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Who Will Break Out in the Second Half?

Let’s look at one guy on both sides of the ball.

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State will be coming off of the bye week to play Baylor this Saturday. With that, this is essentially the second half of the season for the Cowboys now. Since the Cowboys didn’t play over the weekend, there is no unsung hero this week. Instead, I will look to a player on offense and on defense that will become a force in the second half of the season.

Offense

The picture at the top says it all, it has to be Tyron Johnson here. With a lot of high expectations coming into the season, he has not lived up to them. So far, he only has 6 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown (his first catch of the year). He’s mostly gotten playing time on kick return, but he has not made much of an impact there either. Coach Gundy said Tyron will start getting more reps as the season goes on. This is important to the Cowboy offense, because Johnson adds another weapon that opposing defenses need to account for. I’d love to see him used creatively too, in various sets and trick plays occasionally. He’s such a versatile athlete, I want to see him used that way. If you put him in the slot next to James Washington, it’s pick your poison and “Good Night Vienna!”

Johnson is the future WR1 at Oklahoma State, he’s going to be the guy next season. But, I want to see him get involved in the offense now to see a glimpse of the future. His talent clearly stands out in a crowded wide receiving corps, but he is getting lost in the mix a little bit. It would not surprise me to break a long touchdown sometime very soon. If that happens, if you know Dustin Ragusa, make sure to find him and make sure he didn’t pass out.

Johnson’s touchdown is the first highlight on the video. Please, please, please do more of this.

Defense

On a defense that has been up and down so far this season, there are a lot of guys to choose from. But I am going to go with a guy who didn’t play at all last year, but hasn’t missed a beat this season. That guy is Jordan Brailford.

After missing all last season due to injury, he has played like a man possessed this season. He’s worked mostly in the second unit on the defensive line, but he has made the most of his time. Brailford is seventh on the team in tackles with 16 and second on the team with two sacks. He has proven to be the fastest pass rusher Oklahoma State has. His speed off the edge is something that is difficult for offensive tackles to account for. He also has an interception this year, picking off a Nic Shimonek screen pass last week.

I would imagine we will see Brailford working more with the first team as the season goes on. Couple him with DeQuinton Osbourne and that is a formidable pass rush from the edge and interior. In the next few weeks, Oklahoma State plays some really good quarterbacks, and quarterbacks that are good outside of the pocket. If the Cowboys can put together a consistent pass rush, it will make the life of the secondary much easier.