TE Brandon Pettigrew

2007 Statistics

Coach: Mike Gundy
18-19, 3 years
2007 Record: 7-6
at Georgia LOST 14-35
at Troy LOST 23-41
at Texas A&M LOST 23-24
at Nebraska WON 45-14
at Baylor WON 45-14
at Oklahoma LOST 17-49
Indiana WON 49-33

2007 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

The Mike Gundy era has produced mixed results, no more so evident than in last year's sputtered flow that showcased one of the nation's best offenses, and it constantly bailed out the overmatched defense. The 7-6 encore result reflects the dichotomy Gundy has to address this off-season, for in the Big 12, the appalling pass defense Oklahoma State displayed in '07 would again cost him any chance to compete for the South Division title. The Cowboys were actually in position to win the division entering their in-state rivalry regular season closer, but 487 yards of Sooner offense quelled that miracle. You can see that within all of this, there are signs that 2008 has potential for great things to happen if certain factors can come together.

There are no worries that the 'Zac Attack' will unleash pain on opponents. The best QB currently playing that you've never heard of, Zac Robinson uses feigns, fakes and fancy footwork to stay away from harm and shred defenders as a dual-threat QB with no weakness. Robinson led the nation's most balanced offense, one that turns over both its top runner and snarler (two of the top four WRs left) but has talent position candidates waiting for their turns. It will all work since (arguably) five returning starters man the line. Gundy has set up a complicated chain of command (see OFFENSE section). It looks like a bureaucratic problem waiting to happen, but seeing how OSU is the only member of the 200-200 club for the past two years, it's obvious - Gundy knows offense and doesn't need us questioning his ways.

We will question whether two new assistants to the defensive staff will change things. If the spring scrimmage results - against this stellar offense - reveal anything, it's that the new faces (of both players and coaches) are the catalyst for soon-to-be-seen improvements. The DBs stay the same, so corners coach Jason Jones is the one name making a difference so far. The other difference will be everyone having spent more time in coordinator Tim Beckman's extensive system. It seems like the line should be able to find more pressure after only earning 22 sacks last year. A solid, consistent pass rush would snowball into less time to throw and therefore better coverage results. Until the corners can be left alone in one-on-one, this formula will be the best they can do to stem the loaded offenses OSU is sure to face. The LB turnover may be a blessing in disguise since Lavine and Sexton are really bulked up DBs and can do better than their predecessors when "spread" out by creative offensive formations. Applying this logic across the board, the new blood (six JUCO products offer immediate, seasoned help) should purge last year's embarrassments; the potential is there for this to be a good D, if not a great one. But one step at a time...holding foes to under 30 is that first goal which will produce more wins.

Traveling to Washington State is one early measurement, but the revenge game with Troy will be the barometer of whether this bigtime program can beat the upstarts they couldn't just a year ago. The Houston game is a trap game this same way, for if they look past the Cougars, the same thing that happened in last year Troy will happen, but this time at home. Away games at Mizzu, Austin and Lubbock will test the secondary's progress, with the Tigers and Longhorns possessing multi-dimensional attacks (like State's) that will push every fiber of their being if they want the win(s). After beating the Sooners to upset their BCS dreams (in 2001) a few years back, it's now been five years since State has taken the rivalry game. As many know, winning that one big season-ending tilt can wipe many woes away. Regardless, Gundy has built this program from the ground up in his way. Guys like Trooper Taylor and others will continue to make the recruiting classes strong enough so OSU can compete with its Big 12 brethren. Les Miles never won two consecutive bowl games here like Gundy currently has. Go Gundy.

Projected 2008 record: 7-5

P Matt Fodge

QB - 4 DL - 2.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3 DB - 3
OL - 4.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Zac Robinson, 201-333-9, 2824 yds., 23 TD

Rushing: Zac Robinson, 140 att., 847 yds., 9 TD

Receiving: Dez Bryant, 43 rec., 622 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Zac Robinson, 9 TD, 54 pts.

Punting: Matt Fodge, 51 punts, 42.4 avg.

Kicking: Dan Bailey, 2-4 FG, 20-20 PAT, 26 pts.

