You know they have such a special name, Cowboy backs, but sometimes we still forget these guys are out there. In the opening 61-7 win over Southeastern Louisiana, the Cowboy backs weren't targeted much. In the first scoring drive, the second offensive possession, Mason Rudolph connected with Blake Jarwin for a 15-yard gain. Later in the game Kennen Brown caught a pass for nine yards.
Now, that wasn't the only contributions from the Cowboy backs. On the first offensive series the Cowboys had an eight-yard run by Chris Carson on the first run play of the season and Zac Veatch had a blow-up block on a Lion defender to help kick start Carson. Cowboy backs are a real weapon for the Oklahoma State offense.
"There's no doubt that with a defense that runs as many coverages as Central Michigan that the Cowboy backs can be used effectively in short routes and be a weapon, but you know with Blake Jarwin, Keenen Brown, and even Zac Veatch we can go vertical with those guys," offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. "Now, if the Cowboy backs were going to be a bigger part of the game plan this week, well, I'm not going to tell you."
Last season, Jarwin led the Cowboy backs in receiving with 17 receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns because starter Jeremy Seaton was struggling with back issues. Seaton had seven receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns. In total with Zac Veatch adding five receptions, the Cowboy backs had 30 receptions for 367 yards and the four touchdowns.
Now, you can add a talented Cole Neph to that crew along with Jarwin, Veatch, Brown, and Jordan Frazier.
Last season at Central Michigan in the opener it was Jarwin that had the only catch for nine yards, but you could see where there was some opening in the coverage for Cowboy backs to slip in and make some plays. With the Cowboy backs you can run delay routes and use some techniques to trip up the defense.
Of course, neither Mike Gundy, who really likes the concept of the Cowboy backs and how walk-ons have come through and distinguished themselves at that position, nor Mike Yurcich is going to tell you the Cowboy backs will play a major role on Saturday. You will have to show up and see for yourself, but I think it could be a positive pressure point for the Pokes against the Chips defense.