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Oklahoma St preparing early for Winston

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm •  Published: July 23, 2014
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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has spent considerable time this summer trying to find flaws in Jameis Winston's game.

He's still searching.

Oklahoma State opens the season against last year's Heisman Trophy winner and defending national champion Florida State on Aug. 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Though practice doesn't start until Aug. 1, Spencer already is stressed about dealing with Winston.

"That's no fun when you look at a ton of film all summer and you're not getting any answers," Spencer said Wednesday.

As a freshman last season, Winston passed for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns, with just 10 interceptions. Spencer said Winston has Andrew Luck's size, Robert Griffin III's ability to escape the rush and Colt McCoy's leadership skills.

"He has all the talent in the world," Spencer said. "He's so big. He doesn't get shook. He can take a hit in the backfield. He's not running around trying to avoid. He doesn't make bad decisions."

Oklahoma State will face all those qualities with a defense that returns just four starters. Spencer said that number is misleading because many returning players earned significant playing time last season but didn't start.

The secondary, in particular, is inexperienced. Cornerback Justin Gilbert, an All-American, was a first-round draft pick who now plays for the Cleveland Browns, but the Cowboys are hopeful that talented returnees can fill in. Kevin Peterson started last season opposite Gilbert, and Ashton Lampkin was a key reserve who was the special teams player of the year.

Safeties Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary combined for 62 career starts before exhausting their eligibility. Sophomore Jordan Sterns and redshirt freshman Tre Flowers were the first-teamers during the spring. Larry Stephens, who suffered a leg injury and was and lost for the season in last year's opener against Mississippi State, is expected to be back for the fall.

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