2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Oklahoma State Offense
Run well every game. The passing attack might be fun, but the ground attack is usually the difference-maker under Mike Gundy. The backs are in place with a whole lot of speed, talent and flash, and the quarterbacks will run, too – now they all have to be effective game-in-and-game-out.
Oklahoma State ran for fewer than 140 yards five times last season … and went 0-5. It wasn’t just about the yards; the attempts weren’t always there. Texas Tech and Kansas State were able to control their respective games, OSU got behind, and those were the only two games all year – both blowout losses – with fewer than 30 carries.
Yeah, the ground game worked in the loss to Baylor, but the Cowboys went 7-1 when going over 140 yards and are 15-2 over the last two seasons when hitting the mark.
Biggest Key To The Oklahoma State Defense
A few takeaways would be nice. The Cowboy defense needs to restock the shelves in the front six, it has to be stronger against the run, and it has to stop getting picked apart by all the good quarterbacks in the Big 12. But the conference leader in sacks has to be able to force more screw-ups.
The Cowboys only won the turnover battle once last season – going a +1 against Boise State – because the D didn’t come up with turnovers. It recovered just six fumbles after coming up with two in the opener against SE Missouri State, and picked off a mere five passes with two coming in the loss to Texas Tech.
Worst of all, considering all the high-octane passing teams the secondary dealt with, there was just one interception over the final seven games.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Spencer Sanders, RFr.
Or Dru Brown, or Brendan Costello. It’s Oklahoma State – the quarterbacks are going to produce no matter what. Brown might be the more ready-made option, and Mike Gundy is never afraid to go young – Costello will get a long look – but Sanders has the skills to grow into the offense and be its signature star for the next few years.
Taylor Cornelius only hit 59% of his passes with 13 picks, but he ran well and threw 32 touchdown passes. Sanders can do that, but again, Brown is right there in the mix.
Key Game To The Oklahoma State Season
Oklahoma, Nov. 30
It’s time to win this game again. It’s the final date of the regular season, it’s in Stillwater, and after losing four in a row and six of the last seven in the series, Oklahoma State has to take it back.
Of course, if everything goes well, it might not matter. The Cowboys have a whole lot of other fish to fry before getting to November 30th, but they might be able to lose and still get to the Big 12 Championship. But … it’s time.
– Oklahoma State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Oklahoma State Fun Stats
– Red Zone Scores: Oklahoma State 60-of-67 (90%) – Opponents 39-of-53 (74%)
– Time of Possession: Opponents 32:30 – Oklahoma State 27:27
– 4th Down Conversions: Oklahoma State 15-of-24 (62%) – Opponents 10-of-19 (53%)