The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
No. 23: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Spring Practice Starts: March 27
Spring Game: April 28
Oklahoma State Cowboys Spring Status
It’s all about the system when it comes to filling in the holes.
You don’t get better by losing Mason Rudolph, James Washington and Marcell Ateman from the passing game, making this a big few months to get the machine rolling again.
Usually, Oklahoma State builds up to a big season after reloading a bit – last season was supposed to be that giant year, and it came up just short. Fortunately, there’s enough talent to keep the big drop from coming.
The defensive side gets back seven starters and should hold up its end of the bargain, while the running game will be the star early on with Justice Hill back behind a great O line.
And yes, the passing game will be just fine. Even if it can’t rely on Rudolph-to-Washington anymore.
Oklahoma State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. Rudolph was a special passer, with 13,618 yards and 92 touchdowns, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Taylor Cornelius has been the No. 2 option, an he got in a little work last season, but Hawaii transfer Dru Brown and talented Keondre Wudtee will be in the mix. Spencer Sanders could throw a curveball into the fight when the new recruit hits the program this summer.
Oklahoma State Biggest Issue
Pass defense. Like just about everyone in the Big 12, slowing down the better passing games is a problem. To be fair to the Cowboy secondary, teams had to keep throwing to try keeping up. However, after losing safeties Tre Flowers and Ramon Richards, the job will be even more difficult. The Cowboys allowed almost 3,500 yards last year with 19 scores.
Oklahoma State Biggest Positive
The running game. Justice Hill was overlooked thanks to all the talent in the passing attack, but he was a star running for 1,467 yards and 15 scores. He’s not along with a slew of sophomore-to-be backs who got their feet wet last year ready to keep the main man fresh.
Really, Why Are The Oklahoma State Cowboys Ranked Here?
If the Cowboys couldn’t get to the Big 12 title game last season, why are they going to be able to do it this year? It’s possible if the defense finds good safety replacements as soon as possible, and a tone-setting linebacker has to emerge with Chad Whitener gone.
Of course, it’s about the quarterback situation and the passing attack. There will be a big drop, but all the other parts have to start doing even more.