2018 QB Commit Spencer Sanders Injured in Playoff Loss: ‘I’ll be back’

first_imgOklahoma State’s lone commitment in the 2018 recruiting class suffered an injury in a playoff loss this weekend.Spencer Sanders, a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Denton Ryan, went down early in the first half with an apparent knee injury. He returned to the sidelines on crutches, but did not enter back into the game. Denton Ryan lost, 31-24, and the loss ended the season.“It was more that there were people on my back, Sanders told the Denton Record-Chronicle after the game. “I was crouching and I guess it was just too much pressure on my knee and I went down on it. Whatever it is, it will be fixed.”Sanders accounted for 56 total touchdowns in his breakout junior season for Denton Ryan. When you lose that type of production from your most important player, it was bound to be a tough void to replace.Head coach Dave Henigan, speculated after the game that it might have been a torn ACL. However, he did not explicity state the nature of the injury. After the game, Sanders had 3 words to say about the injury.I’ll be back https://t.co/7riOuLeIq6— Spencer Sanders (@SpenceSanders) December 10, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Gregg Marshall on Jawun Evans: ‘He Was Literally Toying With Us’

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. After Oklahoma State dismantled Wichita State in a “neutral game” in Wichita, Shocker head coach Greg Marshall had some praise for OSU point guard Jawun Evans.Gregg Marshall on Jawun Evans: “He was literally toying with us, I felt like. … He could have scored 50 if he wanted to.” #OKState— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) December 18, 2016Evans had himself a game with 22 points, four assists, five rebounds and three steals.The Cowboys used staunch defense and movement on offense to keep the Shockers at bay, but Evans seemed to come up with a bucket whenever the Cowboys needed it most.He’s really fun to watch. He’s an extremely skilled scorer and may be the best guard in the country playing off of screens.So enjoy it, Cowboy fans. This may very well be the last season we get to watch Mr. Evans play in Stillwater.He did this today…??? pic.twitter.com/TBjshHWI8B— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 18, 2016And this…I’m sweating. pic.twitter.com/9MM4xZxhIW— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 18, 2016He’s a game-changer and is the perfect star for Underwood to inherit while he installs his system/players for the long haul.last_img read more

Five Thoughts On the 2017 Oklahoma State Football Schedule

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The 2017 Oklahoma State football schedule has been released. The Cowboys should be one of the favorites to win the Big 12 when August rolls around next year, but did they get a favorable slate for running the league table?These things are difficult to tell so far out — who knew getting Baylor early in the season in 2016 would be the worst thing that could happen to a Big 12 team? — but as everything stands right now, here are five thoughts on OSU’s 12 games.1. Why South Alabama?Are we not better than having to go to South Alabama? I get that it was a two-for-one and that OSU did the same thing against Central Michigan. I am fine with that. It’s one thing to do it against a MAC team. It is a completely other thing to do it against a team that played Presbyterian (!) and Nicholls (!) this year.I’m not saying you shouldn’t play the South Alabamas of the world — I’m fine with it. I’m just not trying to go on the road to do it. That is not a big-time program thing to do. Also, South Alabama beat Mississippi State this year in Starkville. Yikes. Maybe I’m not trying to play the South Alabamas of the world.2. Home Schedule Short but GoodBecause of two road non-conference games Oklahoma State only gets six home games in 2017. They’re all pretty good, though. Tulsa is the non-conference one. Then you get Baylor, TCU, the Kansas schools and OU. Kansas in cold conditions on Thanksgiving weekend is an abomination that a lot of people will not show up for (unless the Big 12 title is on the line), but everything else is solid.3. The Texas-WVU-OU StretchOSU’s season will be made or lost in the three weeks from October 21 – November 4. You go to Texas. You go to West Virginia. Then you get Bedlam at home. Gundy is going to be on blood thinners by the time Bedlam is over with. Maybe this is better, though. Maybe it’s good to go like this. Gundy doesn’t have time to draw up ways OSU can lose on his Big Chief pad in his living room, and the rest of the program doesn’t have two weeks to worry about what ways Gundy is going to draw up for them to lose.4. Pitt game is greatI love the home-and-home with Pittsburgh. That game is at Heinz Field, and beating Pitt anywhere is a great win (maybe not to