Tackles: Patrick Lavine, 81 tot., 48 solo

Sacks: Derek Burton, 3.5 sacks

Interceptions: Jacob Lacey, 5 for 62 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Perrish Cox, 31 ret., 21.5 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Perrish Cox, 17 ret., 11.1 avg., 1 TD


OFFENSE: Dantrell Savage-RB, Zach Carter-FB, Adarius Bowman-WR, Seth Newton-WR, Justin Waller-TE, David Koenig-OG, Jason Ricks-K, Bobby Reid-QB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Marque Fountain-DE, Maurice Cummings-DT, Nathan Peterson-DE, Donovan Woods-OLB, Chris Collins-MLB, Jeremy Nethon-OLB, Martel Van Zant-CB

Out of the 10 teams that had at least 200 yards per game both rushing and passing, the Cowboys were by far the most balanced of them all. Their magic number was 3,161 - that's how many total yards each offensive dimension earned. The same essential OL and QB are back, so the stacked personnel at the other talent positions will now get their collective chance to keep State amongst the nation's elite production machines. It was the second best offense in school history (1988's 515 yards per game is the top), and the team's top offensive performance ever by an individual.

That individual who has taken Stillwater by storm would be junior Zac Robinson, whose 3,671 total yards featured 847 net rushing yards and only nine sacks and nine interceptions. Decision-making is evidently one of his strong points - he only lost 56 yards in his 473 total touches last year. In the conference with names like McCoy, Bradford, Reesing and Daniel grabbing the QB headlines, Robinson will continue to fly under the national radar, leading his team to more points/wins as foes don't figure out who brought the pain until Robinson and his offense are done inflicting their damages. Behind Robinson, the name of Alex Cate seems to be used most often. Not a lock, this pro-style sophomore from Salt Lake City knows Coach Gundy's system better than 24-year old freshman Brandon Weeden. A capital prospect, Weeden was a basketball (Backyard League) and baseball (N.Y. Yankee draft choice) wanna-be before returning to the gridiron last year (redshirted). Weeden and Cate pushing each other can only help, so whichever emerges as Robinson's backup will have to know how much the offense will change if/when they are inserted...quite a bit since neither has the feet and approach of the starter from Littleton (CO). Robinson's ground dimension is a huge reason why the rest of the running game will continue to work so well.

The main recipient this year will be true soph Kendall Hunter. A projected redshirt, Kendall wound up third on the team in rushing and T-6th in receptions with his speedy, direct style. "Spud" has to hold off Beau Johnson's charge. Johnson was Butler C.C.'s main weapon as they won the national title, earning MVP honors with his 288-yard, four-TD showing. "I've been very impressed with (Beau) Johnson and his ability to understand our offense with poise," Gundy said. "He's got a very good temperament for the game and for what's going on. He sees defenses." Hunter and Johnson both have the soft hands this offense needs. Keith Toston, now back from a knee injury in '07 after a strong freshman showing, probably plays a utility role after seeing how he fit in this spring. Expect no steps back for the Cowboy's ground attack since local Bryant Ward is now Mr. Plow.

Robinson will find most of his primary targets have moved on, but establishing new favorites won't be hard to do with so many capable sets of hands vying for catches. Dez Bryant will be in the front of that line - last year's No.9 WR prospect (Rivals) finished third in team receptions to earn (true) Freshman All-American honors. His size makes him an every-down guy for the blocking he provides. Junior Jeremy Broadway started in front of Bryant for most of 2007, but legal troubles have his status as second team. Broadway's speed and experience mean he will be a regular by fall, once again. 6'5 Damien Davis has surprising power for his lanky look, but his ability to catch most anything thrown his way will translate into big numbers in his first year as a starter. DeMarcus Conner looks like that possession guy for underneath. Bo Bowling received praise this spring after tweaking his shoulder but still coming out and battling tough in that week's scrimmage. The latest Woods here on campus - Artrell from Bryan (TX) - is amongst the fastest receivers. OSU never seems to be at a loss for capable receivers. Another leader who will bridge the receivers and linemen with his strong example everywhere is Brandon Pettigrew. An All-Big 12 selection at tight end, Pettigrew arguably won the Texas Tech and Kansas State games with his fourth quarter TD grabs in both. Frosh Wilson Youman is a step slower and a size down from Pettigrew, but he has proven valuable coming off the line and will be a part of the production. How hot prospects Mosely, Horton and/or Bassett fit(s) in has yet to be seen.

