Oklahoma State football: Joe Wickline rolls with the changes

by John Helsley Published: September 3, 2013
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A DOZEN DEBUT FOR OSU

Saturday's season opener for OSU also marked the Cowboy debut for 12 players, five transfers and four true freshmen:

Redshirt freshmen — receiver Jhajuan Seales; defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah; offensive lineman Zac Veatch.

Transfers — punter/kickoff specialist Kip Smith; defensive tackle Ofa Hautau; offensive lineman Brandon Garrett; defensive end Sam Wren.

True freshmen — kicker Ben Grogan; receiver Marcell Ateman; defensive back Deric Robertson; defensive back Taylor Lewis.

ATEMAN'S IMPACT UNSUNG

After a strong preseason that created much buzz around his playmaking ability, Ateman got involved modestly as a receiver, recording one catch for six yards.

The true freshman's major contributions, however, flew under the radar, in the form of preventing two turnovers.

Ateman broke up a likely interception on a pass into traffic by Clint Chelf, stripping the ball from the hands of Mississippi State safety Jay Hughes. Later, Ateman pounced on a Jeremy Smith fumble at the OSU 37, preceding a 54-yard punt by Smith that flipped field position.

QUOTABLE

J.W. Walsh on leading the Big 12 in rushing: “I didn't know that. That's cool. The only title I want to have at the end of the season is Big 12 champs. I couldn't care less about the rest of that.”

OPPONENT WATCH: UTSA

Roadrunners coach Larry Coker is familiar to OSU fans as a former assistant and offensive coordinator with the Cowboys from 1983-89.

And Coker's UTSA staff offers more Oklahoma connections.

Assistant Eric Roark played in the secondary at OSU under Jimmy Johnson from 1979-82 and got his coaching start at Southeastern Oklahoma State in 1984. Defensive coordinator Neal Neathery is a native of Stillwater.

Beyond football, athletic director Lynn Hickey is a native of Welch, where she was a standout basketball player for her father, Kenneth Sooter. And UTSA men's basketball coach Brooks Thompson was a two-time All-Big Eight guard for the Cowboys during his career from 1992-94.

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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