you, CFB Playoff committee!) but especially so in PA. I want more home-and-home games like that one. Heck, up the ante. Do it with Miami or Notre Dame or Virginia Tech. OSU has to go 13-0 no matter what happens to get into the Playoff so you might as well have some fun doing it even if the committee has created a disincentive for non-premiere programs like OSU to play big-time non-con games.5. “Easy” FinishBedlam was moved to the beginning of November because the Big 12 didn’t want to embarrass itself by having two straight Bedlams to end the season now that the Big 12 title game will inexplicably be a rematch between two teams that have already played. So what did it do? It took the third-place team (WVU) and put it against the team that won the conference this season (OU) in the last week in 2017. That should work out great!Anyway, the unintended benefit here is that OSU gets the most breathing room of the contenders at the end of the year. Let’s say the Cowboys somehow get through the first nine games unscathed. Then you go to Iowa State (WHAT COULD GO WRONG) and come home for KSU and Kansas. I know Bedlam has been moved and that has had a lot to do with OSU’s November/December struggles, but I like my chances at home against the state of Kansas with the conference on the line. And remember, all you have to do is finish in the top two to get to the Big 12 title game, which OSU has done each of the last two years.last_img read more

5 Thoughts: Recapping Spring Football at Oklahoma State

first_imgThere isn’t one outstanding headline decisions heading into fall camp and the 2017 season for the Oklahoma State football team, but there are several key secondary decisions that have potential to have major impacts on the product we see next season.Here are five of them:1. Backup Running Back Could be More Important Than You ThinkThe Cowboys are one Justice Hill injury away from becoming an extremely one-dimensional offense, unless a backup running back separates himself from the rest.Two more backs are heading to Stillwater this summer — Chubba Hubbard and JD King — but in watching spring practices and covering the spring game, Jeff Carr didn’t blow away his competition. And that was disappointing given he was up against three scout teamers.It’s not breaking news that a good run game can set up a passing attack. Last year, Mason Rudolph seemed at his best every time Chris Carson was. Defenses knew they had to respect Hill’s explosiveness, but Carson added a bit of deception. Whether that was because he had underperformed at OSU since he arrived or because he provided that drastic change in power and style, it will be much easier for defenses to prepare for Rudolph and Hill if no one else in the backfield demands attention.My guess is that Hubbard will be the No. 2 and King will serve as a third-down back from time to time.2. Second Cornerback Remains a MysteryThe Adrian Baker commitment was possibly the most important news to come out of spring practice, but the most vital item in the fall should be who will play opposite him.Much like the backup running back story, none of the cornerbacks pulled away as the favorite to land that second starting spot on the defense. At times, redshirt senior Darius Curry looked better than usual. At others, it was redshirt freshman Rodarius Williams. Then sophomore A.J. Green. It was never clear.OSU signed just one corner in the 2017 class. Lamarcus Morton came in as an early enrollee, but he didn’t catch my attention, and I would expect him to be redshirted given the surplus of underclassmen at the position.The moves of Ramon Richards to safety and Kenneth Edison-McGruder to linebacker appeared smart when they were announced, but I’m afraid they will cause more problems than solve.With that, I project Curry will begin the season as the game 1 starter, but by week 4 or 5, Richards will be back at corner and Edison-McGruder back at safety.3. Receiver Rotation Will Go One of Two WaysEither Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy and Tyron Johnson will each have 30+ catches in 2017, or at least one of those guys will have their feelings hurt.There are only so many catches to go around. Last year, Rudolph completed 284 passes. That number will probably rise to at least 300. James Washington will grab about 70. Jalen McCleskey will have another 70ish.That leaves about 160 for Ateman, Lacy, Johnson and the inside receivers and the running backs and the cowboy backs.Coach Mike Gundy has said that Ateman and Lacy will split time, each playing about 40 snaps, which leaves Johnson to back Washington. With that depth chart, 30 each is possible but unlikely. In 2016, only Washington, McCleskey, Lacy and Jhajuan Seales had 30 grabs. Add in another top receiver, Dillon Stoner, Tylan Wallace and the other freshmen, Rudolph might need to throw a pair of balls every down.4. The Future at Quarterback