College Football Preview: The 2015 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview
2014 Record: 7-6 (58th of 128) Won TicketCity Cactus Bowl 30-22 vs. Washington
Odds to Win National Championship: +9000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Oklahoma State Cowboys continue to hang around in the Big 12, winning at least seven games for nine straight seasons. Mike Gundy hasn’t missed a bowl game since his first season with the program. Now, OSU looks to compete for its 11th conference title in program history.
Offense: Oklahoma State actually has its quarterback heading into the season, as Mason Rudolph should get the nod after being thrown into the fire as a freshman. Rudolph completed 57 percent of his passes and threw for six touchdowns in a limited role. The Cowboys return pretty much all of their top receivers as well, including Brandon Sheperd and David Glidden, a duo that combined for more than 1,300 receiving yards last season. Running back is still a question mark for Oklahoma State but Chris Carson was a top recruit and could become just another guy who shines his freshman season. Oklahoma State also returns three starting offensive linemen from a unit that allowed 40 sacks, which should lead to improvement.
USA TODAY Sports
Defense: Oklahoma State returns eight starters from a defense that ranked 93rd in the country. So, there’s at least experience in hopes of turning this unit around. Emmanuel Ogbah is one of the better defensive lineman in the country, coming away with 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss last season. Jordan Sterns returns as the team's leading tackler, Ryan Simmons is a great playmaker at the linebacker position and Kevin Peterson is one of the better cornerbacks in the Big 12. Ramon Richards proved himself as a freshman with three picks and Seth Jacobs is a reliable linebacker in pass coverage. With a year under everybody’s belt, the Oklahoma State Cowboys should be greatly improved on the defensive side of the ball.
Special Teams: Ben Grogan returns at kicker after making 78.6 percent of 28 field goal attempts. Zach Sinor will replace Kip Smith at punter.
Overall: Oklahoma State is one of many teams that can make a strong run for a Big 12 title. It all comes down to how consistent the QB is and how much the defense improves. Still, the Cowboys are balanced enough to hang with any team in the Big 12 and are always going to have a chance due to a solid coaching staff.