By Scott Wright
What if Brandon Pettigrew can’t play Saturday against Troy? Should Oklahoma State fans be concerned? Should they be happy that he won’t get injured worse in a non-conference game that the Cowboys probably can win without him anyway?
Here’s my advice to the Poke faithful asking themselves these questions:
1. Yes, OSU can beat Troy without Brandon Pettigrew, though I can understand fans not wanting to chance it after last season’s debacle.
2. Don’t worry as much about Pettigrew’s absence in the passing game. That’s the quality most people think of when they hear Pettigrew’s name. Yes, he will be missed if he can’t play on that injured ankle, because at least a few times a game he will keep a safety in the middle of the field and away from Dez Bryant, allowing a one-on-one opportunity for Bryant. But Pettigrew hasn’t been a huge factor in the passing attack anyway.
3. Where Pettigrew will be missed the most is in the run game. OSU needs to control the ball against Troy and Pettigrew is a devastating blocker on the edge. The kid simply loves to block — almost as much as he loves scoring touchdowns. His size and athletic ability make him a key to OSU’s running success, and if he can’t play, that’s where he’ll be missed.
4. Don’t discount the abilities of Wilson Youman and Jamal Mosley. Youman will be the first choice as a blocker in the run game, but dont’ be surprised to see Mike Gundy try to get Mosley involved in the passing game. He looks bigger than his listed size of 6-foot-4, 230 pounds and he’s extremely athletic, with good hands. Good enough that Gundy has him as one of the middle men on kickoff returns. This is exactly the type of reason Gundy held Mosley out of redshirt.
On a final note — and I’m sorry, Tuttle Tiger fans — don’t expect Cooper Bassett to play. I suspect he’ll continue to redshirt. Walk-on Ben Bailey will be the No. 3 tight end if needed.