Oklahoma State Cowboys

NCAAF - BIG 12

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Oklahoma State Football Team

The Cowboys have traditionally taken a backseat to the University of Oklahoma in football, but under head coach Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State has played in 15 consecutive bowl games, winning 10 of them. They also have a Big 12 championship to their credit in 2011, when they went 12-1, defeated Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl and finished the season ranked third in the country.

Although they lost a number of key players, the Cowboys are still well poised to compete for the Big 12 title if they can continue showing improvement on the defensive side of the ball. They gave up over 40 points in losses to Texas and Oklahoma, but eight returning starters on defense might help to turn that around.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Standings

The Oklahoma State Cowboys currently hold a strong position in the NCAAF standings, with a solid record of performance on the field. With a talented roster and experienced coaching staff, the Cowboys are a force to be reckoned with.

Their stats show a well-rounded team, capable of excelling in both offense and defense. If they continue their current level of play, the Cowboys are a team to watch in the coming seasons.

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2020 Summary

In a season where many conferences and schools were ravaged by Covid-19 related issues, Oklahoma State managed to play a full schedule, winning their first four games and picking up a victory against Miami in the Cheez-It Bowl to end with a record of 8-3. They finished third in the Big 12 at 6-3, one of six teams in the conference to play every other member and were ranked 20th in the final AP Poll.

The 2020 Cowboys had a balanced offense, averaging 188 yards rushing and 240 yards passing yards for a total of 428 yards per game. Their rushing attack was spread out among three players who all ran for in excess of 430 yards, led by Chubba Hubbard who gained 625 yards on 133 carries with five touchdowns.

Sophomore quarterback Spencer Sanders threw for 2007 yards and 14 touchdowns with a completion rate of 63%, with his primary target Tylan Wallace hauling in 59 passes for 922 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Oklahoma State gave up 379 total yards and 23.5 points per game, a respectable but not great 34th out of 128 teams in the FBS.

Key Players

Wide Receiver Brennan Presley impressed in the bowl game with six receptions for 118 yards and three touchdowns, which the Cowboys will need with the departure of Wallace to the NFL. The sophomore lacks the size of Wallace, but he was a top recruit out of high school and demonstrated in the Cheez-It Bowl that he can be a major weapon.

Junior quarterback Spencer Sanders will need to continue his development for Oklahoma State to move up the Big 12 standings. He was held to less than 50% passing in losses to Oklahoma and TCU, two teams the Cowboys will need to defeat in 2021 if they want to challenge for the conference championship.

The defense will need to play better against elite teams and junior defensive end Tyler Lacy will be a key part of that effort. He recorded four sacks and eight tackles for a loss in 2020, posing a threat to opposing offenses along with Trace Ford on the other end of the defensive line.

New Additions

Even though the Cowboys only return five starters on offense, they’ll benefit from the services of center Danny Godlevske, a senior who transferred in from Miami (Ohio) after three All-Mac seasons for the Redhawks.

Oklahoma State had injury issues on the offensive line in 2020 so the addition of freshman right guard Monroe Mills as a backup to Hunter Woodard could help them in the depth department.

A pair of freshman wide receivers, Matt Polk and Bryson Green, could also get some playing time if new starters Tay Martin and Brennan Presley struggle in their roles.

Key Subtractions

The Cowboys will miss wide receiver Tylan Wallace, who will be playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 2021. Although Oklahoma State seems to plug in new receivers the way Oklahoma seems to do at quarterback, his contributions will still be difficult to immediately replace.

Departing All Big 12 offensive tackle Teven Jenkins will leave big shoes to fill, as his play gave young quarterback Spencer Sanders plenty of time to throw. Without his consistent presence, Oklahoma State has to hope that sophomore Cole Birmingham can step into a starting role and that the rest of the returning starters can make up Jenkins’ absence.

Conference Outlook

After finishing the 2020 season with eight straight wins and a conference title, Oklahoma is again the clear favorite to win their seventh consecutive Big 12 championship. The Sooners return with an experienced starting quarterback and plenty of weapons on offense that will make them tough to displace at the top of the league standings.

Texas will have a new coach in Steve Sarkisian, despite coming off a 7-3 season and a bowl win. The team that won the regular season title, Iowa State, should again be a challenger but they won’t be sneaking up on anybody in 2021.

TCU and Oklahoma State were the other two teams in the top five in the Big 12 in 2020 and both could challenge again in 2021 while the bottom of the conference standings will look much the same, especially with perennial doormat Kansas again breaking in a new head coach.

Oklahoma State Offense

The maturation of quarterback Sanders will be big factor in the success of the offensive unit. They have plenty of talent at the skill positions, especially at wide receiver and also with Dezmon Jackson moving into a starting spot at running back after averaging 5.5 yards a carry in 100 attempts in 2020.

If there is a question mark, it’s on the offensive line as they will have to plug the hole left by Jenkins and avoid injuries as they lack proven depth across the unit. Gaining continuity on the line could be the key to the Cowboys having a special season.

Oklahoma State Defense

In the past, defense in Stillwater has been an afterthought, but coordinator Jim Knowles has built a solid unit that ranked in the top third in the FCS in 2020. They can generate a strong pass rush but still need to cut down on the big plays to compete for a conference title and a possible berth in the College Football Playoff.

One big area for improvement for the Cowboys’ defense in turnovers. The unit only had six interceptions, which in- a pass happy era in the Big 12, should be a lot higher to give the offense more chances and with better field position.

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Oklahoma State FAQs

Yes, in 2016 the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) recognized then Oklahoma A&M as the 1945 national champions.
 
 
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