Oklahoma State started the season with a 58-44 win over Central Michigan in a game where they flashed a fast-paces, high-octane, offense. The Cowboys posted 406 total yards of offense and averaged 6.9 yards per snap. Now they’ll take a step up in competition to host an Arizona State squad that is coming off a 40-3 thrashing of Northern Arizona. Here are three questions that we have about the Cowboys as they prepare to host the Sun Devils.
Can The Secondary Bounce Back?
It wasn’t all roses for the Cowboys last Thursday night. CMU quarterback Daniel Richardson passed for 424 yards and four touchdowns as the Chippewas offense actually outpaced the Cowboys by a margin of 546 yards to 531. The performance led to weekly conference honors for Richardson and a little bit of concern for the OSU secondary.
Of course, the focus of the Cowboy defense last week was CMU running back Lew Nichols III but you still can’t turn a blind eye to some of the struggles in the secondary. Arizona State is bringing a complicated offense as well. Quarterback Emory Jones completed 13 of the 18 passes in his debut for the Sun Devils and also ran for 48 yards and two scores. There will be more decision making opportunities for the OSU secondary again on Saturday and if they can’t improve from Week 1 then we could be looking at another uncomfortable fourth quarter.
Can Spencer Sanders Remain Consistent?
Sanders very much looked the part of a First Team All-Conference quarterback last week. OSU’s four-year starter threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns while also running for 57 yards and two more scores. It was a performance that earned him the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday but the best part about what Sanders did against Central Michigan was that he didn’t turn the ball over. If he can continue to play at that level of efficiency then there isn’t an opponent on the schedule that the Cowboys don’t have a shot against.
Is Braydon Johnson For Real?
Opposing defenses already had their hands full with scheming for Brennan Presley within the Cowboy offense but Braydon Johnson showed that he’s fully healthy and will be a headache as well. The 6-0/205 senior hauled in six catches last week for 133 yards and a score. If he can keep playing on that level it will bode well for Presley and the OSU offense….it’ll bode very well.
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One Reply to “Arizona State At #11 Oklahoma State | Three Questions About The Cowboys”
1. While I’m not super concerned about the Week 1 performance, it’s very obvious that the secondary is the weakest spot on not just the defense but the entire team. As competition ramps up, I want to see improvements here, or we Cowboy fans can give up any notion of a shot at returning to the Big 12 Championship Game.
2. I’m 100% here for the Spencer Sanders Redemption Tour. He’s been bashed for years—ESPECIALLY by some Oklahoma State fans—for his inability to take care of the ball at times, and while I concede the point that he has been turnover prone, it’s flat out wrong to ignore the fact that he has improved over the years. I do think he’s continued to improve yet again for his senior season, and while I’m sure that first turnover will happen sooner than later, it should not be accompanied by the echoes of “I told you so” that so many people are waiting to scream out.
3. Braydon Johnson has been a dude in waiting for a while, and I was pumped to see him explode in the opener. While it was arguably the best performance of his career, it wasn’t his only big game, and after missing last season due to injury, I just know he’s ready to be a playmaker to finish out his time in Stillwater. This was not a one-and-done situation. He’ll be making highlight reels all season long.