Oklahoma State Cowboys College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Oklahoma State Cowboys Biggest Key: Offense
Somehow do a bit more with the ground game without Chuba Hubbard. The Oklahoma State backfield cupboard is hardly bare with LD Brown and Dezmon Jackson two good veterans to go along with a deep stable of options to work into the mix.
The Oklahoma State ground game was fine, but it wasn’t nearly as nasty as it the 2019 version when Hubbard was running wild. The Cowboys averaged 5.3 yards per run two years ago and just four yards per carry last season – the banged up Hubbard wasn’t as explosive.
It’s no coincidence that the three losses came on three of the worst rushing days of the season. The Cowboys didn’t hit 150 yards six times – they lost three of them, and the other three games were way-too-tight wins over Tulsa, Kansas State, and Miami.
They were 5-0 when hitting 200 rushing yards and have won their last seven games going back to last year when getting there.
Oklahoma State Cowboys Biggest Key: Defense
Come up with takeaways on a steadier basis. Takeaways don’t always equal wins for the team – the Cowboys lost the five-takeaway game against TCU – but they obviously help.
The overall numbers were fine for the defense, and the turnovers have been there over the last few seasons, but it’s been a feast-or-famine thing.
The Cowboys generated 16 takeaways last year, but eight of them came in a two-game stretch against TCU and Texas Tech, and with two against both Kansas State and Miami. There were just six over the other seven games.
It was the same thing in 2019. OSU came up with multiple takeaways in six games, but got just two in the other seven games.
Oklahoma State Cowboys Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Spencer Sanders, Jr.
He’s been good, but the offense needs more out of its quarterback.
No one was confusing Taylor Cornelius with Kyler Murray, but he threw for close to 4,000 yards with 32 touchdowns in 2018. That was coming off the almost 14,000 career passing yards and 92 touchdowns from the Mason Rudolph era.
Sanders brings plenty of mobility and experience, but he’s had two straight 2,000-yard passing seasons with 19 interceptions – that’s not how Oklahoma State rolls.
It’s his third year and he had a strong spring – watch out for a jump in efficiency. If he’s terrific, the Cowboys will be players – pushing Oklahoma and Iowa State – in the Big 12 race.
Oklahoma State Cowboys Key Game To The 2021 Season
Oklahoma, Nov. 7
It’s been six straight losses and eight of the last nine, and now it’s back to being the last game in the regular season again. There are big back-to-back road games at Texas and Iowa State – the Cowboys have to at least split against those two – and there are plenty of landmines along the way, but …
It’s Oklahoma. It’s about time to win this again.
2020 Oklahoma State Cowboys Fun Stats
– 3rd Down Conversions: OSU 42% – Opponents 26.5%
– Fumbles: Opponents 19 (lost 10) – OSU 12 (lost 6)
– Red Zone Scores: OSU 40-of-49 – Opponents 25-of-29