2023 Oklahoma State Cowboys Football Season Preview

Get ready for a captivating interview with Scott Wright, a renowned college football analyst, as he shares his expert insights on the highly anticipated 2023 Oklahoma State Cowboys football season. In this exclusive conversation with CFBDynasty, Wright will delve into the team’s strengths, potential challenges, standout players, and overall outlook for the upcoming season. This interview promises to provide a comprehensive preview of what fans can expect from the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2023, offering valuable and thought-provoking analysis.

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Let’s get into our Q&A session with Scott Wright! He covers Oklahoma State football for The Oklahoman. Follow him on Twitter for all the latest and greatest Cowboys information.

What's your favorite place to eat in Gainesville?

There are two staples that have to be mentioned right off the top. Eskimo Joe’s is the most famous of the two. Great bar with great food. I recommend a bacon cheeseburger or the cheese fries. And Hideaway Pizza is another local spot that is close to campus and delicious. But if you’re wanting something off the beaten path, go for Thai Loco. It’s a cool little place that serves Thai-style meats in tacos and burritos. Good variety and it’s all tasty.

Overall, how do you believe the offense will compare to the 2022 version?

That’s the million-dollar question facing the Cowboys. They lost four-year starting quarterback Spencer Sanders to the transfer portal, plus their starting running back, three of their top five receivers and the starting left tackle. They feel confident in what they brought in via transfer, as well as the young players coming up through the program. But with so many new pieces in place, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. It seems likely that they’ll be better offensively than they were in the second half of last season, when injuries ravaged the lineup. But it’s hard to imagine them being as good as they were in the first six or seven games. 

What do you expect from the QB position in 2023?

This is the biggest reason the Cowboy offense is unpredictable. They’re counting on former Texas Tech and Michigan quarterback Alan Bowman to win the job and lead the offense. Will he be the guy who threw for 5,300 yards over 19 games at Texas Tech? Or will he look like the guy who was relegated to third-teamer at Michigan the last two years? If he can shake the rust off, he has a chance to be productive with the Cowboys, but he hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass since the 2020 season.

How do you see the workload at RB being distributed?

Look for it to be a balanced use of three guys, with a fourth also mixing in. Big sophomore Ollie Gordon has the makings of a featured back and should be at the front of the line, but Michigan State transfer Elijah Collins has more college experience and comes from the Big Ten Conference, where he had to work for his yardage. Redshirt sophomore Jaden Nixon has bulked up and remains the quickest of the group, which could lead to a good chunk of snaps as a third-down back. And Deondre Jackson will still mix in and get some touches from time to time. Gordon looks like a guy who gets stronger as the game goes on, so if he shows the toughness to be the No. 1 guy, he has a chance for a strong season. 

How does the offensive line compare to the 2022 group?

Despite losing the starting left tackle to the transfer portal, the group overall looks like it has a chance to improve. They installed some new run-blocking schemes to get away from the zone blocking trend they’ve been using the last 10 years or so, and the linemen seemed to really adapt to the more physical style in the spring. They’re well aware that they haven’t blocked well the last two years, especially in the run game, so that was a huge focus of spring ball.

What do you think the distribution will be to the WR/TE's?

Senior slot receiver Brennan Presley was the top option last year and will be once again. He’s versatile and talented and knows how to get open. But after that is where a lot of new faces are mixing in. Redshirt sophomore Jaden Bray has played sparingly the last two years because of injuries, but he’s a guy they’re really excited about. Blaine Green had transitioned to tight end, but they’ve moved him back now, so he’s a big, strong option at wideout. Then transfers De’Zhuan Stribling, who was the leading receiver at Washington State last year, and Leon Johnson III, a 6-foot-5, 207-pounder from the Division III level, should be in the mix. Tight end hasn’t been much of a factor in the receiving game the last few years, and could be limited even more this year. Coach Mike Gundy decided to focus more on using the tight ends to help the run game as blockers, and brought in a couple of transfers to boost the group’s blocking ability. Ian Edenfield and Josiah Johnson will join Braden Cassity and Jake Schultz as the primary players there, but the receiving aspect will be minimal.  

For our dynasty fantasy freaks, who are some young players that stand out as potential future breakout players?

The Cowboys were forced to use a lot of their young guys the last two years, and now a lot of those guys are going to be in big roles this fall, but if you’re looking for guys further down the depth chart, keep an eye on receiver Talyn Shettron. He was a four-star recruit out of high school and dealt with some injuries while redshirting last year. But he’s got good speed, a long frame and the type of hands that could make him one of the next elite receivers to come out of Stillwater. And I would also point to quarterback Zane Flores, a freshman who just arrived in January. He looks like a pro-style passer at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, and he can play that role, but he’s deceptively quick and can make plays with his feet, too. With a good year of learning behind the veterans, he will be in the mix to compete for the starting job in 2024.

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