The Oklahoma State Cowboys are returning a lot of starters… 18 to be exact. According to ESPN, that number is enough to make the Cowboys the most experienced squad in the Big 12
Head Coach Mike Gundy is first to acknowledge the value of cumulative starts as the team's greatest strength at this point in the season, “I’d say that our overall maturity at key positions should help us early in the season compared to where we were at last year.”
There’s one position that Coach Gundy knows will be the major key in this team’s success, and that of course is at quarterback.
Junior Mason Rudolph returning at signal caller for the Cowboys, he’s got a 12-3 record with the program, but this time around there is no J.W. Walsh to compete with.
This is Rudolph’s team and he knows it. He’s got the arm, he’s got the confidence, and he’s got the experience. So where can Mason Rudolph go from here?
Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich knows firsthand the development of Rudolph as a play maker, “I think overall football IQ his understanding of everything there is from the quarterback’s standpoint, our progressions, our offense, where to go with the ball.”
Offensive lineman Brad Lundblade has seen a difference in his QB, “He’s done a great job, he just continues to improve as a leader. I’ve really noticed he’s taking the mental aspect of it a lot more serious now, he’s always in watching film with Coach Yurcich and stuff like that. He’s always in his playbook and he’s just done a great job of continuing to develop.”
Experience and growth, where it matters the most. With Rudolph leading the charge, can the cowboys hit the ground running?
Just ask senior wide receiver Austin Hays, “I think we’re going to start fast, when you have a bunch of new guys and you’ve never been in the fire, never been in the battle, you don’t really know what to expect, and I think having a bunch of guys around you know what to expect and they know how to go about their business and get it done.”