OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE
"I think they will be one of the top teams in the conference, depending on what they do with the defense. If you have one elite pass rusher, like they had last year in [Emmanuel] Ogbah [second round, Browns], then you can disrupt any offense. Ogbah was getting so much attention that it freed up other guys to make plays. It will be interesting to see how they get pressure this season. Their scheme is good. It's smart, it stresses you and it makes you earn your yards. You have to play really well to move the ball.
They have three or four outstanding wideouts, which is the strength of their team. I thought [junior] James Washington was one of their most improved players, and he hurt our team on deep balls last year. The big question is how will they replace [slot receiver] David Glidden [57 catches, 866 yards], who signed with the Falcons. [Junior quarterback] Mason Rudolph is an NFL-caliber talent. He stands in the pocket well, is accurate as all get-out and [at 6'5" and 235 pounds] has a physical presence. If their line improves and they can improve their ability to run the football, they will be a dangerous offensive team.
Coach Mike Gundy has got a really good program, and I don't see a reason why they won't be there at the end. They always surprise people."
Rank in school history for junior quarterback Mason Rudolph in completions (264), attempts (424), yards (3,770) and yards per game (290.0).
Returning starters on the offensive line.
Yards per catch last year for WR James Washington, 10th most nationally; he led the FBS with four 70-plus-yard receptions.
Sacks the offensive line allowed last season, 90th most in the nation; Cowboys rushers gained only 3.58 yards per carry.
Tackles by safety Jordan Sterns, now a senior, over the last two seasons (108 in '15).
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5 YEAR TREND
12--1 (BIG 12 CHAMPS)
Fans in Stillwater are curious to see if graduate transfer running back BARRY J. SANDERS can help the Cowboys become less one-dimensional. He never earned the starting role during his four years at Stanford (a total of 672 yards on 115 carries) but, if nothing else, having the son and namesake of the school's greatest player on the roster will conjure memories of the good old days.
AT BAYLOR [KEY MATCHUP]
AT KANSAS STATE
AT TCU [KEY MATCHUP]
AT OKLAHOMA [BIGGEST GAME]