Oklahoma State Football Predictions

Written by Vegas Top Cappers | July 31, 2013

2013 Oklahoma State Football Predictions

In his eight seasons at Oklahoma State, head coach Mike Gundy has racked up a W-L mark of 67-35 in one of the nation’s strongest power conferences. Last season’s 8-5 mark was capped off by a resounding 58-14 rout of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Twelve starters return in 2013, and optimism is sky-high for the Cowboys, who are predicted to be serious contenders for the Big 12 championship.

Most high-profile programs are satisfied with one relatively experienced quarterback, but Oklahoma State has two returning signal-callers, both with experience as well as on-field success to bring to the table. Senior Clint Chelf is the presumed starter, at least based on his having started the final five games last season, including earning MVP honors at the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Chelf was given the starting nod only after injuries sidelined both Wes Lunt (who has since transferred) and rising sophomore J.W. Walsh. Both Chelf and Walsh have shown they are fully capable of guiding new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich’s high-octane spread attack, giving the Cowboys an advantage regardless of the starter.

All-Big 12 RB Joseph Randle must be replaced, but waiting in the wings is Jeremy Smith, who despite not being a starter, has still scored 25 TDs in his career. There’s also experience and production in the receiving corps, with both Tracy Moore and Josh Stewart making up one of the Big-12’s better tandems. Stewart in particular, has emerged as a bona fide threat, as his 101 receptions for 1,210 yards in 2012 demonstrates.

Up front, the Cowboys, as almost always, are loaded with big bodies and as much depth as any in the conference. There are no “can’t miss” prospects, but instead the O-linemen have worked hard to master the zone-blocking scheme and work remarkably well together as a unit.

The defense isn’t quite as dominant, but with new coordinator Glenn Spencer installing an aggressive attack mentality, the sky’s the limit for this athletic bunch. DTs Calvin Barnett and James Castleman are adept at both clogging up the middle as well as having the athleticism to apply pressure to opposing QBs. The pass rush could stand some upgrading, and the Cowboys have several returnees and newcomers eager to provide it.

The linebackers are led by veterans Caleb Lavey and Shaun Lewis, with both extremely active from sideline-to-sideline and are above-average when they drop into coverage. The secondary may be Oklahoma State’s unsung group, but with CB Justin Gilbert doing his best Darrelle Revis impersonation on one side, and safety Daytawion Lowe skilled at both defending the run as well as the pass, this talented unit won’t remain under-the-radar for long. Gilbert is also an elite kick returner, having already become the school’s record-holder with five TD returns. The biggest uncertainty involves the kicking game, where graduated Quinn Sharp handled double duties for three seasons.

Expect plenty of points from the Cowboys, and barring injury, the defense should improve greatly by the time conference play rolls around. The schedule is favorable, with the other two presumed contenders for the conference crown, arch-rival Oklahoma and TCU, both having to visit OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium.

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