A lot was going on in both the football and athletics offices at Oklahoma State on Thursday and we are told that the roster and the exact format for the spring game between the Orange and the Black will be released early on Friday. The injury bug bit the Cowboys a little this final week of spring practice and we learned on Thursday that injuries, fortunately not very serious injuries, will keep four more players sidelined on Saturday and they are all players that play in the trenches at the line of scrimmage. Already missing this spring were offensive lineman Jacob Clark, transfer center from Minnesota Tyler Moore, defensive end Vili Leveni, linebacker Brian Ciszewski, slot receiver Dillon Stoner, and running back Justice Hill. Defensive end Tralund Webber was hurt earlier in the spring. Now additions this week are defensive end Jordan Brailford, offensive tackle Zach Crabtree, offensive guard Larry Williams, and offensive guard Deionte Noel.
That leaves only three healthy defensive ends and 12 offensive linemen. Thin margin for sure.
"We're still going to have a game, but this cuts into the depth up front pretty good," head coach Mike Gundy said. "My goal is to have roughly 35 plays on offense for each team and get in a total of about 70 plays. I think are fans will still get a feel especially for our younger players and how they've improved this spring and reasons to get excited for football season."
Gundy was more expansive in his comments about the spring game on Wednesday when he met with the media before practice.
"Really on both sides, we've limited our game plan because when you split teams up, you're going to be fairly youthful on both teams," Gundy said. "We want a good team game, so we're going to be vanilla on defense and offense. That way we don't have as many guys out there thinking as playing. What I had shared with them was that we want them to be able to play hard and have fun, we want to give the fans a good show. Last year, we were at 90 plays. I don't know that we have the man power this year, since we have a few guys sitting out, to get that many, but I would certainly like to have 70 plays for the fans. That way they can get a feel for some of the new guys we have.
At quarterback, the staff will limit Rudolph much as they have in team reps and scrimmage snaps. Fans will see a lot of veteran back-up Taylor Cornelius and talented red-shirt freshman Keondre Wudtee. Those two are battling for the back-up role, which offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich hinted is very close at this stage. You will also see some of John Kolar and brand new freshman in 6-7, 250 pound Jelani Woods.
"Rudolph will only go a couple of series and we'll get a couple of other quarterbacks in there, and the same at other positions," Gundy concluded. "In all three phases, we want it to be a clean game where the fans can see some of the newer players and get excited about the upcoming season."
Gates open at noon, players will be out to warm-up shortly after, and the game will start just after 1 p.m. As part of the spring game the Cowboy football program is hosting the Orange Blitz with over 90 recruits, incoming freshmen signees, and preferred walk-ons expected. You will see them all on the field before the game watching the team warm up before going up in the stands to watch the game.