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Opposing Player to Watch vs. Oklahoma State: Tylan Wallace

Slowing down Tylan Wallace and the Cowboys’ passing attack will be key to victory against Oklahoma State.

West Virginia v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Oklahoma State Cowboys have a plethora of offensive weapons per usual, with Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown in the backfield and while healthy, Spencer Sanders behind center. I believe what makes Mike Gundy’s offense go is star senior receiver Tylan Wallace.

Wallace surprised many by returning for his senior season, as he likely would’ve been picked in at least the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. So far it is paying off for him, as he has 19 catches for 325 yards and two scores through only three games for OK State this season. Standing at 6’0” 190 with some of the best route running skills in the country, Wallace is a very tough cover for any cornerback.

In Wallace’s 12 career 100 yard receiving games Oklahoma State’s record in 10-2 in those contests with its two losses coming by only four points and one point. So when Wallace is on, typically is the Cowboys’ offense. In Iowa State’s homecoming loss last season against Oklahoma State, Wallace gashed them for eight catches 131 yards and a score, so I imagine the Cyclones’ will be motivated to shut him down.

OSU’s projected starting QB, Spencer Sanders suffered an ankle injury early in the Cowboys’ first game against Tulsa and he has not appeared since. Their offense struggled without him to say the least with Shane Illingworth only passing for 120 yards and then 139 yards without him until exploding 298 against a putrid Kansas defense.

For a team that loves using LD Brown and Chuba Hubbard to run the ball, their offense becomes truly elite when the passing game is effective.

Earlier this week OSU head coach Mike Gundy was quoted saying, “We’re alternating reps and we might play both [Sanders and Illingworth], I’m not sure right now. We continue to get them quality work and Spencer’s healthy; obviously, Shane’s played pretty good. I’m just glad to have a couple of guys that can play.”

I’d imagine this means Sanders will play if healthy, but Gundy just wants Illingworth to be ready. If that’s the case Iowa State’s defense will have its hands full with Sanders who is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the Big 12, as he averaged 244 total yards per game last season as a redshirt-freshman. He will have a plethora of weapons at his disposal led by Tylan Wallace.