is Extra UncertainThe orange team quarterbacks went 19-for-28 with 298 yards and two passing touchdowns.The black team quarterbacks went 2-of-10 for 13 yards and two interceptions. Together, they have 11 years of eligibility left. The orange teamers have seven, and four of those are for a walk-on freshman named Josh Green.It’s not even close to time to turn the page and cut the losses, but it’s time for concern. Keondre Wudtee could potentially (though unlikely) be Rudolph’s backup, and he looked like a deer in the crosshairs during almost every play of the Cowboys’ spring game.OSU already has its 2018 quarterback commit in Denton Ryan’s Spencer Sanders and recently hosted Houston-born ’19er Grant Gunnell, who said the Cowboys had the “best visit.” But will Gundy start a freshman again? That’s only one of about 38 unanswered questions at the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 quarterback spots.5. Mason Rudolph Could Win the Heisman if Everyone Else Does Their JobThe not-so-passive-aggressive campaigning has already begun for Rudolph’s Heisman candidacy, but attention needs to be dispersed.Rudolph will be Rudolph. He will deliver beautiful deep balls, find McCleskey across the middle and pull it down from time to time on third-and-2. But Rudolph can only go from a possible candidate to legitimate candidate if the offensive line improves, the running backs provide that extra dimension, the receivers are as advertised and the defense can hold it together.The last true pocket passer to win the Heisman Trophy was Jameis Winston in 2013. He threw for more than 4,000 yards with 40 touchdowns, 10 picks and (most important) an undefeated championship-winning season.Rudolph’s yardage was over 4,000 last year. He had 26 touchdowns with only four interceptions, but the Cowboys lost three (yes, three) games last year. No, OSU doesn’t have to win a national championship for Rudolph to win the Heisman, but it’s probably realistic to think that the Cowboys need to contend for the College Football Playoff if he will have a viable shot.And that’s only possible if everyone not named Rudolph plays like their own Heisman candidacy is on the line. (Also if Rudolph learns to get his short game figured out.) While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Three Cowboys Poised to Break out on the Gridiron in 2017

first_imgDepth is probably the Oklahoma State football team’s greatest asset heading into 2017.Across the defensive line, even the third teamers could come in and contribute. At linebacker, though not as talented as the defensive line, there are realistically 11 guys who could play at least 10 snaps a game.Here are three Cowboys who could separate themselves from the rest of the depth with monster seasons:3. DeQuinton Osborne | Defensive Tackle | Redshirt SeniorThe two rocks in the heart of the defensive line are gone. Vincent Taylor to the NFL, and Motekiai Maile to graduation.Osborne will likely start and probably fill the production void Taylor left.Last season, as a backup to Taylor, Osborne had only 12 tackles in 11 games played. But 5.5 of those tackles were for losses. Those losses compiled up to 33 yards and included 3.5 sacks, which was third best on the team.Read that again.Osborne has a nack, much like Taylor had, for getting to the quarterback, which is rare for a defensive tackle. His size isn’t as massive as some of the other OSU defensive tackles. Osborne is 6-foot, 305 pounds. Taylor and Darrion Daniels, who could also have a strong season, are 6-3, 310. And Maile was five pounds heavier than them.But what’s impressive about Osborne is the motor. His quickness to the ball when in pursuit looks more like a defensive end, and with a full season as a starter, that potential to get to the quarterback more than 1/4 of the time he makes a tackle could prove lethal.2. Kenneth Edison-McGruder | Linebacker | JuniorMaking the move from safety to linebacker, Edison-McGruder is poised to watch his tackle numbers skyrocket in 2017.He finished with 40 total tackles last year as the No. 3 safety. With his physical style and enough athleticism to cover receivers, running backs or tight ends, Edison-McGruder could end up being not only the Cowboys’ leading tackler, but also their most versatile and possibly most valuable defensive player.Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer dropped Edison-McGruder into the teeth of the defense later in the season, especially in the Alamo Bowl against Colorado. After OSU implemented a 3-3-5 defense against Texas Tech, Edison-McGruder was allowed to drop down into cover 3 and man coverages whether in true linebacker, hook zone coverage or toward the flats. His role as a center fielder dropped significantly.The move to linebacker should be his best fit. His play style fits best at the second level of the defense. His 6-foot, 220-pound frame just slotted him as a bigger safety. It’s a move that coach Mike Gundy sees as a major plus for a player who could play in the NFL in two years.