Cowboys offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has made clear his search for reliable wide receivers to make his spread special.
Operating with four wideouts at a time most of the time, Holgorsen's push centers on a need for eight who can play: four starters and four backups. Coming up fast on game week, Holgorsen has identified his eight, with a surprise or two.
The outside receivers: Justin Blackmon, Isaiah Anderson, Bo Bowling and Colton Chelf.
Inside: Tracy Moore, Josh Cooper, Justin Horton and Michael Harrison.
What, no Hubert Anyiam? Not yet.
Anyiam's continued comeback from foot surgery leaves him operating somewhere around 75 percent. And for Holgorsen, that's not good enough, leaving Anyiam on the third team, joining freshmen Kevin Johnson and Chris Dinkins as part of the next wave.
"If we have a Hubert Anyiam or one of the two young kids Kevin Johnson and Chris Dinkins if one of those guys get to a point that they can crack the two deep, then we'll rep them," Holgorsen said.
"But we're not going to waste time repping those guys while Weeden's out there."
At Texas Tech, coach Mike Leach liked to portray his offense in simplistic terms, saying the Red Raiders only ran eight or so plays.
Those eight plays, however, featured a variety of options.
With Holgorsen, a Leach disciple, some of that translates to OSU.
"What's nice about this offense, there's several ways to get to one play," said quarterback Brandon Weeden. "That makes it tough on the defense.
"And that's the ultimate goal of this offense, to catch the defense off guard."
Opponent watch: Washington State
OSU's backfield seems to be overflowing with talent, led by Kendall Hunter.
If Washington State, coming off a 1-11 season, has one major strength, it might be the same: running back.
The Cougars are getting a boost by the return of starter James Montgomery, who suffered a scary leg injury a year ago but is on pace to start the opener against the Cowboys. But the pulse in Pullman is that there's depth, too, with a back for every situation - power, third-down receiver, slash - as well as an exciting freshman in Ricky Galvin.
"They're all different, but they will all contribute this year," running backs coach Dave Ungerer told The Seattle Times.
"Really, my hardest job is how they're all going to get some touches. They all deserve to play."