Oklahoma State Cowboys 2012

Oklahoma State 2011 Statistics

(Big 12) The Cowboys play on an artificial field (Synthetic Turf) at Boone Pickens Stadium (seats 60,218)

  • Mike Gundy is in his 8th year as head coach.  Last year they finished 12-1, with the only loss to going to Iowa State in double OT.  At the time the Cowboys were ranked #2 in the nation and would have played for the national championship.  They set a school record for wins last year (for the second straight season as 2011’s 11-2 season had been a school record as well).
  • Their stadium is named Boone Pickens Stadium because of the donations from Billionaire financier T. Boone Pickens who has donated at least $400 million to his alma mater.
  • In 2011 they returned 9 players on offense, which accounted for much of their success.  This year just 4 return.  And the biggest loss is QB Brandon Weeden. Weeden leaves as the school’s all-time leading passer.  In fact, head coach Mike Gundy in some way now  accounts for the top three leading passers of all time at Oklahoma State since he took over in 2005.  #2 on the list is Zac Robinson who quarterbacked for Gundy before Weeden and #3 on the list is Mike Gundy himself (’86-’89).
  • In 2011 Brandon Weeden improved upon an already incredible first year as a starter  by passing for 4727 yards, 37 TDs (just 13 interceptions) and a beyond incredible 72.4% completion. The former minor league pitcher is now off to the NFL (1st round pick).  His replacement is true freshman Wes Lunt.  Obviously there is going to be a decrease in passing yards and this team will be down from the nation’s #2 passing offense.
  • The biggest change for the offense in 2011 was the loss of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who is now the head coach at West Virginia.  But Oklahoma State’s total offense actually increased under his replacement Todd Moniken.  Moniken had most recently been a wide receivers coach in the NFL.
  • To make matters worse, Justin Blackmon (1522 yards, 18 touchdowns) is also off to the NFL (1st round pick).  Three of their top four receivers are actually gone so they don’t even have experienced players to really step up in his place (not that Blackmon’s talent is replaceable).  Blackmon leaves OSU as the school’s 2nd all-time leading receiver.

Running Back Joseph Randle (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

  • On a positive note, the Cowboys return all of their running backs, including Joseph Randle who led the team in rushing with 1216 yards and 24 touchdowns (yes, 24!). The offensive line isn’t as experienced as last year, but does return some decent talent that should help support what will certainly be a much-needed ground game in 2012.
  • New/old defensive coordinator Bill Young returned in 2010 for his third stint at Oklahoma State (his last time in Stillwater was in 1978) and while he helped the defense improve in 2010,  last year it took a bit of a dip, despite being in the second year of the 3-4 system.  Perhaps it was because of a lack of experience in the front 7 (linemen and linebackers) as the defense only returned 4 starters and most of them were in the secondary.
  • This year the defense returns 8 starters. Total defense ranked 107th last year so this unit has plenty of room for improvement.  But six of the top seven tacklers on the team return and each area of the defense is more talented and experienced.
  • With Texas A&M and Missouri off to the SEC and off of the schedule, Oklahoma State’s schedule is a bit more manageable and it couldn’t have come at a better time because they will need some time to adjust to a completely new offense (and if they can help it, a completely new defense as well). And they do get to face old coordinator Dana Holgorsen when they play West Virginia on November 10th.

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