“A lot of (the move) has to do with that 3-down, 4-down (linemen) concept we’re going to now,” Gundy said. “Having that guy that can play both, if you really have one of those guys, then they’re potentially a high-round pick because they’re skilled.”Should Edison-McGruder stay at linebacker and the cornerback situation is ironed out (leaving Ramon Richards in the back half), his productivity should be toward the top of the defensive list by the end of the season.1. Tyron Johnson | Receiver | Redshirt SophomoreCoach Mike Gundy is among those trying not to put a world of expectation into the former five-star, LSU transfer receiver.“It’s real early,” Gundy said. “Coach used to tell me, ‘Be careful about drinking the Kool-Aid too early.’”Although Gundy will do his best to resist taking a sip, all signs point toward it being a good decision. Johnson has all the intangibles to be a top 10 receiver in the Big 12. He has the quickness to make defenders miss in space and the size to sky over corners and some safeties.“He’s a lot bigger than what a Josh Stewart would be,” Gundy said. “I don’t know which mold he fits. I’m scared to compare him to anybody that’s playing in the NFL or played in the NFL because that’s somewhat unfair for him and us.”Johnson is 6-1, “205 pounds.”Dez Bryant is 6-2, 220 pounds.Justin Blackmon was 6-1, 210.Then again, Jhajuan Seales was 6-0, 205.The only problem, for Johnson, is that he has to wait behind James Washington. Gundy has said that Marcell Ateman and Chris Lacy will split time on the left side of the field, which means it will be Washington and Johnson on the right. And Washington won’t come out too often.Forty catches would be a reasonable expectation for Johnson in 2017. Last year, Lacy finished with 31, and Jhajuan Seales grabbed 37. With an apparent drop in the running game and a Heisman candidate at quarterback, there will likely be more balls to catch.When Johnson gets on the field and gets the ball in his hands, he is just as potent, if not more so, than any of the other receivers in perhaps the most talented corps in the nation. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Junior College Defensive Tackle Emmit Gooden Recaps OSU Visit

first_imgJunior college standout Emmit Gooden, who named Oklahoma State in his top 20 schools earlier this week, paid a visit to Stillwater on Saturday. Just a 2.5-hour drive from his home in Independence, Kansas, Gooden, a three-star prospect, came away impressed with what OSU had to offer.“It was a great visit,” Gooden told Pistols Firing. “I had a chance to sit down with Coach Gundy and hear him out along with Coach [Joe Bob] Clements and Coach [Glenn] Spencer. Just sat down with them to see what they had planned for me, and checked out OSU. Overall I liked the campus, I liked the academics, and I liked the stadium and facilities.”As for OSU’s pitch to Gooden, who will be a December graduate, it’s simple: Immediate playing time. The one-time Mississippi State signee who took the junior college route is looking for a place where he can make an instant impact, and the OSU coaches are making that a point of emphasis on that.“They want me inside,” Gooden, who was a defensive end but has grown into a defensive tackle, said. “They said I could come and make an impact right away, because they’re thin at d-tackle. They’re recruiting me very heavily. You know, Coach Gundy, I liked him. Me and him had a great talk, we talked about personal stuff, just about recruiting and the OSU program.“Me personally, I think Coach Gundy is a great guy. It was the first time I ever met him, you know, besides doing some research ahead of time and watching ‘the rant’ he did a few years back. What I got from Coach Gundy was that he’s a player’s coach. He’ll stand behind his players 110 percent, and that’s what the whole coaching staff is about. That’s the type of visit I got from him.”Naturally, his first time visiting Gundy was also a formal introduction to the man, the myth and the mullet. Being from Tennessee, he says Gundy struck a chord with him because of his old-school style that flowed down through the coaching staff.“They’re very old school,” Gooden said. “They got a little swag. Somebody like me might make him cut it off and get a new hairstyle. Nah, nah. They’re very cool, laid back, no fashion statements or anything like that. They’re all about playing football.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma St visit was a success can’t wait to get back to Stillwater soon ? #GoPokes #CowboyUp18 #okstate pic.twitter.com/U6Leqp1Qpg— TheRealEmmitG93 (@TheRealEmmitG93) May 21, 2017When Gooden was a four-star prospect out of high school, he was almost exclusively recruited in the southeast. The Tennessee native held offers from Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ohio State, and others. But now that he’s headed into his second junior college season for Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas, he says he’s getting a lot of looks from the Big 12 — including Oklahoma, a school he also made a visit to recently.“I had fun on both [OU and OSU] visits,” he said, contrasting the two. “I didn’t get a chance to meet with Coach Stoops. But if I’m not mistaken, Coach Gundy had a speaking engagement planned. But when he heard I was coming to town, he canceled. So little things like that separated it a little bit.”last_img read more

