One thing Mike Gundy teams have done during his 17-year tenure in Stillwater is score the football. But that took a major step backwards in 2020, despite OSU greatly improving defensively. Quarterback Spencer Sanders returns this season, but he’ll have almost an entirely new cast at the skill positions.
It might not be the worst thing that a team that averaged only 5.6 yards per play is returning just five starters, including three offensive linemen. Chuba Hubbard is off to the NFL, but he didn’t exactly wow with just 4.7 yards per carry last season.
Where the Pokes did improve is defensively, and with nine of 11 starters returning, they enter as the No. 12 team in SP+ on that side of the ball. And while that runs counter to the history of both Big 12 and Oklahoma State football, it might be a nice baseline if they can find a way to ingratiate new talent and score.
2020 Season Review
- 8-3, 6-3 Big 12: Cheez-It Bowl Champions (37-34 over Miami)
- Losses to Texas, Oklahoma, TCU
2021 247Sports Composite Ranking: 30th
ESPN Returning Production: 72% overall (55th): 65% offense (79th), 80% defense (30th)
Returning Talent Index: Negative, 5th in Big 12
Returning starters: 5/11 offense, 9/11 defense
* All rankings out of 130 FBS schools
Quarterback: Spencer Sanders (Redshirt Junior)
The 2019 Big 12 Freshman of the Year is one of the better talents as a passer in college football, but struggled a bit in 2020 for an offense that often sputtered: 155-247 passing for 2,007 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games played. Added 269 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Offense (non-QB): OL Josh Sills (Redshirt Senior)
The 6-6, 330 lb. West Virginia transfer will be the key cog on an offensive line that returns three of five starters. Was First Team All-Big 12 in 2020, and last year was forced to start six games at left guard, once at left tackle, and the last four games at right tackle. His 35 knockdowns led the offensive line.
Defense: OLB Malcolm Rodriguez (Senior)
Rodriguez has 34 career starts, and had 82 total tackles, including 58 solos to lead all LB’s in the Power Five. Alongside a whopping seven forced fumbles last season, the two-time All-Big 12 performer has a team-high 34 starts entering this season. The converted safety was a 2020 Second Team All-Big 12 member.
Team Stats Projections
2020 SP+ final: 23rd overall: 41st offense, 18th defense, 19th special teams
2021 SP+ projection: 29th overall: 49th offense, 12th defense
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
To win national title: +25000
To win Big 12: +1000 (4th)
Win total: 7.5 (Over -113, Under -113)
2020 Against The Spread: 5-6-0
2020 Point Total: Over 4-7-0
2021 Oklahoma State Schedule
Oklahoma State 2021 schedule
|Saturday, Sep. 4||vs. Missouri State||7:00 p.m/ESPN+|
|Saturday, Sep. 11||vs. Tulsa||12:00 p.m/FS1|
|Saturday, Sep. 18||at Boise State||9:00 p.m/FS1|
|Saturday, Sep. 25||vs. Kansas State||TBA|
|Saturday, Oct. 2||vs. Baylor||TBA|
|Saturday, Oct. 9||BYE||TBA|
|Saturday, Oct. 16||at Texas||TBA|
|Saturday, Oct. 23||at Iowa State||TBA|
|Saturday, Oct. 30||vs. Kansas||TBA|
|Saturday, Nov. 6||at West Virginia||TBA|
|Saturday, Nov. 13||vs. TCU||TBA|
|Saturday, Nov. 20||at Texas Tech||TBA|
|Saturday. Nov. 27||vs. Oklahoma||TBA||OSU +11|