What You Need To Know About The Oklahoma State Offense
– The Oklahoma State offense is always a machine no matter what under Mike Gundy, but you don’t get better after losing quarterback like Mason Rudolph and receivers as talented as James Washington and Marcell Ateman from the nation’s No. 2 attack.
Step One is figuring out the quarterback situation, and there’s a lot to choose from. Hawaii grad transfer Dru Brown comes in this fall with a shot to take down the job, but last year’s backup, Taylor Cornelius, isn’t going to give an inch.
Very big and with the knowledge of the offense, Cornelius will be tough to push out of the job, but Brown and Keondre Wudtee are terrific options.
– Again, not having Washington and Ateman stinks – the two combined for over 2,700 yards with 21 touchdowns last season – but OSU is still loaded with weapons.
Jalen McCleskey is an ultra-reliable veteran, and Dillon Stoner is a big-time producer coming off a big freshman season. There’s a whole lot of talent and upside on the outside, starting with LSU transfer Tyron Johnson and plenty of other great young options for a school that always produces big-time targets. The passing game will be fine, but …
– The ground game could be the star. The offensive line might need a little time around all-star guard Marcus Keyes, and it’ll take all of fall camp to find the right starting five combination. Last year’s line was okay in pass protection – not dominant – and was good enough for the ground game. This year, it’s all about paving the way for the main man.
Under-the-radar compared to all of the amazing parts of the passing game, Justice Hill came up with a massive year and could be a threat for 2,000 yards – he ran for 1,467 last year.
He’s one of the nation’s top backs, but he doesn’t have to do it alone with J.D. King and LD Brown combining almost 700 yards and seven scores in their freshman seasons.
Biggest Key To The Oklahoma State Offense
The O line has to stay in one piece. The OSU pass protection has been hit or miss over the years, but when it’s bad, it’s been awful.
The 2013 Cowboys allowed just 14 sacks. The 2014 line gave up 40. With a new starting quarterback and the running game needing to take over games at times, the blocking has to be stellar from the start.
The starting five will be more than fine after a few warm up games to be ready for Boise State, and really, the offense will get about half the season to jell up front. But the developed depth is going to be a concern.