Where OSU Football Decommitments Are Now (Part 1)

first_imgOgbonnia Okoronkwo, 3-star defensive end: Obo’s commitment to OSU lasted just about six months before a September offer from the Sooners gave him second thoughts. He later flipped from OU in the cycle and has emerged as OU’s best pass-rusher and a solid replacement to take over in the post-Eric Striker era.Luke Del Rio, 3-star QB: Crisis avoided, perhaps? Del Rio has been a transfer machine ever since he flipped from one OSU (Oklahoma State) to the other (Oregon State) in December before signing day and eventually committing to Alabama as a preferred walk-on. He later transferred from Alabama after making zero impact on the field to Oregon State, where he also was a relative disappointment in 2014. He spent 2015 and 2016 at Florida, but his decision to move on looks good for OSU in hindsight.Tyus Bowser, 3-star defensive end: After a late rise on the recruiting trail, OSU offered Bowser just one month before signing day and earned his commitment. But he flipped to Houston on signing day. Bowser enjoyed a productive college career and was a second round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.2014Mike Gundy rejoiceth. In the class that included Mason Rudolph, Gyasi Akem, Tyreek Hill, Jarrell Owens, Jordan Brailford, Trey Carter and James Washington, there were no decommitments this cycle. It’s possible Gundy now wishes Broken Arrow running back Devon Thomas had stayed with his original commitment to the Sooners, though. As the recruiting game has evolved over the years with more and more information available on social media, it has changed the way coaches approach it, as well as the way recruits receive and respond to attention. So much as a recruiting graphic sent to a recruit can irk players in one direction or another, which is just one of the many factors that has led to more decommitments than we’ve seen in the new age of social media.OSU, unfortunately, is no exception to this new trend. Here’s a look at the ones who got away — from 2012 to 2014 for part one of the series — and where their careers have led them since backing off their OSU pledge. (H/T to Eleven Warriors on the idea)2012Bralon Addison, 4-star receiver: Talk about your all-time “one that got away.” Addison, a Missouri City, Texas native, was committed to OSU for a little over a month before backing off his pledge. He would later commit — then de-commit — from Texas A&M, before joining the Oregon Ducks in a signing day flip in 2012. In three full seasons at Oregon, he amassed 1,937 yards receiving and 146 receptions and has bounced around in the NFL as a special-teamer.Kendall Sanders, 4-star receiver: Like Addison, Sanders was a U.S. Army All-American. His commitment spanned nearly a year before flipping to Mack Brown’s Texas Longhorns in late 2011. (Apparently, the look of Justin Blackmon winning consecutive Biletnikoff Awards was a turnoff). He spent just two seasons in Austin where he totaled 376 receiving yards, but later transferred to finish his career at Arkansas State.Donald Hawkins, 3-star offensive tackle: Hawkins’ commitment was roughly four months long before he, too, flipped to Texas in late December 2011. Hawkins made 24 starts in Austin after coming through the junior college route, and has spent time with Dallas and Carolina in the NFL.2013Fred Ross, 4-star receiver: Fred Ross was a signing day surprise for OSU—and not a good one. He was pledged to the Cowboys for just under a year but on signing day in 2013, he flipped from OSU to Mississippi State. He played in 41 games in four seasons for Mississippi State and totaled 2545 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Defensive Tackle, Cowboy Back Highlight Biggest Needs of the 2018 Recruiting Class

