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Reacting to the PFB Staff’s Preseason Oklahoma State Football Predictions

We made some good (and some bad) predictions in August.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowboys’ 2023 football season felt like one we’ll all tell our grandkids about some day.

It both felt like it flew by and that it spanned three years. Regardless, Oklahoma State’s season is over now after the Pokes’ win against Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl to get to 10-4. Back in August we made our season predictions. Let’s take a look at how those takes aged and name a predictions champion between myself, Kyle Cox and Dekota Gregory.

Offensive MVP

Scott: Brennan Presley
Cox: Alan Bowman
Gregory: Ollie Gordon

Postseason Reaction: Well, it was obviously Ollie Gordon, so thank goodness someone had the braincells to predict it. Gordon won the Doak Walker and led the nation in rushing with 1,732 yards to go with 21 rushing scores.

But Presley was also outstanding this year. He became just the fifth player in program history to catch 100 passes in a season, also leading the Cowboys in receiving yards (991) and receiving touchdowns (six).

Bowman threw for a lot of yards and took this team from 2-2 to 10-4, so that also ought to be celebrated. But it was all Gordon in the end.

Defensive MVP

Scott: Kendal Daniels
Cox: Xavier Benson
Gregory: Kendal Daniels

Postseason Reaction: I don’t know that many would’ve predicted the year Nickolas Martin had in his first year as a starter, as he is the obvious postseason choice for OSU’s defensive MVP. Martin had 140 tackles on the season, the first time someone has had that many since 1984.

As for Daniels, he still had a solid year, finishing second on the team in total tackles with 105 to go with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Xavier Benson felt like this group’s heart and soul, so that ended up being another solid pick. Benson finished with 65 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Rushing Leader

Scott: Ollie Gordon
Cox: Ollie Gordon
Gregory: Ollie Gordon

Postseason Reaction: Hey, we all got the layup! Gordon wasn’t just OSU’s rushing leader, he was the nation’s leader in rushing with 1,732 yards on his way to winning OSU’s first Doak Walker.

Receiving Leader

Scott: Brennan Presley
Cox: Talyn Shettron
Gregory: Brennan Presley

Postseason Reaction: Dekota and I nailed it, as Presley had 991 yards, but shoutout to Cox for going with something spicy. Shettron suffering an injury against West Virginia finished his season with just six catches for 78 yards, though.

Tackle Leader

Scott: Kendal Daniels
Cox: Justin Wright
Gregory: Justin Wright

Postseason Reaction: Again, no one saw Martin’s 140-tackle year coming. Daniels at least finished second on the team in total tackles with 105 to save us in this prediction category.

Sack Leader

Scott: Nathan Latu
Cox: Collin Oliver
Gregory: Collin Oliver

Postseason Reaction: I overthought Oliver’s move to linebacker, as he finished tied with Martin for the team sack lead with six apiece.

Latu started the year with three sacks, two of which came in the first two games of the season. At that point, I was riding high. But, he finished the year tied for third with Anthony Goodlow in quarterback takedowns behind Martin and Collin Oliver.

Freshman of the Year

Scott: Talyn Shettron
Cox: Talyn Shettron
Gregory: Garret Rangel

Postseason Reaction: Had Shettron not suffered an injury in Morgantown, this one had a chance to come true, but in the end this award probably belongs to redshirt freshman safety Cameron Epps. Epps had three interceptions (including a big pick-six against Kansas State), 40 tackles and four pass breakups.

Newcomer of the Year

Scott: Alan Bowman
Cox: Justin Wright
Gregory: Justin Wright

Postseason Reaction: This prediction seems obvious here in the postseason, but when Bowman didn’t run out as the Game 1 starter, it was up in the air. Bowman finished his first (and potentially last) season as OSU’s quarterback with 3,460 passing yards — the seventh-most in a season in program history. His interception numbers were too high, but he has to be the pick here because he led the Cowboys to a 10-win season.

Justin Wright never got a chance to get off the ground after suffering and injury early in the season.

Leon Johnson III gets an honorable mention.

Big 12 Record and Placing

Scott: 6-3 and fourth place
Cox: 6-3 and fifth place
Gregory: 6-3 and fourth place

Postseason Reaction: OSU went 7-2 in Big 12 play and finished in second. So, we were all wrong, but weren’t too far off, especially considering all the tiebreakers scenarios we were going through toward the end of the regular season.

Overall Record (Including Bowl)

Scott: 9-4
Cox: 8-5
Gregory: 10-3

Postseason Reaction: OSU finished 10-4. So Dekota nailed the wins, and I nailed the losses. What we weren’t accounting for was OSU making the Big 12 title game.

My Other Predictions

Preseason Prediction No. 1: Kendal Daniels earns All-America honors.
Postseason Reaction: He did not.

Preseason Prediction No. 2: Two OSU running backs outrush the OSU’s leading rusher from 2022.
Postseason Reaction: This was also wrong, but I’m going to give myself half-credit for Gordon tripling Dominic Richardson’s 543 yards in 2022.

Preseason Prediction No. 3: A league newcomer beats the Pokes.
Postseason Reaction: See UCF.

Preseason Prediction No. 4: Alan Bowman starts every game at quarterback.
Postseason Reaction: This was wrong in Game 1. The 2018 season was the last time one guy has started OSU’s entire season at QB.

Preseason Prediction No. 5: The nonconference will be uncomfortable.
Postseason Reaction: Boy, was it. This was perhaps my prediction of the year.

Kyle’s Other Predictions

Preseason Prediction No. 1: The Cowboys’ run game bounces back.
Postseason Reaction: Does having a Doak Walker winner constitute as bouncing back? It certainly does.

Preseason Prediction No. 2: The Cowboys have two 1,000-yard receivers.
Postseason Reaction: This was ambitious. OSU didn’t have one 1,000-yard receiver, but Presley got close with 991 yards.

Preseason Prediction No. 3: The Cowboys take it back (force 25 turnovers)
Postseason Reaction: Oh, so close. OSU forced 23 turnovers (13 interceptions and 10 fumbles). When the turnovers started coming, OSU started winning games. Kyle gets half-credit here considering OSU made 19 fourth-down stops.

Preseason Prediction No. 4: Collin Oliver gets double-digit sacks.
Postseason Reaction: Oliver finished his first year at linebacker with six sacks.

Preseason Prediction No. 5: OSU wins the final Bedlam.
Postseason Reaction: Nailed it.

Dekota’s Other Predictions

Preseason Prediction No. 1: Ollie Gordon emerges as best RB in Big 12.
Postseason Reaction: Absolutely.

Preseason Prediction No. 2: No end of QB controversy.
Postseason Reaction: Alan Bowman eventually ended the quarterback controversy, but those first three weeks had enough of a controversy for the entire season, so Dekota gets half-credit here.

Preseason Prediction No. 3: Cowboys reach 10 wins.
Postseason Reaction: Another perfect prediction.

Preseason Prediction No. 4: Brennan Presley scores receiving, rushing and return TD.
Postseason Reaction: Presley had six receiving touchdowns and two rushing scores, so this one was close. But, no dice.

Preseason Prediction No. 5: Both coordinators return for 2024.
Postseason Reaction: This one feels right, but with the offseason being two days old at this point, I suppose it is sort of a wait and see.

PFB’s 2023 Preseason Predictions Champion: Dekota Gregory

I used some elementary scoring system that I’m not sure I could replicate, but Dekota was the runaway winner here. The only areas he was way off on was because Justin Wright got injured so early in the year.

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