Position breakdown: Quarterbacks
The scoop: For the first time since the 2012 season, OSU will be starting the season with a quarterback who hasn’t thrown a pass in a Cowboys uniform. The decision on who that will be is still up in the air. The bottom line: Spencer Sanders (left), the 2017 Mr. Texas Football, and the Hawaii graduate transfer in Dru Brown have been in a quarterback battle all summer. Mike Gundy is expected to play both quarterbacks for the first game. How long will that last?
Position breakdown: Running backs
The scoop: Chuba Hubbard will be the leading ball carrier out of the backfield this season. He showcased his skillset when a Justice Hill injury put Hubbard in the driver’s seat for the last four games of last season. The bottom line: Hubbard is the main guy at the running back, but OSU has a solid group following behind him. Junior LD Brown is a strong backup who should get his share of touches this year.
Position breakdown: Receivers
The Scoop: Tylan Wallace was a Biletnikoff Award finalist last year and is on the preseason watch list heading into this season. He caught 86 passes for 1,491 yards and 12 TDs. All eyes are on him.
The bottom line: Wallace will try to replicate last year’s performance, but the Cowboys have other receivers who are also looking to maintain last year’s national top-10 passing offense. Junior Dillon Stoner (Above, 48 catches, 603 yards) is another receiver to keep your eyes on.
Position breakdown: Cowboy backs
The Scoop: OSU lost Britton Abbott who was its most experienced Cowboy back last season. Redshirt sophomore Jelani Woods (above) will assume that role now. The bottom line: Woods, a former quarterback, saw action in 11 games with seven starts last season. He averaged 17.1 yards per catch and could be an additional threat in the passing game this year.
Position breakdown: Offensive line
The scoop: Gundy finally got his guy Charlie Dickey in Stillwater as the new offensive line coach. Gundy’s comments about Dickey indicate that he is a good fit for the program. The bottom line: The offensive line has a mix of veterans and young players this year. Seniors Johnny Wilson (above) and Marcus Keyes will be leading the way.
Position breakdown: Defensive line
The scoop: OSU is replacing six players who combined for 107 career starts. Neither of the replacements has any career starts for the Cowboys. The bottom line: Last season’s defensive line ranked No. 10 with three sacks per game. There are a lot of questions surrounding this year’s group, but the Cowboys are returning multiple guys with game experience. Pictured above: DT Brendon Evers
Position breakdown: Linebackers
The scoop: Senior Calvin Bundage (above) has a chance to be one of the best linebackers in the country if he can stay healthy and cut down on penalties. The Cowboys are going need him to do both this season. The bottom line: Bundage is the most talented linebacker on the Cowboys roster but Kevin Henry, Amen Ogbongbemiga and Devin Harper should all be solid contributors at that position.
Position breakdown: Secondary
The scoop: Playing defensive back in the Big 12 Conference isn’t easy, but A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams are returning for their third year starting at cornerback. Malcolm Rodriguez (above), Jarrick Bernard and Tanner McCalister should lead the group of safeties. The bottom line: The secondary should be the strongest part of the defense this year. The production from the defensive line could take a step back, so defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is going to need his defensive backs to be at the top of their game.
Position breakdown: Special teams
The scoop: Kicker Matt Ammendola’s 251 career points ranks him No. 6 on the NCAA’s active scoring list. He has already proven himself to be a reliable kicker and Gundy has brought in 29-year old freshman Tom Hutton from Australia to be the punter. The bottom line: OSU fans haven’t celebrated a punt or kick return for a touchdown since 2015. Will this season break the drought?
Stars: Tylan Wallace
The junior from Fort Worth, Texas had a breakout season last year. He caught 86 passes for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns on his way to being named a Biletnikoff Award finalist. Expectations are high for him coming into this season and he should be one of the best receivers in college football for the second consecutive year.
Stars: Chuba Hubbard
Hubbard averaged 106 yards per game in the last for games of the season. Ended the season with 766 yards and averaged 6 yards per carry. Expect for him to pick up where he left off now that he is the No. 1 running back for the Cowboys.
Stars: Calvin Bundage
Bundage is the second-leading returning tackler on the roster and is the only linebacker with more than one career start. Bundage’s health will be the key factor in how good he can be this season.
Sleepers: Jelani Woods
Woods had seven catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman Cowboy Back last season. Expect for him to be even more comfortable on the field with a year under his belt.
Sleepers: LD Brown
Hubbard will get the bulk of the carries but expect OSU to use Brown’s speed to its advantage. He has a 6.3 yards per carry average on 61 career attempts.
Sleepers: Jarrick Bernard
Bernard is got valuable playing time as a freshman which should serve him well in his second season. Expect the safety to be a major contributor in the Cowboys secondary
Mike Gundy: Head coach, 15th year, $5.125 million Sean Gleeson: Offensive Coordinator/quarterbacks, first year, $550,000 Jim Knowles: Defensive Coordinator/linebackers, second year, $600,000 John Wozniak: Running backs, third year, $300,000 Kasey Dunn: Associate head coach/wide receivers, ninth year, $550,000 Jason McEndoo: Tight ends/cowboy back, fifth year, $315,000 Charlie Dickey: Offensive line, first year, $500,000 Joe Bob Clements: Defensive line, seventh year, $420,000 Greg Richmond: Defensive line, second year, $200,000 Tim Duffie: Cornerbacks, seventh year, $375,000 Dan Hammerschmidt: Safeties, fifth year, $350,000
Mike Gundy on OSU QB race, first practice