first_imgKanion WilliamsSafetyDallas, TX3 stars Jonathan SheperdWide ReceiverKilgore, TX3 stars Jaelyn NolanCornerbackBrownfield, TX3 stars C.J. MooreWide ReceiverTulsa, OK4 stars Hunter WoodardOffensive TackleTuscola, IL3 stars Jahmyl JeterRunning BackSan Antonio, TX3 stars Gabe LemonsCornerbackCoppell, TX2 stars Jacob FarrellOffensive TackleSulphur, OK3 stars Bryce BrayOffensive GuardBixby, OK3 stars Kolby PeelLinebackerCollege Station, TX3 stars Jarrick BernardSafetyShreveport, LA3 stars Jayveon CardwellCornerbackCibolo, TX3 starscenter_img Tyler LacyDefensive EndSachse, TX3 stars NamePositionHome TownRating (247) While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Blake BarronLinebackerRockwall, TX3 stars Hunter AnthonyOffensive TackleTuttle, OK3 stars AdChoices广告The coaching staff has done a good job of filling up the crop of defensive backs. There are now six players in the class expected to play either safety or corner. With six senior defensive backs (four safeties, two cornerbacks) on the roster currently, getting talented youth into the program now is vital to the position’s stability.After not bringing in a single high school offensive lineman in last year’s class, new offensive coordinator Josh Henson did some real work, getting verbal commitments from five recruits. This was big, especially considering the Cowboys have five senior linemen on the roster right now and five juniors. That’s half of the linemen on campus.Barring a decommitment, OSU is likely done with quarterback and running back with Spencer Sanders and Jahmyl Jeter in the mix. The roster is loaded with youth at both positions with four freshman/sophomore quarterbacks and five freshman/sophomore running backs.The staff could look to add another wide receiver, but I don’t think it’s a top priority. They have 15 on campus this season. Yes, four are seniors, but with the depth of talent they can sustain only bringing on two this year and focusing on the position more in the 2019 class. It’s not that adding a third receiver to this class would be a bad thing, there are just other areas with more demanding needs.That brings us to which positions OSU will likely focus their efforts with the remaining seven scholarships. I believe there are four positions the Cowboys will be looking to bring in a player.Defensive EndThe Cowboys currently have nine defensive ends on the roster. Two of those are seniors and five are juniors. With only one current DE commit in the 2018 class in Tyler Lacy, I expect OSU to push hard to land at least one more.Cowboy Back/Tight EndThere are nine cowboy back/tight ends on the roster right now. While OSU will only graduate one at the end of the season, five on the roster are juniors this year. I expect they would like to add at least one player to the class who can fit the OSU version of the tight end, especially with the decommitment of Nic McTear.Defensive TackleOSU has seven on the roster, but two are seniors and one is a junior. OSU is going to need to add at least one player in this class. If they can’t nab a high school player they like, look for coaches to target a junior college player or a graduate transfer who can immediately come in and contribute.LinebackerThe Cowboys have 12 on campus, but three are seniors and three more are juniors. As of now, OSU has two linebacker commits in Blake Barron and Kolby Peel. I expect they will want to land another player for this position.There’s no reason to believe OSU won’t try to use all seven remaining scholarships, especially if they get commitments from some quality recruits. However, with OSU’s history of bringing in a graduate transfer or two each year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coach staff hang on to a couple of scholarships just in case. Jason TaylorSafetyOklahoma City, OK3 stars Thanks to two commitments last week, Oklahoma State now has only has a maximum of seven available scholarships remaining for its 2018 recruiting class. While it’s possible they could use them all, I expect them to focus on filling only four to five of them before National Signing Day.With those scholarships, there are some specific positions Oklahoma State is going to be targeting, based on what they already have in the 2018 class and the number of upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) currently on the roster.First, let’s take a look at OSU’s 2018 class so far. Tyrese WilliamsOffensive CenterHouston, TX3 stars Sanders, SpencerQuarterbackDenton, TX4 starslast_img read more

Why Glenn Spencer is Winning In the Big 12, and What it Means for OSU

first_imgI’ve been watching a few college football preview shows for the past week, and I’ve seen pretty much the same narrative from most of the national media outlets – Oklahoma State is a trendy pick to win the Big 12 and CFP candidate because of Mason Rudolph, those WRs and an explosive offense.Then you wait for the “but” from each analyst: “ … but everything hinges on if Oklahoma State can stop anyone.” This is paraphrased, but it’s basically what everyone ends up saying.Given the nature of these shows and how many teams they have to talk about, I don’t think most of these analysts they know the first thing about how good or bad the OSU defense will be. These are just talking points, and this is still the offseason.AdChoices广告That being said, we should also probably give them a break. OSU has a history of