2008 Oklahoma State Cowboys Football Preview
Oklahoma State 2007 Record: (7-6, 4-4 Big 12)
2007 Bowl: Insight Bowl vs. Indiana (W 49-33)
Oklahoma State Head Coach: Mike Gundy (18-19 at Oklahoma State, 18-19 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Gunter Brewer and Trooper Taylor
Defensive Coordinator: Tim Beckman
Returning OSU Leaders:
Other Key Returnees: OT Brady Bond, G Steve Denning, LB Patrick Lavine, C Andrew Lewis, OT Russell Okung, TE Brandon Pettigrew, S Ricky Price, S Andre Sexton
Key Losses: WR Adarius Bowman, LB Jeremy Nethon, RB Dantrell Savage, CB Martel Van Zant, LB Donovan Woods
Oklahoma State signed a handful of junior college transfers and that means they are hoping to fill up the holes and put a winner on the field right now. Players like defensive tackle Swanson Miller, safety Lucien Antoine and corner Maurice Gray are expected to contribute immediately and bolster what has been a struggling defense. Combine that immediate experience to the quality recruiting classes the Cowboys have had over the last few years and this group has the potential to be the best defense Oklahoma State has seen in a few years.
Oklahoma State's Strengths:
Once Zac Robinson took the starting quarterback job away from Bobby Reid, he showed that he was a dynamic playmaker. Not only did he throw for 2,824 yards and 23 touchdowns, but he only threw nine interceptions and rushed for another 847 yards and nine touchdowns. And that was as just a freshman. With a year under his belt, Robinson is expected to become one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. With a majority of his offensive line returning, Robinson should have plenty of time to make plays with his arm and his feet. However, the problem is that Reid has left the program and there is not much talent behind Robinson and that can be very dangerous with a quarterback who likes to run a lot. The Cowboys could be one injury away from having some big offensive problems.
Oklahoma State's Weaknesses:
Most of the secondary returns, but the defense gave up a slew of yards through the air last season. That experience better start turning into results, but Jacob Lacey and Perrish Cox have the ability to be quality corners sooner or later. The entire secondary will be pushed by some newcomers and coordinator Tim Beckman hopes to find a few new faces to at least provide some much needed depth. It is not like the run defense was that great either. Linebackers Marcus Richardson and Jared Glover, both of whom redshirted last season, will help replace the departed Donovan Woods and Jeremy Nethon.
The Bottom Line for the Cowboys:
With a little improvement on defense, the offense is good enough to carry Oklahoma State to a better post season berth than the Insight Bowl. However, the offense does have to replace running back Dantrell Savage who rushed for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. Kendall Hunter has shown promise as a backup to Savage and Beau Johnson, yet another junior college transfer, should be able to fill in when necessary. The talent is there everywhere on the field, but bringing it all together will be the difference between a great season and a major disappointment.
2007 Oklahoma State Cowboys Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 243.15 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 243.15 (45, 9)
Total Offense: 486.31 (7, 3)
Scoring Offense: 34.62 (22, 7)
Rushing Defense: 155.77 (56, 8)
Pass Defense: 287.23 (112, 12)
Total Defense: 443.00 (101, 10)
Scoring Defense: 29.54 (79, 8)
Turnover Margin: -.23 (76, 7)
Sacks: 1.69 (84, 8)
Sacks Allowed: .85 (3, 1)
By Joel Welser
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