The line had troubles this spring, which says to us that the mix of first and second teamers - the normal scrimmage mode - isn't nearly as good as just the first team. Injuries cannot be anticipated, but more will be needed from the reserves if the season-ending variety occurs in front of them. The hardest guy to replace would be Russell Okung. By holding Indiana's Greg Middleton - the NCAA sack leader - to no tackles in OSU's 49-33 Insight Bowl win, Okung earned All-Bowl status from Rivals and proved why he has 21 consecutive starts since his true freshman season. The opposite side saw Brady Bond join Okung in starting every game of '07; Bond has transitioned from eight-man football nicely, he is just as responsible as his classmate for the team's meager 11 sacks allowed. JUCO product Steve Denning was a mild surprise after filling in so well when Andrew Lewis moved over to center. Lewis is still listed at center, but David Washington, who Lewis replaced after Washington broke his leg against Troy, was back at 100% this spring to supply needed depth. Washington likely takes back over by late summer, so Lewis is expandable back to his left guard spot that has been handed to Mike Booker. The backups are a mix of the veterans we've mentioned and some hungry youth. The statements made concerning the mediocre mix-and-match OL results from practices may have some worried, but enough experience from a pretty superior offensive showing will be back so that many things would have to go wrong for this not to again be one of the nation's best lines.

Moreover, the complicated system here now has multiple coordinators, with super-recruiter Trooper Taylor joining the staff to help replace Larry Fedora (now head coach at Southern Miss). The coordinator-by-committee will be spearheaded by passing-game coordinator Doug Meacham, running-game coordinator Joe Wickline, co-coordinators Turner and incumbent Gunter Brewer overseeing it all, and Gundy doing the play calling. The steady improvements seen in Gundy's first three years give promise that this complicated approach can work under his guidance.


QB Zac Robinson


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Zac Robinson-Jr (6-3, 205) Alex Cate-So (6-1, 195)
Brandon Weeden-Fr (6-4, 220)
FB Bryant Ward-So (5-11, 215) John Toben-So (6-1, 235)
RB Kendall Hunter-So (5-8, 190) Keith Toston-Jr (6-1, 210)
Beau Johnson-Jr (5-10, 210)
WR Dez Bryant-So (6-2, 210) Jeremy Broadway-Jr (6-0, 195)
WR Damian Davis-So (6-5, 180) Josh Cooper-Fr (5-11, 190)
Artrell Woods-So (6-1, 200)
WR DeMarcus Conner-Jr (6-1, 200) Hubert Anyiam-Fr (6-0, 185)
Bo Bowling-Jr (5-9, 190)
TE Brandon Pettigrew-Sr (6-6, 260) Wilson Youman-Fr (6-4, 245)
OT Russell Okung-Jr (6-5, 300) Trent Perkins-So (6-5, 300)
OG Michael Booker-So (6-3, 210) Jonathan Rush-Fr (6-5, 300)
C Andrew Lewis-Jr (6-5, 290) David Washington-Sr (6-3, 305)
OG Steve Denning-Sr (6-5, 295) Noah Franklin-Jr (6-5, 310)
OT Brady Bond-Jr (6-6, 290) Andrew Mitchell-Jr (6-5, 305)
K Dan Bailey-So (6-0, 205) ..



Unfortunately, it is clear that the first year of Tim Beckman's reign was an unmitigated failure. When eight foes go over the 30-point barrier - and five of the last six games are the contests in which this occurred - the Cowboy D has little to hang their hats on. Anything even related to momentum seems vacant for the start of 2008. The run defense wasn't too bad, but the front seven is gutted and has only two seniors returning. To boot, the part of the D that gave up 80 more yards per game from the prior season - the secondary - sees all of its starters return. Not even Charlie Brown has ever had a situation with this much stacked against him like Beckman has. Changes come in the form of two new assistants to bolster Beckman's plans - Glenn Spencer comes in from Duke to head the line, and 33-year old hot-shot Jason Jones is the ex-Alabama safety in charge of the corners. Also fresh on the Stillwater scene will be six new JUCO prospects to give an immediate on-the-field jump-start to the sagging stoppers. Five of them showed up for spring.

DE Derek Burton is a legacy (father played on the OL for three OSU bowl squads) who has improved his numbers annually (two starts last year). Ugo Chinasa runs a 4.6-second 40, and his limited showings give promise that the starters are solid. Backup Richetti Jones promises his No.5 ranking (incoming DE prospects 2007, Rivals) will pay off in a reserve role, and classmate Jamie Blatnick also hopes to make his mark. Jeremiah Price will be the junior college guy for this unit, but he doesn't have a spot...yet. This is possibly the best unit on the D, deep and talented with quickness for their size (only Jones is a true rush end). Jeray Chatham, who also has some nice footwork for an ex-OG, leads the tackles. Quencey Patrick also has quickness, but both of the starters hovering around 280 pounds is an iffy proposition for Big 12 run stopping. Tonga Tea is that big body who can take up two OLmen, but he needs to step it up after a pretty bland effort last year (even though he had three starting calls to prove more.) A guy who did make the most of his few chances (of his four tackles, two were for loss) was bulked up ex-DE Shane Jarka. Chris Donaldson is the JUCO tackle who will have three years left and could be a starter if the hype pans out. Ahmed Jones has yet to see the field, so his potential, like the entire tackle group's, offers a wide range of possible results. All signs point to a line that can find more than 22 sacks (the '07 total) and keep foes under four yards per carry (4.2 ypc last year). The reason no one knows how good the line will be is due to a linebacking corps that also is missing half of its two-deep from a season ago.