scoring a lot of points and with the exception of a few years, fielding a pretty below average defense. There are no major NFL draft prospects that will anchor this year’s defense, so really it makes sense that these analyst would pin OSU with a defense that has resembled previous units that have been a disappointment.My intention isn’t necessarily to change that narrative so that these experts believe OSU has a top 10 defense, but to redefine what success looks like at OSU and in the Big 12 on the defensive side of the ball. The Big 12 is a different type of football, and subsequently you have to adjust what it means to have a good defense in my opinion.Here are two profiles, one being Oklahoma State and the other being another major Power 5 team known for having a strong defense. If you take out the normal variable that is measured to determine a strong defense, yards allowed/game, you find some interesting similarities.Team A32 sacks, 2.46/game25 turnovers forced76% of red zone trips ending in TD or FG58% of red zone trips ending in TD2.09 points allowed/drive5.93 yards allowed/play26.5 points/game allowedTeam B32 sacks, 2.29/game25 turnovers forced82% of red zone trips ending in TD or FG60% of red zone trips ending in TD1.75 points allowed/drive5.0 yards allowed/play22.8 points/game allowedTeam A is Oklahoma State, Team B is Virginia Tech. Team B is better in a few areas by a small margin, but for the most part these profiles are comparable. Now if you haven’t been hiding under the Clemson rock for the last two decades, you know that Virginia Tech is known for hard-nosed stifling defense under defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Foster is one of the best in the business, and Virginia Tech has been lucky to keep him this long as DC in Blacksburg.VT was 18th in total defense in 2016, averaging 340.7 yards/game. Oklahoma State was 92nd in total defense at 446.3 yards/game. Obviously those numbers tell a different story than the blind team resume exercise above, and in general are the numbers that defenses are judged by.Glenn Spencer is just fine with this. I think his strategy is pretty simple. Force the offense to take what you give them, and wait for them to make a mistake.Now as fans, this is a frustrating strategy. Even knowing this, I have found myself pulling my hair out as teams walk up and down the field on the OSU defense at times. Especially given the fact that the expectation for a successful defense from the masses is forcing every drive to be a three and out. Spencer simply wants every drive to end in 0 or 3 points and to give the ball back to his offense.That may consist of a 65-yard drive and several third-down conversions and end with a missed field goal or turnover, further inflating traditional stats for opposing offenses.It’s certainly a different way of thinking, but the Big 12 style will make you think outside the box. This conference truly brings a style of play that no other league does, and traditional football has never really seen before. Teams in the Big 12 have churned out QBs completing 68-69+ percent of their passes left and right, some even QBs that are marginally talented who are labeled “system QBs.” That is an outrageous completion percentage, and it’s mainly due to the style of play and really innovative offensive concepts.I think Spencer’s rationale is you can try to align yourself to cover the whole field, but ultimately leave yourself exposed to explosive plays. Or control the situation by handing the offense certain areas of the field where they can have success and completely shutting down the others.The areas that are given up are generally ones that are predetermined on film, and designed to put the offense in a position where they aren’t as comfortable. You simply wait to see if the offense can be patient enough to take what you give them consistently. Also some teams are good enough to take what you give them and what you take away (i.e. Oklahoma, Ole Miss 2015 etc.). I think you will find that most of the time all teams get greedy at some point and try to take what is not there, thus leading to a high number of turnovers or positive plays for the defense.One statistic to support this theory is that in 2016 OSU gave up more points in the in the first half than the second half. OSU gave up 194 points in the 1st half (about 56%), out of 345 points given up total. Compare that to 274 points scored by the OSU offense in the 1st half. As time goes on, OSU’s offense will continue to score and put more pressure on opposing offenses to try and keep up, playing into Spencer’s strategy of forcing the issue.Now this is all on paper, obviously it doesn’t play out like this all the time. We’ve seen plenty of times where OSU plays poorly on offense in the 1st half and has to come back from deficits in the 2nd half. But the underlying reasoning is let your offense do its thing and