Oklahoma State Football Midseason Report: Are The Cowboys Ready For The Big 12?

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Oklahoma State Football Midseason Report: Are The Cowboys Ready For The Big 12?
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Five games, five wins, and Oklahoma State finds themselves once again in the conversation of winning the Big 12 south. However, how much of that conversation is actually legitimate? Out of the Cowboys five games only two opponents are above .500. 

Though it's not as if the Cowboys have barely beaten their opponents. Twice this season the Cowboys have scored 60 plus points, however against the two opponents with winning records (Texas A&M and Troy) the Cowboys have won by merely three points.

The Cowboys have the second highest scoring offense in the nation and have developed a very explosive three headed monster. Led by junior Brandon Weeden, sophomore Justin Blackmon and senior Kendall Hunter the Cowboys have every aspect of the offensive game in control. 

Still there are questions whether the Cowboys can compete in the Big 12, and grading the Cowboys thus far will show just why those questions exist. 

Defense

The defense has always been a problem for the Cowboys, whether its because overall depth or lack of talent. This season however, neither is really an issue. 

The Cowboys have quality depth at virtually every position defensively, what they lack however, is experience. 

The Cowboys starting core is really the only area that has experience. The line is led by seniors Ugo Chinasa, Chris Donaldson, Shane Jarka and junior Richetti Jones.

The linebackers also are filled with experienced veterans with seniors Orie Lemon and Justin Gent and junior James Thomas. 

Both those first string units are strong, but without experienced players behind them, they're vulnerable. 

The secondary again has an issue with youth. The unit is littered with underclassmen, the only experienced players being juniors Markelle Martin and Johnny Thomas, senior Andrew McGee and sophomore Brodrick Brown. 

Though the Cowboy defense is extremely fast and has made timely plays, they're allowing 29.2 points a game and that simply won't cut it in the Big 12. 

Mid-season Grade: D

Offense

A season removed from losing Zac Robinson, Keith Toston and Dez Bryant the Cowboys were expected to have a down season offensively. 

However, head coach Mike Gundy brought in Dana Holgorsen who led Houston to having the highest scoring offense in the nation last year. 

Holgorsen has done it again as the Cowboys now have the second highest scoring offense in the nation. Thanks to an All-American running back, an accurate quarterback and plethora of talented young receivers. 

Weeden and Blackmon has created one of the most deadly combinations in the country and Hunter balances the attack averaging 100 plus yards on the ground. 

The Cowboys even suffer from having an inexperienced offensive line after losing four linemen from last season. 

However, with defenses like Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska approaching on the schedule the Cowboys will need Weeden to become more consistent. 

Though he has thrown for 1,610 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, he has failed to show up early in games twice this season and has had to lead the Cowboys back into games for a comeback victory. 

Overall the Cowboy offense has proved the can score with anyone but they need to score early and keep their foot on the gas. 

Mid-season Grade: A

Overall

Overall the Cowboys are off to their second 5-0 start in three years, and have continued to be one of the nation's prolific offenses while they build up quality speed and depth defensively. 

If the Cowboys can find a way to make more timely plays defensively and stop some people, they have a legitimate chance to be a contender not only for the Big 12 South, but for the Big 12 Championship. 

With Oklahoma being inconsistent on the road and Texas's offense virtually nonexistent, this is the Cowboys chance to take advantage, but for that the happen the Cowboy defense has to grow up and quickly. 

Overall Mid-season Grade: B-

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