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What Will Oklahoma State’s Offense Look Like Under a New Quarterback in 2018?

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Once the Oklahoma State Cowboys finish their bowl game, the coaching staff will have a difficult task of replacing a three-year starter and one of the best players in OSU history at quarterback. Their options don’t have an overwhelming amount of experience or production in college. So what will OSU’s offense look like under a new quarterback?

The biggest question is what would it look like with a different style quarterback. Mason Rudolph certainly could run, but he was more of your standard pro-style passer. The Cowboys’ other quarterbacks operate differently, and the majority of them fall under the dual-threat category.

Here are the Cowboys’ past quarterbacks who had notable production on the ground.

PLAYER CAREER RUSH ATT. CAREER RUSH YDS. CAREER RUSH TDS
MASON RUDOLPH 220 25 17
J.W. WALSH 200 1,036 25
CLINT CHELF 100 501 7
ZAC ROBINSON 426 1,858 22

Although the Cowboys haven’t had a dual-threat quarterback since Zac Robinson, who operated in a completely different offense under Larry Fedora and Gunter Brewer, that doesn’t mean their offense can’t operate with one.

If Taylor Cornelius or Jelani Woods were to earn the starting spot, the offense would likely look similar to this year’s. Cornelius has shown the ability to run, as the junior had 66 yards and a touchdown against Baylor earlier in the year, but he’s not necessarily considered a true dual-threat quarterback. Woods has a similar style to Rudolph. He ran for roughly 160 yards and 10 touchdowns last year at Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Georgia. Both players would likely be used similar to Mason Rudolph by being used occasionally in the run game.

Redshirt freshman Keondre Wudtee came to OSU as a dual-threat player and would likely get more carries at quarterback. He made the majority of his plays out of the pocket as a pass-first guy, where he showed off impressive arm strength, but he could still be used as a runner.

Incoming freshman Spencer Sanders, who many believe will nab the starting spot, is the prototypical dual-threat quarterback. Sanders has over 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground this season, according to MaxPreps. Sanders, the reigning Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, would likely fall under the Clint Chelf prototype, being able to operate an offense and get the occasional run call for himself. The coaching staff could always include more quarterback runs in their playbook, e.g. invert, speed, triple, etc., but they haven’t done that since Robinson and that would take a lot of time for install, drilling, etc.

A final name to consider is Ole Miss sophomore Shea Patterson, who is able to transfer following the university’s NCAA sanctions. Patterson didn’t get a whole lot of run calls for himself, but he was most dangerous on the move. Patterson is reportedly considering Michigan, but there’s still a possibility he ends up in Stillwater.

The offense likely won’t change a ton for whoever the quarterback is for next year. Rather, what will likely change is the production and efficiency. For example, some quarterbacks like to read deep-to-short, some love to utilize check downs, etc. With collegiate inexperience with almost every option, expect execution to be the coaching staff’s focus rather than an overhaul in the playbook.

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