Oklahoma State will miss two offensive linemen for a few weeks because of ankle injuries.
Redshirt sophomore Hunter Anthony and redshirt freshman Cole Birmingham both suffered injuries in the first half during the Cowboys’ 16-7 season-opening win against Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Sept. 19. The duo did not play in the second half and in OSU’s 27-13 victory against West Virginia this past Saturday.
“It can take four weeks or eight weeks, we can’t ever predict it based on the separation of the ligament and the bone and how high it comes up on the Achilles, so those guys will be out a while,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said during his weekly news conference.
Birmingham made his first career start at right guard against Tulsa, and Anthony, a right tackle, played in nine games (four starts) in 2019.
Redshirt freshman Jake Springfield, who was put on a scholarship during fall camp, and redshirt sophomore Hunter Woodard filled in for Anthony and Birmingham against WVU. Woodard played seven games this past season.
The Cowboys, who fell two spots in the Associated Press’ Top 25 poll to No. 17 this week, had two 100-yard rushers against Tulsa with LD Brown (103) and Chuba Hubbard (101). OSU relied on the run as the game worn on with true freshman Shane Illingworth making his first career start. He was 15 of 21 for 139 yards and threw one interception behind a makeshift offensive line.
“We’re at a little disadvantage now,” Gundy said of the Cowboys offensive line. “We’re playing guys that have never played before at this level and some new guys. But they played a little better this week. We’ve got a long ways to go.
“We’re getting great effort from them. They’re taking coaching, they’re buying into our culture here at Oklahoma State, so we’ll continue to work them and get a little better each week.”
OSU plays its first road game of the season against Kansas at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Lawrence at Memorial Stadium before a bye week.