By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. — With all the injuries surrounding the Oklahoma State football team this year, especially on the already young offensive side, it's been difficult for the Cowboys to truly create their own identity following the record-setting season of a year ago.
Thanks to injuries at the quarterback position the OSU coaching staff to use two different quarterbacks this year with the most experience being gained by J.W. Walsh with three games before going down for the season. That lack of experience at quarterback combined with injuries to veteran wide receivers - especially senior Tracy Moore, who has been on crutches for the last few weeks - has made it nearly impossible to figure out what type of team the Cowboys are.
But with true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt back in the lineup, the Cowboys may finally begin to build off of last year's pass-happy offense and solidify their identity - a month before the end of the season.
"I think we're starting to develop some chemistry and create an identity," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "... Offensively, we haven't had enough people in the right spot to really create that chemistry yet. They've done a great job. We've had a number of players in the last two weeks who have given us something in a game when they're hurt and injured.
"We've shared with them how much we appreciate what the team has given us. We're getting there. We certainly aren't at the level they are with the maturity and experience that they have on their team."
The biggest growth for Oklahoma State would have to be on defense. The OSU defense, which was expected to be the catalyst this season, had a slow start to the season. But in the past three weeks have been the driving force behind OSU's three-game winning streak.
"Defensively we're gaining some confidence. We're more sound and defending the deep ball better which will be really big in a game like this," Gundy said. "Kansas State is going to run the ball and run it with the quarterback which gives them the extra player. They're going to try to throw the ball over your head down the field with a double post and switch routes. Defensively we're gaining some momentum."