#32 Oklahoma State Football 2015 Preview

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Overall Rank: #32
#5 Big 12

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Oklahoma State’s season ended on a high note. After starting the year 5-1, the Cowboys quickly fell apart when the schedule got tougher. Losing to TCU, West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas is understandable, but OSU barely even put up a fight. Things started to change at Baylor on November 22nd. That is when Coach Mike Gundy was forced to pull the redshirt off of freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph. The Cowboys lost to Baylor, but it was a good start for Rudolph. The next game, Rudolph led his team to an upset road victory at Oklahoma. That win propelled Oklahoma State to a bowl game, where Rudolph threw for 299 yards and led his team to a 30-22 win over Washington.

2014 Record: 7-6, 4-5
2014 Bowl: Cactus Bowl vs. Washington (W 30-22)
Coach: Mike Gundy (84-44 at Oklahoma State, 84-44 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Yurcich
Defensive Coordinator: Glenn Spencer

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Rennie Childs, RB, 294 yards
Passing: Mason Rudolph, QB, 853 yards
Receiving: Brandon Sheperd, WR, 737 yards
Tackles: Jordan Sterns, S, 103
Sacks: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, 11.0
Interceptions: Ramon Richards, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR David Glidden, WR James Washington, LB Ryan Simmons, LB Seth Jacobs, CB Kevin Peterson, S Tre Flowers, K Ben Grogan

Key Losses: RB Desmond Roland, RB Tyreek Hill, QB Daxx Garman, OL Daniel Koenig, OL Chris Grisbhy, LB Josh Furman

The defense had very little depth last year, but still played pretty well all things considered. The front line boasts defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who totaled 11.0 sacks and 17.0 tackles-for-loss. Jimmy Bean added 3.5 sacks on the other end and he is a force to be reckoned with, especially when the opposition spends too much time worrying about Ogbah. There are two new starting tackles, but sophomore Vincent Taylor is an emerging star. At linebacker, Coach Gundy has brought in some new faces to join veterans Ryan Simmons and Seth Jacobs. Those two combined for 188 tackles. But the team’s best tackler in 2014 was free safety Jordan Sterns. He will again team up with Tre Flowers, Ashton Lampkin and Kevin Peterson in the secondary. It is Peterson, a senior cornerback, who will have to look after some of the best receivers in the country. And he has done it successfully before.

In his limited action, Rudolph threw for 853 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. The hopes are now high for him to reignite what was a disappointing offense. But it must be remembered that he is just a sophomore who has three games of experience under his belt. At the least, Rudolph needs some help. He should get it from a bevy of wide receivers. OSU returns nine of their top ten pass catchers, led by Brandon Sheperd, David Glidden and James Washington. At running back, Desmond Roland and Tyreek Hill are gone, leaving a couple pretty big holes. It may take a while to figure it all out too since junior college transfer Chris Carson will need some time to adjust once he arrives in the fall. Meanwhile, Rennie Childs is the most experienced back.

The Bottom Line:
The schedule this year is a little more balanced. Last season it was so backloaded with the top Big 12 teams that the Cowboys lack of depth really, really hurt. Of course there are still tough stretches, most notably at the end of the year when Oklahoma State plays TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma in November. But all of those games are at Boone Pickens Stadium and with a young quarterback who showed plenty of promise, Oklahoma State is a sneaky pick to win a Big 12 title.  

Projected Bowl: Texas Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 136.6 (99th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 242.2 (53, 7)
Total Offense: 378.8 (82, 7)
Scoring Offense: 27.6 (73, 7)
Rushing Defense: 162.8 (57, 5)
Pass Defense: 269.2 (110, 8)
Total Defense: 432.0 (91, 7)
Scoring Defense: 31.2 (92, 7)
Turnover Margin: -0.62 (109, 8)
Sacks: 2.54 (33, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 3.08 (113, 10)

Madness 2016 NFL Draft Rankings:
#31 Emmanuel Ogbah


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