Mike Gundy will bring the defending Big XII champions to Tucson on Sept. 8 to face Arizona. Photo Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Know the Opponent: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last season was a banner year for the Oklahoma State Cowboys going 12-1 and winning the Big 12 with an 8-1 record. Mike Gundy will bring his team to Tucson on September 8 for a 7:30 kickoff on the Pac-12 Network. Last season, Oklahoma State beat Arizona 37-14 in Stillwater.

True freshman Wes Lunt will be the chance to start the season at quarterback trying to fill Brandon Weeden’s shoes from last year. Back-ups will be redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh and junior Clint Chelf who in limited action had 307 passing yards with three touchdowns.

Junior running back Joseph Randle, who led the Pokes in rushing last season with 1,216 yards and 24 TD’s, will be counted on with a young QB. Fellow junior Jeremy Smith is back after running for 646 yards reaching the endzone nine times.

Oklahoma State was hit hard in the receiving corps with its top two receivers going on to the next level. Senior Tracy Moore is the team’s leading returner with 642 yards and four touchdowns. Fellow senior Isaiah Anderson had 315 yards also scoring four times.

On defense the Cowboys return quite a bit from last year’s team and bring back seven of their top 10 tacklers from 2011. Leading tackler from a season ago is junior free safety Daytawion Lowe, who made 97 tackles and two sacks with five pass break-ups including a pick return. Senior linebacker Alex Elkins, who was second on the team with 90 tackles, four tackles for losses, two pass breakups and an interception will help anchor things.

The Cowboys should be in the thick of things in the Big 12 this season. How quickly Lunt develops will be one of the keys for the team. Early in the year the team will probably lean on the running game while hoping the passing game develops. Schedule wise they get Texas, TCU, West Virginia at home but travel to Oklahoma and Baylor to end the season.

2012 Oklahoma State Cowboys Schedule –

Savannah State 9/1
@Arizona 9/8
Louisiana-Lafayette 9/15
Texas 9/29
@Kansas 10/13
Iowa State 10/20
TCU 10/27
@Kansas State 11/3
West Virginia 11/10
Texas Tech 11/17
@Oklahoma 11/24
@Baylor 12/1

Check out the entire archive of “Know the Opponents,” a series of all Pac-12 non-conference opponent previews, here.

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Tags: Arizona Wildcats Big XII Football Joseph Randle Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Cowboys Pac-12

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