force opposing offenses to play the way Spencer wants them to.Some may hate this strategy, but it’s incredibly hard to field top 15 caliber offensive and defensive teams, especially in a league like the Big 12. Three to four teams come to mind who consistently do this across the country, and they’re able to consistently recruit at a top 5-10 level. The type of talent you have to recruit on both sides of the ball are only done by few, and isn’t really feasible in the case of Oklahoma State at this point. If you know of several 5-star DL recruits who want to come to Oklahoma State, I’m sure Spencer would be thrilled to change his strategy.Some stats to keep in mind for this upcoming season to gauge Oklahoma State defensive success:Defensive points per driveTurnovers forcedRed zone scoring %Average opponent starting field position (this isn’t something to indicate defensive success, but will ultimately lead to better success on Nos. 1-2 so it’s worth paying attention to)Sometimes this strategy leads to a lot of yards in the box score and ugly defensive yardage rankings, but I think Glenn Spencer is sleeping just fine each night with just one statistic in his favor, and that is another notch in the win column. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 6 Keenen Brown

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. At No. 6 on our countdown, let’s look at a fourth-year junior who’s transformed his body and could be a sneaky pick for Most Improved Cowboy in 2017.How he got to OSUBrown took his first step on campus as a 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver specimen. Pretty normal. OSU’s had plenty of those. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Brown.The four-star prospect from Alief Taylor (Houston, Texas) — ranked as the No. 4o wide receiver by 247 Sports — had to turn down scholarships from Oklahoma, Florida, LSU, Oregon and 15 other Division I schools to make a home in Stillwater, America. That’s not easy to do.AdChoices广告What he’s done in StillwaterIt’s also not easy to be sidelined the first two seasons of your career — one  for redshirt purposes and the other due to a foot injury. But after getting healthy and building his body up by 40 pounds, Brown no longer looked like the his receiver counterparts.Prior to 2016 and after weighing in at 250 pounds, Brown was a perfect fit for Oklahoma State’s hybrid tight end/H-back position. In 2016 he saw sparing reps behind the CW poster children Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch but now they’re both gone.After a year in the Cowboy Back room, Brown looks ready for a featured role but the transition hasn’t been easy. His position coach, Jason McEndoo talked about the physical challenge of moving from wide receiver to Cowboy Back.“People don’t understand [how hard it is],” McEndoo told PFB. “To put this in context, making the transition, what he has done, from Z receiver to tight end, that’s like taking a kid that plays corner and turning him into a defensive end. That’s a different world inside the tackle box. That’s big-boy land. That’s a different lifestyle.”Brown also talked about how much of a challenge it was, but thought the mental part was even more taxing.“It’s a big adjustment mentally because you’ve got to learn the defensive line, the linebackers,” Brown told PFB. “At receiver, all I had to do was learn the coverage and maybe what technique the corner’s playing. At Cowboy Back, I’ve got to know the whole D-Line, the linebackers and I’ve still got to know the coverages. Mentally, you’ve got to be prepared to work out there.”Role in 2017With Blake Jarwin trying to earn a spot in Big D, Brown now has the opening he’s been waiting for. He’s got the size, the athleticism and the ball skills to really shine from that tight end role.“He’s been great,” said McEndoo. “He wants to be good. He works at it. You know his strengths. He’s explosive. He’s fast. He can come across the middle. I mean, he’s not a small dude.”Let’s not forget or play down the reason Brown was recruited to OSU. He’s still one of the highest-rated wide receiver prospects on OSU’s roster. Think about that for a minute. And though the sample size is extremely small, he’s been as effective as possible in passing opportunities. Brown’s been targeted twice in college and he’s turned it into two catches 47 yards.Does that mean he’ll be an all-conference selection? Not necessarily and his reps will be limited to how well he can pass protect and how much OSU uses the role with the plethora of wide receivers needing catches. But he’s got the athleticism and playmaking ability to be an X-factor on an already potent offense.According to the projected depth chart for Week 1, Brown is slated behind Britton Abbott and Sione Finefeuiaki at Cowboy Back.Noteworthy stats and highlightsHere’s a look at that 38-yard catch against UT last year.last_img read more