Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players -

Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Oklahoma State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview
Mike Gundy: 149-69, 18th year at Oklahoma State
18th year overall, 149-69, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 12-2, Conference: 8-1
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
OSU Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis

Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview 2022

So Texas and Oklahoma are looking to get out.

Okay, so then who’s going to be the anchor tenant in the mall in 2024 – or whenever Macy’s and Neiman Marcus are allowed to leave?

Of course BYU should be strong, and UCF, Houston, and Cincinnati are all terrific gets, but it’s not like the Big 12 is adding, say …

Texas and Oklahoma.

Of course there will always be debates about this topic, but Ohio State is the star of the Big Ten. Even with all the other great teams, of course the SEC is Alabama’s conference.

To the chagrin of everyone else in the league, USC is the Pac-12’s big national program, Clemson has taken over for Florida State as the star of the ACC, and …

Who’s it going to be from the Big 12?

The 2022 Oklahoma State team is going to be terrific. Last year’s squad should’ve won the Big 12 Championship, this year’s version is good enough to be in the mix for the title, and next year will be interesting when the ten-team league – likely – goes to 14 programs for one year in a conference called the Big 12.

The window is open right now for Oklahoma State to make a giant statement about its standing in the new era.

The program will never recruit to the level of the superpowers, but it’s been 16 years now without a losing season in the Mike Gundy era.

It’s also been ten years since the Cowboys won a conference championship, and before that the previous outright league title was 1948.

This isn’t exactly a blueblood program, but that distinction hasn’t exactly meant much on the field for Texas lately, and Oklahoma State has never been scared of OU.

Yeah, of course it’s a stretch to think one big 2022 would launch the Cowboys into the Big 12’s power player position and signature star, but very soon there’s going to be a big void to fill.

As it, if all goes right, Oklahoma State might make the league its own now before those other two take their talents to the SEC.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
OSU Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis

Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview 2022: Offense, Defense NEXT

Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview 2022: Offense

The offense was more than fine, and it closed large with a fantastic rally to push past Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. It might have statistically been in the middle of the road compared to the rest of the Big 12, but the pass protection was great, the passing game was steady, and it got the job done with the defense doing the heavy lifting.

There might not be a ton of national star power, but it should be more of the same with good explosion, a decent balance, and enough experience to be at last as good as last year’s version.

Spencer Sanders is back at quarterback after earning First Team All-Big 12 honors, throwing for over 2,800 yards with 20 touchdowns to go along with 664 rushing yards and six scores.

He might have melted down with four picks in the Big 12 Championship loss to Baylor, but he made up for it with a brilliant 371-yard, four score day in the win over the Irish.

Backup Shane Illingworth is off to Nevada, but top recruit Garret Rangel and coach’s son Gunnar Gundy will get plenty of backup work.

So who’s the next great Oklahoma State receiver? Tay Martin is done after catching 80 passes and ten of the 23 touchdown throws. Brennan Presley is a quick playmaker and fantastic return man who caught 50 passes, and now leads a loaded group – seven of the top eight receivers are back.

The offensive front that was so good in pass protection should be okay, even if there isn’t another Josh Sills-level star. Three starters are back, and there’s enough versatility to move things where needed.

Hunter Woodard is a good guard to work around on the right side, and Caleb Etienne will be solid at either tackle spot.

Top running back Jaylen Warren is done, and Dezmon Jackson left for Sam Houston State. Sanders is one of the team’s most dangerous runners, but it’s Dominic Richardson and Jaden Nixon who’ll take over the workload.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview 2022: Defense

Former Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason is taking over the defensive coordinator duties. No pressure, but all he has to do is keep it all going with a defense that was No. 1 in the nation in sacks, second in tackles for loss, and led the Big 12 in total and scoring D.

The top four tacklers are gone. big-time safety Tanner McCalister is off to Ohio State, and …

The defense is going to be fantastic, starting with what should be a loaded defensive front.

The Cowboys lived in the backfield averaging four sacks per game. Everyone’s going to eat.

There might be a few places with more talented defensive ends, but it’ll be hard to match the production of this group.

Collin Oliver led the team with 10.5 sacks, but the young end will have to share time with NFL-caliber talent Trace Ford back from a knee injury, and Tyler Lacy and Brock Martin are back after combining for 12.5 sacks.

The tackles aren’t quite as nasty, but the combination of 320-pound Sione Asi and 295-pound Brendon Evers will hold their own.

Losing star LB Malcolm Rodriguez is a problem even with the talent back at linebacker. Texas Tech/JUCO transfer Xavier Benson will make a ton of stops at one spot, and the position will crank up the stats next to him with a good rotation, likely starting with 230-pound Mason Cobb.

Again, McCalister is gone, and good-hitting safety Jarrick Barnard-Converse took off for LSU. Fortunately, Jason Taylor is a good one returning to one spot, and Jabbar Muhammad is a keeper at one corner.

Oklahoma State 2022 Preview
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
OSU Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Key To The 2022 Offense

Keep on running.