Can the LBs help their forward brethren if it's needed? SLB Andre Sexton is excited about what's happened over the off-season. "I thought the defense improved alot this spring. Everybody finally understands (Beckman's system); we have alot of athletic linebackers." In Stillwater, SLB often means "star" linebacker, a hybrid SS-LB role that perfectly fits Sexton's safety past. This Houston native started in the more forward STAR slot for five games to earn 27 of his 67 tackles there. Needless to say, Sexton's speed means great coverage of extra WRs. Junior Patrick Lavine is also strong in coverage for the same reason. Lavine was a Freshman All-American, and then he was the No.22 Big 12 tackler as a soph. Ex-RB Orie Lemon was tearing it up at MLB to lock himself into that spot this spring. NJCAA All-American Donald Booker is also more of a pure LB. The reserves look like a nice mix of size for stopping (Seb Clements) and speed for extra coverage (ex-DB Deron Fontenot), but they do not go very deep and are a noted drop off in quality from the starters, not to mention the drop off from the second to the third team.

It's make or break for the secondary - a unit entirely composed of upperclassmen has no excuse if they can't get it done this time (after finishing 112th in pass defense.) Jacob Lacey's make-or-break style fits well with the approach assistant Jason Jones teaches. Parrish Cox has speed but seems to lack the hard nose needed for open field bruising. Like Cox, Anderson is a size-technique type more than a (pure) speed merchant, and his praises were hailed as his playing time increased last year. Anderson could overtake either starter. So could Maurice Gray, the El Dorado C.C. transfer who is already kicking up some dust in the coverage schemes. The talent is in place for good, tight coverage, so consistency has to be the main focus. An extra off-season of learning his (new) safety spot (moves to strong safety) for ex-WR Ricky Price will pay dividends. He's already the third leading Cowboy tackler, so improvements mean he is the top tackler by season's end. Quinton Moore is another burner who can really cover well, which was the main reason he started as a nickel back and why he now gets the nod at FS instead of Price. Bell is just as fast as Moore, and prospects Johnson and Markelle (early enrollment) should make it so any lack of performance equals another youngster getting some reps. Only 11 teams allowed more TD passes last year than State's 27; in this bionic QB conference, only by bringing this number down can the DBs help the teams' overall quality. Really, the numbers for the entire defense have to come down if OSU expects to increase its win total.


CB Jacob Lacey


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Ugo Chinasa-So (6-6, 250) Richetti Jones-Fr (6-4, 240)
DT Jeray Chatham-Sr (6-3, 280) Tonga Tea-Jr (6-0, 300)
DT Quencey Patrick-So (6-3, 275) Shane Jarka-So (6-4, 270)
DE Derek Burton-Jr (6-5, 265) Jamie Blatnick-Fr (6-3, 255)
SLB Andre Sexton-Jr (6-1, 210) Deron Fontenot-Fr (5-10, 200)
MLB Orie Lemon-Jr (6-1, 240) Donald Booker-Jr (6-0, 225) (JUCO)
WLB Patrick Lavine-Jr (6-3, 225) Seb Clements-Sr (6-1, 225)
CB Perrish Cox-Jr (6-1, 190) Terrance Anderson-Jr (6-0, 180)
Maurice Gray-Jr (5-9, 180)
CB Jacob Lacey-Sr (5-11, 175) Al'Darius Thompson-Jr (5-11, 180)
SS Ricky Price-Sr (6-1, 195) T.J. Bell-Sr (6-0, 195)
FS Quinton Moore-Sr (5-11, 185) Lucien Antoine-Jr (6-1, 205)
P Matt Fodge-Sr (6-1, 195) ..




Perrish Cox was amongst the top 10 in career PR average for active players last year (12.10). Cox had a return TD of each type, proving his runback abilities make him a true weapon who can change a game's complexion by himself. If Matt Fodge supplies the 27th-ranked punting effort like he just did, the coverage unit has to rank higher than 68th for net results for any tough field position battles to be won. Quinn Sharp comes in as this year's top kicking prospect; he will push Dan Bailey after Bailey failed to connect form beyond the 30-yard line in his brief '07 showing. The Cowboys need a leg that can deliver, not a work-in-progress who might cost against the top enemies.