May 7, 2013
OSI breaks down three possible weaknesses in the 2013 squad
By now, you've heard about the strengths of this year's Cowboy football team.
You know there are three 1,000 yard passers at the quarterback position from a year ago. You know Justin Gilbert seems to be fitting in nicely with the defense's new scheme. You know offensive line coach Joe Wickline somehow always figures something out.
All in all, the team seems to look solid as fall creeps towards us at the slowest rate known to man, but there's never a perfect team.
When I look at Oklahoma State's squad, and specifically their depth chart, I see three places where concern arises-Whether it be big concern or small.
It's the biggest one there is for the Cowboys this year. They're trying to replace Quinn Sharp, who's about as good a punter and/or kicker that college football has ever seen, and the fact that he did both is unbelievable. For those of you who don't understand why his departure is a concern, take this into account: Sharp was responsible for 156 points last season, which was 26.3% of OSU's total points scored. In 2013, the Pokes have to figure out how to get some of that back with replacement Bobby Stonebraker, or hope they find magic with freshman Ben Grogan.
The only player they have to replace is Brodrick Brown, but they have a lot of work to do. The unit was regularly torched last season, and the most glaring weakness was Shamiel Gary's play at safety. There's going to be a ton of competition back there because of Lyndell Johnson's move to the position, and I expect a lot more out of this unit in 2013, but they have to figure out a way to get the bad taste of last year out of their mouth. It's on D-coordinator Glenn Spencer and their positional coaches to figure out a way to do that.
I know you're probably surprised to see this here, as I opened this story with a comment about Wickline's brilliance in building an All-Big 12 caliber unit year in and year out, but the spring game wasn't a good one or him and his big uglies. They lost three starters in Lane Taylor, Evan Epstein, and Jonathan Rush (who didn't start in the second-half of the season to cut down on playing time), and the heaviest emphasis will be placed on filling those voids. Parker Graham has emerged as an anchor up front, and Daniel Koenig also looked good in spring. I'm never one to bet against Wickline & Co., so I'm giving this one a disclaimer, but every offense lives and dies by the big men up front, so I can't overlook it either.
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