As the 12th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys prepare to mix it up with #10 Colorado in San Antonio Thursday night in the Alamo Dome there are multiple players that Mike Gundy will be looking to in an effort to secure their tenth win of the season. The Buffaloes (Pac 12 runner up) bring their own set of problems for O-State, but there’s not going to be a shortage of talent wearing orange and black as these two old conference foes face off against each other. Here are some key players for the Cowboys.
Junior defensive tackle Vincent Taylor | A load to handle in the middle of the line, Taylor 6-3/310 leads O-State in sacks with six. The Cowboys will use him to try and pressure Colorado quarterbacks Sefo Liufau and Steven Montez who are completing over 60% of their passes. The good news for OSU is that Buffaloes quarterbacks have been sacked 28 times this season, and Taylor is hoping to add to that.
Junior cornerback Ramon Richards | He’ll have his hands full with Colorado receivers Devin Ross and Shay Fields. There won’t be any snaps off for Richards as he’ll most likely get tagged with covering one or the other throughout the game. Ross averaged 11.6 yards per reception this season, with 5 touchdowns, while Fields had an eye-popping average of 16.3 yards per reception and 9 scores.
Senior linebacker Jordan Sterns | Oklahoma State’s leader in tackles in 2016 (96), Sterns will look to anchor the defense and assault Colorado’s run game. The Buffs averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 2016 and ran an average of 46.6 times per game. Sterns will need to be on point with the Cowboy defense as Phillip Lindsay (5.17 YPC) is going to be looking to come down hill all night.
Junior quarterback Mason Rudolph | It goes without saying that the offense goes as the quarterback does, and Rudolph has quite a challenge ahead of him. Colorado led the Pac 12 in pass defense by holding opponents to just a 48% completion percentage. The Buffs recorded 8 interceptions this season and 32 quarterback sacks.
Junior receiver James Washington | One of the most explosive players in the Big 12, Washington led the team in receiving yards (1209) and touchdowns (9) this season. His speed will be instrumental in cracking the code of Colorado’s secondary.
Freshman running back Justice Hill | A thousand yard rusher in his first season as a collegiate football player, Hill averaged 5.6 yards per carry and scored five rushing touchdowns. He’ll be going against a Colorado defense that allowed opponents to run for 4.0 yards per carry and gave up 12 rushing touchdowns this season.