STILLWATER — Experience matters in the trenches of politics — and Division I football games.
Having started 36 games for the Cowboys, senior guard Lane Taylor has a detailed scouting report on whether a defensive tackle prefers to bull rush on a key passing down or is focused on clogging the middle on running plays.
“It definitely helps having seen so much,” Taylor said. “If you've already played a guy, you know what his tendencies are and what he likes to do. It gives you a little bit of an upper hand because you've been there before.
“Some guys are different. Some defenses are different. There are different talent levels. When you've done it for as long as I have with so many different varieties, you've really seen it all. It kind of gives you an advantage.”
Taylor is one of just two offensive lineman with much experience.
An inexperienced O-line will lean on Taylor, especially early in the season.
“Lane Taylor will always be where he's supposed to be,” offensive line coach Joe Wickline said. “He'll always do what he's supposed to do.”
As a redshirt freshman, Taylor climbed the depth chart. He took over at right guard early in the season. He helped the Cowboys lead the Big 12 in rushing for a fourth consecutive season.
The next two seasons, Taylor was part of a line that helped the Cowboys finish in the top-three nationally in scoring and total offense.
Taylor has provided holes for running backs such as Kendall Hunter and Jeremy Smith and protection for quarterbacks Zac Robinson and Brandon Weeden.