Taking the field for the first time this season, all eyes will be on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Hoping to avoid the same fate as one other Big XII Conference member — the Iowa State Cyclones — the program will rely on an experienced defense and potent offense in 2020. However, there are several key players who may have a bigger impact on the game than Spencer Sanders, Chuba Hubbard, and Tylan Wallace.
Teven Jenkins | Offensive Lineman
Leading up to the season, the Cowboys lost a handful of offensive lineman for various reasons. The mass exodus leaves Teven Jenkins as the only returning full-time starter from a year ago. Progressing during his time in Stillwater, Jenkins earned a spot on the Preseason All-Conference First Team. Leaning into the talents of the now senior, the coaching staff will rely on Jenkins to set the tone in the trenches on the offensive side of the ball. However, he’ll need facilitate a meshing of the rest of the group. Bringing the youngsters and newcomers up to speed within this unit is a must if OSU hopes to be successful throughout the duration of the schedule.
Kolby Harvell-Peel | Safety
Throwing a coming-out party last season, Kolby Harvell-Peel set himself apart as a defender in the Big XII at the safety position. However, on the final play of the regular season, the breakout star tore an ACL. Entering rehab mode over the past ten months, the team expects Harvell-Peel to be at 100% entering Saturday’s contest. Although the defense returns ten starters from last year, the health of the safety remains a slight question mark.
This is a group primed to create havoc while flying around the field. In the home opener, O-State will face an equally experienced offense lead by senior quarterback Zach Smith. Throughout the season, the Golden Hurricane racked up 281.3 yards per game through the air. In addition, Tulsa returns its top two receivers and leading rusher from the same campaign. As the two square off, the attention will undoubtedly center around the secondary of Oklahoma State and more specifically, the capabilities of Harvell-Peel.