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Oklahoma State's Offensive Potential Could Be One For The Ages

Where have we already seen this before? Yes, that would be 2017. the year the Oklahoma State Cowboys' offense made history.

Mason Rudolph, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner who would lead the country in passing yards and add 37 touchdowns, was the unit's engineer. His partners in crime were receivers Marcel Ateman and James Washington, both of whom would collect 1,000 receiving yards. The piece de résistance was running back Justice Hill, who would collect 1,467 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns.

Yes, it was one of the most dynamic and productive offensive units in Big 12 Conference history. Now, these Cowboys have an opportunity to pick up where they left off seven years ago. The pending question is: do they have the right players? Let us explore this.

For starters, the Cowboys have the nation's top running back in Ollie Gordon II. It's true that defenses facing him will prioritize stopping him from breaking large runs. However, the previous season demonstrated that, eventually, he will find a way to surprise everyone by making huge plays. He undoubtedly will be the focal point of the Cowboys' offensive scheme.

The gifted receiving group of Brennan Presley, De'Zhaun Stribling, and Rashod Owens comes next; they have the potential to define the team's offensive approach this year. The most seasoned player among the three, Presley, is looking to build on an incredible 2023 campaign in which he recorded career highs in receptions (101), total touchdowns (8), and receiving yards (991). Similar to Presley, Owens had a breakthrough year in 2023, finishing with 895 yards on 65 receptions and five touchdowns. As for Stribling, he will regain his form from his sophomore year with Washington State. At 6'3, 205 pounds, his size should serve as a problem for opposing defensive backs.

The enigma of this talented offensive unit will certainly be seventh-year senior quarterback Alan Bowman. Despite a rough start last season, Bowman turned his performance around in a big way during the second half and set a career high in passing yards with 3,406 and 15 touchdowns. For Bowman, consistency is going to be the key to success. His 14 interceptions were the most he gave up in his career and could be a cause for concern. This in mind, his arm strength is an undeniable asset that should help him and his returning pass catchers throughout the season.

Gundy's group this season is as strong as it has been in recent memory. Even if they don't quite match their offensive output from seven years ago, it is still good enough to contend for the Big 12 title. If the latter part of last season was an indication of things to come, they can be just as prolific offensively as they were in 2017. 

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