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Five Storylines to Watch this Season (Part 1)



Just three days from now, Oklahoma State will kick off the football season at Central Michigan.

The offseason has consisted of one long hype train, and fall camp has done nothing to settle the high expectations going into this season. Here are five things you will want to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

10. Can the offensive line return to form?

Even if Adrian Peterson were lining up in the backfield, it wouldn’t do much good if the offensive line couldn’t hold up. “It’s difficult to average 4.5 yards per carry if you don’t have a back that can run away from somebody. It’s too hard to block everybody all the time. Those guys on the other side of the ball, in most cases, are more athletic than your offensive linemen,” Gundy said in a recent press conference. He’s right – if the offensive line doesn’t do their part, the running game will continue to struggle.

9. How Gundy handles the media

The middle part of the season was an absolute disaster for fans, players, and I am sure the media as well. Gundy was not normal Gundy. And it wasn’t fun to watch.

He seems rejuvenated this season, and he has a quiet confidence like he knows something we don’t. Realistically, it’s hard to project a 7-6 team bouncing back to go undefeated this season. If the Cowboys go through another rough patch, how will Gundy respond this time?

8. Will Mason Rudolph command the offense?

Rudolph is the guy with the big arm, high football IQ, and the unquestioned leader in the locker room. As Walsh’s understudy, just how much has he been able to soak up this offseason? In Rudolph’s first start at Baylor last year, the team huddled (!) and ran a slug version of the up-tempo we have all been accustomed to. With Rudolph holding the reigns firmly, will Gundy trust his young signal caller to speed things up? Keeping the defense on their heels is the goal, but keeping OSU’s defense fresh is equally as important. Finding the balance in between is where they should find success.

7. Mike Yurcich’s development as OC

It’s easy to forget, but Yurcich could easily have been one Tyreek Hill punt return away from finding work elsewhere. I’m a big Yurcich supporter, but I don’t think he would have survived the offseason coming off a six game losing streak with the horrid numbers the offense put up.

Yurcich does a great job recruiting talent, but his play-calling is what has been in question by some fans. As long as we don’t see halfback dive on 3rd and long this season, I’ll consider any improvement a success. I think this could be a “breakout year” for him, if coaches were ever to have one.

6. The development of the defensive end position

OK, everyone knows the names Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean.

Can you name the reserves?

Probably not. That’s because OSU has several redshirt freshmen waiting in the wings. Trace Clark returns as a valuable backup with experience, but RS freshman Jordan Brailford should see the field plenty. Beyond that, redshirt freshmen Trey Carter and Jarrell Owens’ development will be important. If not for this year, for next year.

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