It’s not all that often that the best team in the State of Oklahoma in a given college football season is Oklahoma State over OU, but that was the case in 2021. What to expect from Coach Mike Gundy’s Cowboys this season? Everything for your College Football Betting.
Oklahoma State Season College Football 2022OSU knocked off rival Oklahoma 37-33 in the regular-season finale to snap a six-game skid to the Sooners. Spencer Sanders threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Fans clad in orange and black poured onto the field in Stillwater to celebrate Mike Gundy’s third win in 17 tries against the Sooners. That was probably highlight No. 1 of the season.
The Cowboys had a chance to beat Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game but lost 21-16 as Dezmon Jackson came up inches short on a desperate, fourth-down dive in the final seconds for Oklahoma State, knocking the fifth-ranked Cowboys out of contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Baylor safety Jairon McVea knocked Jackson out of bounds without letting him reach the pylon with 24 seconds remaining. The Cowboys were without leading rusher Jaylen Warren because of his lingering ankle and shoulder issues.
On the bright side, OSU did upset No. 5 Notre Dame 37-35 in the Fiesta Bowl to finish 12-2. Oklahoma State rallied from a 28-7 deficit in the second quarter to score 30 straight points in the school’s biggest-ever comeback. The team’s previous biggest comeback was 20 points down against Colorado in 1979.
Sanders had 496 yards of total offense in the game – 371 passing and a career-high 125 rushing. His performance against Notre Dame marked just the second time in OSU history that a player passed for more than 300 yards and rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. He earned Fiesta Bowl offensive MVP honors.
The Cowboys won 12 games for the first time under Gundy, a former Oklahoma State quarterback in his 17th season as head coach. Overall, the Pokes had five wins last season over teams ranked in the AP top 25 at game time, matching the school record of five set in 2011.
Oklahoma State made its 16th consecutive bowl appearance and secured its 16th consecutive winning season, both of which are school-record streaks. OSU’s bowl streak is the seventh-longest active streak in the FBS, and the is longest active streak for any school with the same head coach.
Gundy lost top running back Jaylen Warren to the NFL and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who transformed the Cowboys into one of the top defensive units in the FBS, left for Ohio State. Gundy hired former Auburn D-coordinator Derek Mason to replace him.
The QB Sanders is back to lead the offense. A three-year starter, Sanders had the best season of his career in 2021 as he was named the First Team All-Big 12 quarterback and had that record-setting Fiesta Bowl performance. Heading into his senior season, Sanders needs eight more wins to tie Mason Rudolph for the most wins as a starting quarterback in school history. A true-dual threat quarterback, the Cowboy signal-caller is one of two players in OSU history with more than 5,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in his career.
The new top running back will be Dominic Richardson. A regular part of the rotation in 2021, Richardson saw action in every game and logged 79 carries for 373 yards and four touchdowns. A year prior, Richardson saw limited time in the backfield, but broke out for 169 yards and three touchdowns as the lead back against Baylor, which marked the second-highest total for an Oklahoma State true freshman in school history, trailing only the 206-yard game that Thurman Thomas had against Kansas State in 1984. Behind Richardson’s 123 career attempts, no other OSU running back has rushed the ball more than 15 times.
“I’m a very physical runner,” Richardson said. “I’m a north-and-south guy who’s going to stick my foot in the ground and run through you. But I also need to learn to save my body since I’m the upcoming running back and learn how to make cuts and get around defenders.”
With last year’s leading receiver, Tay Martin, having exhausted all of his eligibility, OSU will rely on Brennan Presley to assume a leadership role as one of the more experienced guys in the offensive attack heading into 2022. Last season, Presley played in every game garnering 11 starts and posting 1,113 all-purpose yards, which were second on the team. In addition, Presley finished as OSU’s second-leading receiver in terms of receptions, yards, and touchdowns, with 50 catches for 619 yards and five scores.
Defensively, Oklahoma State lost six of their top eight tacklers including four players that combined for 345 stops. No departure is bigger than that of linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, the unquestioned heart and soul of the defense. The two projected starting linebackers – Mason Cobb and Kamryn Farrar – combined for just 21 tackles last year.
Schedule wise, OSU opens at home on Sept. 1 vs. Central Michigan as a 21-point favorite. The Pokes should go 3-0 in non-conference play and in the Big 12 have tough trips to Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma but get Texas in Stillwater.
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