The Cowboys will end their conference slate against a team they haven’t faced in nearly five decades.
Oklahoma State’s 2023 season ends with a visit from one of the Big 12’s four incoming additions, Brigham Young University. The Cougars bring to the league a tradition of winning football, but are coming off an up-and-down season and are working in a lot of new faces.
Let’s put a bow on our Summer Schedule preview series with a look at the Cougars.
Week 12: BYU
When: Nov. 25
Where: Stillwater, Okla.
This will be the Cougars’ first trip to Stillwater to play football.
Series history: 2-0
Last meeting: 1976 Tangerine Bowl.
The Cowboys and Cougars have met just twice, both in bowl games — and both back when Mike Gundy was in grade school. The Cowboys beat BYU 49-21 in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl, two years after a 16-6 win over the Cougars in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl. Ancient history.
BYU in 2022: It was an up-and-down year for the Cougars. After starting 4-1 — with their only loss before October coming to then-No. 15 Oregon — they suffered a four-game skid which included giving up 52 points to Arkansas and 42 to Liberty. BYU did rebound and win out to get to 8-5, including a one-point bowl win over SMU.
BYU in 2023: The Cougars head into a new conference with a new-look team. There are 59 new players on BYU’s roster, with several of them set to make a big impact this fall. That starts with former Pitt and USC quarterback Kedon Slovis and former UNLV and Louisville running back Aidan Robbins.
Head coach Kalani Sitake fired most of his defensive staff this offseason. He brought in former Weber State head coach Jay Hill to run a defense that ranked in the 90s nationally in scoring, total yards and rushing yards allowed. The 29.5 points allowed per game ranked third highest in school history and was the most points allowed by the Cougars since 2001. That could be a problem when you’re stepping up into the Big 12.
Key matchup: OSU’s DL vs. BYU’s OL
The Cowboys had an off year in the paper or plastic game in 2022, totaling just 26 sacks (two per game), their lowest mark in 10 years. BYU ranked 13th last season, allowing on one sack allowed per game. But there have been plenty of changes on either side of that matchup.
OSU has installed a new 3-3-5 defense under first-year DC Bryan Nardo, which includes moving sack leader Collin Oliver to linebacker, and the Cowboys are without Nos. 2-6 in the sack leaders from last year. BYU has a host of new offensive line transfers including Caleb Etienne, who started 13 games for the Cowboys last season.