Connect with us


Slavin: My 5 Questions for Fall Camp



The first kickoff of football season is so close I can feel it. However, before the Cowboys take the field against Tulsa on August 31st, they still have some questions to answer during Fall Camp. You’ve already heard what Kyle Porter, Hayden Barber, and Kyle Cox want to learn.

I’ve got some questions of my own.

1. Will the Walshing Maching package make a return?

We all remember the fun that was the 2015 Oklahoma State Cowboys and what a redzone terror J.W. Walsh was. While I don’t expect to see Rudolph pulled from the field everytime the Cowboys pass the 20, could some version of the Walshing Machine package return this season?

Gundy mentioned in the Spring that he would like to return the 2015 package to the playbook.

“We would like to come up with a package like we had with J.W. (Walsh) for one of them,” said Gundy. “I would like to do that forever if we had the option, but we didn’t have that person last year.”

OSU wasn’t great in redzone offense last season, especially not compared to 2015 when the Cowboys ran the Walshing Machine package.

It won’t be Tracin Wallace. He’s expected to redshirt and continue to heal from two ACL tears. But what about Keondre Wudtee and John Kolar?

If Wudtee isn’t the backup this season, I could see him lining up next to or behind Rudolph a couple of times this season.

2. Can Aaron Cochran and Adrian Baker live up to expectations?

When I was researching the graduate transfers who have come to Oklahoma State under Gundy’s reign, I noticed something. Aaron Cochran and Adrian Baker might be the most important graduate transfers in OSU history.

That’s not a hot take. Not since 2014 has OSU had to fill such a glaring hole with a graduate transfer, and never two. The two biggest question marks in the spring were what OSU was going to do at left tackle and with a group of inexperienced cornerbacks. Enter Cochran and Baker.

Baker for instance, must come in and be the man, while Cochran has to gel with an offensive line made up of guys who’ve mostly been playing together for a couple of years already.

We all feel comfortable now that both are on campus and working with the team. But we don’t actually know if they can live up to expectations.

3. Who is handling field goal kicking duties?

OSU’s career points leader (and oft under appreciated) kicker Ben Grogran is gone. While we usually (myself included) complained about his misses on tTwitter, he was a solid leg for the Cowboys. Now, the question becomes, who takes his place.

It will likely come down to redshirt sophomore Matt Ammendola vs incoming freshman Jake McClure. While Ammendola is the trendy pick, due to that 53-yard field goal he nailed against Central Michigan, is he the best option? I always wondered why Gundy never gave him more opportunities to hit long ones like he did against CMU. And as inconsistent as Grogan could be, why was Ammendola never able to beat him out?

A great leg doesn’t always equal great accuracy.

I trust Gundy, I just hope he has a guy he trusts.

4. Who is backing up Justice Hill?

Justice Hill was fantastic as a true freshman last season and there is no reason to believe he won’t be this year as well (yeah I know about the injury).

The question isn’t whether or not he can be successful. It’s will he have to do it alone?

Last year we had a senior Chris Carson to truck stick over defenders in the second half of the season and perfectly compliment Hill. This year? Junior Jeff Carr and four freshmen.

It’s a lot to expect another freshman, true or redshirt, to come in and do what Hill did last season, but that might just be what happens. Carr will get his shot, especially early in the season, but can he show marked improvement this season? It would be good if he took a major step forward and large expectations weren’t thrust upon the youngsters this year.

5. Will this team be ready?

We can blame the refs all we want, but I will always place just a little bit of the blame on Mike Gundy for last year’s loss to Central Michigan. Not that he didn’t know the rule, but that OSU was ever in the position to lose that game in the first place.

The Cowboys under Rudolph haven’t started the last two seasons well. Last year it was the CMU loss and a Pitt game that came down to the wire. In 2015 it was a come from behind win over that same CMU team and a game against Central Arkansas that we led 10-0 at halftime.

I’m not saying this to be arrogant or that I believe OSU should just run through everyone. But if we’re going to keep comparing this season to 2011, then we need to start the season the same way they did — by blowing teams out of the water. Go back and look. Those games were all over by halftime. Yes the opposing teams scored points, but most of them came in the second half.

This will be OSU’s toughest non-conference schedule overall since that 2011 season. In fact the two schedules are fairly comparable (2011: Louisiana-Lafayette, Arizona, @Tulsa / 2017: Tulsa, @South Alabama, @Pittsburgh). Start this season the way you started that one and OSU will be better for it.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media