will probably not be seeing any action just five days after a big collision with less than two minutes remaining in the Texas Tech game. Oklahoma State went on to win that game 24 - 17. At first the hit was believed to have caused a concussion but it now looks like the bigger issue is the injury it caused to Robinson's throwing shoulder.
The Cowboys (8-2) are still in the running for a BCS game so any loss would be detrimental to that cause. Next week, Oklahoma State takes on its in-state rival the Oklahoma Sooners, a game which will carry major implications for the Cowboys if they were to beat the Buffs tonight in Stillwater.
The Tulsa World also reports that QB Alex Cate is likely to get the start tonight:
"Alex Cate, who has not started a game since the 2005 season at Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, is expected to start at quarterback for OSU. A fourth-year junior, Cate has taken the majority of first-team snaps in practice this week."
Colorado will be attempting to win only it's third game on the road in the Dan Hawkins era tonight (2-18). This news will certainly help their cause considering both Robinson's success as the Pokes' quarterback and the very limited experience Alex Cate has at the collegiate level. Cate has attempted justfive passes in his career at Oklahoma State completing four, all in 2008. He has not attempted a pass this year but has rushed the ball one time for two yards.
Expect the Oklahoma State Cowboys, regardless of who plays at quarterback tonight, to be a very run-oriented team. The Pokes recently returned preseason All American candidate RB Kendall Hunter into the lineup after missing half of the season with a severe ankle sprain. Last year, Hunter ran for 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns. In Hunter's absence, Keith Toston has emerged and has filled in beautifully as the former starter begins to work his way back (Hunter ran 17 for 68 yards against Texas Tech last week). Toston, after only carrying the ball an average of ten times the first two games of the season, has taken over the lead role for the Pokes and is now just 42 yards away from 1,000 on the season. Toston ranks 30th in the nation in rushing yards/game at 95.8, good for 4th in the Big 12. A big reason for the seamless transition between running backs is the dominant offensive line OSU brings out led by All American candidate T Russel Okung. This season, the offensive line has only given up 0.7 sacks a game which is third in the nation and first in the Big 12. Compare that number to the Colorado Buffaloes, who are giving up 3.8 sacks per game which ranks 117th in college football.
Last week, the Colorado Buffaloes' defense gave up 138 yards to Iowa State RB Alexander Robinson.