Oklahoma State got into problems when the turnovers started flowing, but there isn’t a problem with interceptions like the stats might suggest.

Spencer Sanders gave up seven interceptions in the two games against Baylor, and the other five were spread out over the rest of the season weren’t that big of a deal. He’s great when he’s on the move for the ground attack, and the offense is even stronger when the backs are involved.

Oklahoma State ran 620 times – over 44 times per game – and it all worked in the system. That kept the chains moving, that kept the defense rested, and that controlled games.

Running well matters.

Oklahoma State was 7-0 when it hit 180 yards or more, and the team has won 15 straight going back to 2019 when it hits that mark.

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Key To The 2022 Defense

Keep the pass rush rolling.

Getting into the backfield is nothing new for the Cowboys, but they took things up several notches last year with the pass rush in the country.

How good was it? Taking out the weird 2020 season with so many uneven schedules, you have to go back to 2014 Utah for time anyone averaged four sacks or more over a full season.

Pitt averaged 3.86 sacks per game, Alabama 3.8, and no one else averaged more than 3.31. Oklahoma State averaged four per game, and it wasn’t like it came in waves.

Sure, there were times when the attack dogs didn’t hunt – like in the 55-3 win over Kansas – but the production was spread out nicely with three or more in nine games.

There’s a new defensive coordinator, but there’s still a loaded batch of linemen back. The big plays have to be there.

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Key Player To The 2022 Season

RB Dominic Richardson, Jr.
Jaylen Warren ran for 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

Chuba Hubbard had a 2,000-yard season, Justice Hill ran for over 3,500 career yards, Chris Carson has turned out to be a solid NFL back, Joseph Randle ran for over 1,400 yards in the 2012 season, Kendall Hunter ran for close to 1,600 yards in 2010, and on and on and on.

Now it might be Richardson’s turn.

He’s been effective when given a chance, but he had to wait his turn after being a good part of a rotation.

210 pounds, fast, and with a whole lot of tread on the tires, if he’s good enough to come up with an effective 200 carries, the offense will work just fine.

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Key Transfer

LB Xavier Benson, Jr.
The 6-2, 224-pounder is about to make a whole lot of tackles as one of the replacements for 225-pound, 408-tackle, heart-and-soul linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez.

Benson started his career at Texas Tech and rolled up 57 tackles in his first full season on the field, sat out the 2020 campaign, turned into a tackling machine in the JUCO ranks, and now he has the potential to be the team’s leading tackler.

Oklahoma State Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Baylor, Oct. 1
Four inches from the pylon. Four inches.

It was probably a wee bit more than that, but Dezmon Jackson was just that close to pulling the Big 12 Championship out of the fire and possibly putting Oklahoma State into the College Football Playoff.

The Cowboys won the first meeting earlier in the season – which, as it turned out, probably kept Baylor out of the CFP debate – but the Big 12 loss made it a third defeat to the Bears in five games.

This time around it’s the conference opener for the Cowboys, and they get a week off while the Bears are dealing with a road trip to Iowa State.

There’s still a trip to Oklahoma late in the season, and there are still a whole lot of Big 12 showdowns to deal with. A loss in Waco would be a problem.

Oklahoma State Cowboys: 2021 Fun Stats

– Sacks: Oklahoma State 57 for 386 yards – Opponents 17 for 107 yards
– OSU 2nd Quarter Scoring: 151 – OSU 3rd Quarter Scoring: 58
– 4th Down Conversions: OSU 7-of-13 (54%) – Opponents 8-of-27 (30%)

Oklahoma State 2022 Preview
Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
OSU Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis

Oklahoma State Cowboys Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Oklahoma State Cowboys Season Prediction, What Will Happen

There’s no reason to not get back to the Big 12 Championship.

Of course all the national focus will be on Texas, and the changes at Oklahoma, and the upcoming expansion and losses and all the other things going on in an interesting conference. But there’s a solid chance Oklahoma State is about to pretty much do 2021 all over again.

There might be a slew of key parts gone on defense, but the line is still going to be a terror and the back seven will be great if there aren’t any big injuries early on.

There might not be a ton of star power on offense – no one will make Spencer Sanders the preseason All-Big 12 quarterback, but he’s still going to be one of the league’s best all-around playmakers.

Combine all of that with a manageable schedule, and this should be interesting.

Set The Oklahoma State Cowboys Regular Season Win Total At … 9.5

There’s always a bit of a flake factor that might rise up with this bunch – SE Missouri State and Tulsa each made it tough to start last year – but the Cowboys will be favored to start 3-0 before going to Baylor.

Of course going to Oklahoma in Norman is a road game, but that’s just down the street. The Iowa State, Texas, and – it’s going to matter this year – Texas Tech games are in Stillwater.

The O will do what it does, the D should do what it does, and the kicking game should be among the best in the Big 12, if not the country.

Nope, there’s no reason this team can’t get back to the Big 12 Championship.

And there’s no reason it can’t win it this time.

Oklahoma State 2022 Preview
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
OSU Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis

– 2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

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