Spencer Sanders was a revelation at quarterback for Oklahoma State last year as a freshman, and he looks to become the first signal-caller at the school to win the Heisman. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Sanders’ Heisman Trophy chances and Oklahoma State’s 2020 college football season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Spencer Sanders Heisman Trophy Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
It’s not too often that Oklahoma State can go into Texas and steal one of that state’s top recruits over Texas, Texas A&M or Oklahoma, but that’s what the Cowboys did with Sanders.
At Billy Ryan High in Denton, Texas, Sanders passed for 3,288 yards and 35 touchdowns along with 1,099 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground in his junior season before tearing his ACL. He was considered a four-star recruit and committed to Oklahoma State during his junior year over offers from Colorado, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Penn State and Texas A&M.
As a senior, Sanders threw for 3,845 yards and 54 touchdowns and ran for 1,380 yards and 16 touchdowns and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year, the Associated Press Player of the Year, and Texas Mr. Football. He had a 46-6 record in 52 career starts over four seasons, passing for 8,747 yards despite suffering two season-ending injuries. He finished with 146 total touchdowns (106 passing, 40 rushing).
As a true freshman at OSU in 2018, Sanders redshirted. After competing with transfer Dru Brown throughout spring practice and summer training camp last year, Sanders was named the Cowboys’ starting quarterback just before the season opener.
In his debut, Sanders completed 19-of-24 passes for 203 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 52-36 road win against Oregon State. Sanders also rolled up 13 rushes for 109 yards, including a scamper of 30 yards.
The next week in a rout of McNeese State, Sanders completed 12-of-18 passes for 250 yards with three touchdowns and ran for 51 yards. He could have had bigger numbers but was pulled early with the game out of hand. All three touchdown passes were to star wideout Tylan Wallace.
Unfortunately for Sanders, he suffered a thumb injury in a mid-November game vs. Kansas that required surgery and wouldn’t play again. He was hurt when his right hand hit an opposing player’s helmet on a follow-through.
Sanders was still voted as Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches and won the Russell Okung Award presented to Oklahoma State’s outstanding newcomer.
Sanders set a school freshman record by passing for 2,065 yards. That mark shattered the existing school record of 1,628 yards, set in 2004 by Donovan Woods despite the fact that Sanders missed the final two games of the season to injury.
At the time of Sanders’ injury, Oklahoma State had a 7-3 record. Among the 15 teams from Power Five conferences led by a freshman quarterback, only Ohio State had a better record. Sanders ranked sixth among freshmen nationally with 244.8 yards of total offense per game and was one of only 12 freshmen nationally to pass for more than 2,000 yards. He averaged 57.1 rushing yards per game, a mark that ranked third in the nation among all freshman quarterbacks. His 13.32 yards per pass completion ranked second in the Big 12 and 27th nationally.
Oklahoma State opens the season (we hope) on Sept. 3 vs. Oregon State. As noted above, the Pokes rolled the Beavers last year 52-36. Oklahoma State finished with 555 yards of total offense. Sanders was the first freshman to start a season opener for the Cowboys since Wes Lunt in 2012.
Will the season start on time? Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said recently he’s optimistic about college football starting in the fall, but is skeptical of making it through the entire season without interruption in the event the coronavirus “comes roaring back” during flu season.