We are six weeks into the season, and Oklahoma State sits at 4-2. Six games are done, and there are six more to go. There have been ups and downs in each game throughout the season. I don’t know if I have ever seen an OSU team go through such a roller coaster this quickly in the season. There is no doubt that the team has endured quite a bit mentally and physically thus far in the season.
Taking that into account, the bye week could not have come at a better time. This team has absolutely grinded its way through the first half of the season. From heartbreaking losses, exhilarating victories, and everything in between, it has been quite it bit for a team to go through. From the looks of last week, the team looked absolutely gassed at times. It was apparent the team needed this week to get healthy and rest up for the remainder of the Big 12 schedule.
The injury bug has gotten to the Cowboys quite a bit this year, but halfway through the year, some familiar faces are expected to return from injury. Chris Carson and Jordan Brailford should be 100% and ready for next Saturday against Kansas.Plus, Jordan Sterns should be back and ready to go after missing the game against Iowa State last week. Marrell Ateman could potentially return within the coming weeks as well.
The bye week also gives the Cowboys the change to make adjustments on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The Cowboys do have a lot of strengths, but there are some glaring weaknesses that must be fixed before the they step back on the field next week.
Some shifting needs to be done on the offensive line with the injury to Larry Williams. That injury happened mid-week so it was difficult to patch it up, and therefore the run game struggled against Iowa State. Hopefully with some more practices under their belt, the line will have some continuity and be able to gain back the momentum the running game was beginning to get.
On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary MUST get better. There have been multiple blown coverages in the last few weeks, and that cannot happen against better passing teams (which are still to come on the schedule). Glenn Spencer has been a master this year about making adjustments in game and at halftime, so I am hoping that with an extra week he can make some adjustments to solidify the back line of defense for the Pokes.
The bye week is a blessing, and hopefully the extra week of rest will propel the Cowboys into a great second half. I truly believe this team is more than capable of winning out and having a shot at the Big 12 title. If a few adjustments are made, it can be a reality.