Oklahoma State Football: Three Things to Watch For Against TCU

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2. James Washington’s role.

Another thing you’ve probably heard throughout the season is the Cowboys’ depth at the receiver position.

You’ve heard about it because it’s true.

14 different receivers have recorded a catch this season, and that’s not including the running backs, and even Mason Rudolph, who has a reception of his own. Eight players have 10 catches or more. David Glidden leads the team with 38 receptions, and has been a sort of security blanket all season, stepping up to make a play when needed almost every time. He’s about as reliable as one can get, and is the team’s closest thing to a go-to receiver this season.

James Washington isn’t too far behind with 31 receptions, and would have plenty more if he hadn’t had so many drops in the last few games. Even so, like Taylor, Washington enjoyed a breakout game against Texas Tech, racking up 200 yards and two touchdowns off of just four catches.

Washington has turned it up a level over the last few games, and it appears that he is working his way to becoming the go-to guy instead of Glidden. Washington’s confidence has grown substantially since conference play began, as has his quarterbacks’ confidence in him. Watching him against Tech, you could just see the transition happening, even off of just four catches. Over his last four games, Washington has 19 receptions for 433 yards and four touchdowns, easily the most on the team. It’s nice to have a ton of depth at the receiver position, but it you’ve been watching the Cowboys over the last 15 years, they usually have a dominant receiver, such as the Woods brothers, Adarius Bowman, Dez Bryant, Justin Blackmon, Josh Stewart, etc.

Since Stewart’s departure, the team has yet to have someone step up and take over that role. That didn’t work out so well last season, but it sure has in 2015. I don’t want it to seem like I’m complaining about this team’s receivers, as the Cowboys are in fact a top 10 team in passing yards. What I’m trying to say that it appears that Washington might be the guy. For a team that’s gotten to 8-0 without one, having a player emerge as the biggest threat not only provides the Rudalsh duo with a more reliable and dominant option going forward, it leaves other players more open. Given Washington’s performance over the last month, expect a similar outing against TCU.

Next: Who will step up at defensive end?