ARE YOU REEEEEADDDDY TO (kinda) RUMBLE?! The Oklahoma State Cowboys are giving their fans one final taste of football before summer break, and we at CRFF came up with a few things that you may want to keep your eyes on during the Spring Game. The Spring Game will be held this Saturday at 1 p.m. CST. Entrance is free, so bring the whole family! Here are all the details about the game tomorrow.
Return of the Walsh Package
One thing that we really want to see during the Spring Game, is the return of the “Walsh package.” The Walsh package is obviously named after former OSU quarterback, J.W. Walsh, who would relieve Rudolph in the redzone to help the Cowboys score almost 92 percent of the time when they reached the redzone during the 2015 season. 92 percent! Finding a guy to give Mason Rudolph a break in the redzone may not seem like an important task to some fans, but it’s definitely on Mike Gundy’s mind.
"We would like to come up with a package like we had with J.W. (Walsh) for one of them. I would like to do that forever if we had the option, but we didn't have that person last year. I think we have a couple of guys that meet that criteria and that could be successful in that style of play. What that will do is give them some added reps in practice and games and potentially help us solidify who will be the No. 2 guy.
Candidates to run the package are R-Sophomore John Kolar, R-Freshman Keondre Wudtee and true freshman Jelani Woods. Last year’s QB2, Taylor Cornelius, may still be considered Rudolph’s backup, but may be left out of the Walsh package due to a lack of elite athleticism.
Wudtee and Kolar both fit the Walsh role perfectly. Both have plus speed and are able to hit open gaps quickly. Jelani Woods is a little bit of a different story though. At 6’7 and (last reported) 250 pounds, I have a different package in mind for the big fella... What? Do you think it is a coincidence that he is number 18??? Not a chance.
“Texas is back, folks!” LOLZ. Anyways, the redzone offenses will be something to keep your eye on during the game.
Which Cornerbacks are Ready to Step Up?
I know that we are starting to sound like a broken record about the lack of experience at cornerback, but with all the high powered offenses in the Big 12, strong corner play is vital to a team’s success.
Tyler Wiederhoeft wrote an article last week covering the cornerback position at Oklahoma State and the struggles that we might see from them this upcoming year. In an interview with Allison Gappa after the Cowboys’ final scrimmage, Mike Gundy mentioned that the young corners were improving everyday, but still needed a lot of work (he mentioned Rodarius Williams and A.J. Green by name). We will be looking for some of the young corners to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. That separation should start tomorrow during the game.
Luckily, some big news came in this week as Clemson transfer cornerback, Adrian Baker, is using the senior transfer rule to come to Oklahoma State.
Extremely Excited To Suit Up For Oklahoma State This Upcoming Season! #GoPokes— Adrian (@AB1209_) April 12, 2017
Baker played good minutes for Clemson in 2015, and even added two interceptions. He missed all of last season with an ACL injury, but his experience at corner will be much needed for that group. He will not be in Stillwater this weekend for the game, which only means more playing time for the youngins.
Welcome to the family, Adrian!
Keep the Running Game Rollin’
The Cowboys’ explosive passing game is the talk of college football right now, however the balance that the running game can give the offense is very important for Mason and Co. to be even more effective.
After a lackluster rushing season in 2015, the Cowboys turned it around a season later and ran for a respectable 2,221 yards. Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Justice Hill, and an inspired Chris Carson led the way for the Cowboys with help from guys like Barry J. Sanders and Rennie Childs. With the departure of Carson, Sanders and Childs, Justice Hill will be looking for a partner to help shoulder the load of carries next season.
There are only five running backs on the current roster, and only two with any real experience running the ball for the Cowboys. With Hill’s recovery from surgery this Spring, we are going to see a TON of Jeff Carr, L.D. Brown and Ja’Ron Wilson during the Spring Game. If you’re going to watch this weekend, keep your eyes out for #20, #22 and #24. One of those guys is likely to have an increased role on the offense next season. It’s always possible that we could see Chuba Hubbard or JD King swoop in and steal the show during the Fall, but we’d still like to see one of the backs on the current roster step up tomorrow and put on a show.
Tyron Johnson’s Debut
Everyone has heard of Tyron Johnson, but many haven’t seen the highly touted receiver in action. It sure sounds like we are in for a show.
Oklahoma State wide receivers coach, Kasey Dunn, has liked what he has seen so far.
“He’s just got that make-you-miss type of ability in a phone booth,” Dunn said. “He’s a really twitchy guy.”
Dunn said Johnson’s personality “fits” Oklahoma State.
“It’s just fun to watch him out here because he’s always bouncing around, you never seen him with a mopey, down look on his face,” Dunn said. “For him, this is the best part of the day, that’s for sure.”
... and so has Mike Gundy.
“He’s a lot bigger than what a Josh Stewart would be,” Gundy said, referencing the former OSU receiver who caught 101 passes in 2012. “He has made some of our guys miss in practice like Josh used to do in games, but he’s bigger than Josh. I don’t know which mold he fits. I’m scared to compare him to anybody that’s playing in the NFL or played in the NFL because that’s somewhat unfair for him and us, but you’re talking about a guy that’s 205 pounds that has the ability to make you miss and then run away from you.”
If OSU’s athletic marketing department knew what it was doing, they would let Tyron make a solo entrance onto the field...
This is simple. The Spring game is supposed to be for the fans. Coaches have seen these guys in practice the past few weeks, they know which players need work in certain areas of the game. Yes, the coaches would like to see some of the young players make some big plays when there are butts in the seats, but you can bet Mike Gundy is chewing his nails on the sidelines, hoping all of his guys come out unscathed.
The play that ended Mississippi State’s Spring game is the last thing Coach Gundy and his staff wants:
We hope to see you guys out tomorrow for the game!