Free safety Daytawion Lowe is perhaps Oklahoma State's most underrated defensive player, as he's led or tied for the team lead in tackles each of the last two seasons while also tallying three interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during that period.
New safeties coach Tim Duffie is expecting much of the same out of Lowe in his final season. But the coach is hoping Lowe won't need to stay on the field as much as he has in the past.
“Last year he got banged up there at the end,” Duffie said. “He's one of those guys that wants to play every snap. Game to game, we're gonna try to get him rest as much as we can.
“We don't want to see him playing 105, 110 plays (each game). That's not good for us in the long run.”
The Cowboys have solid depth and experience at safety, with senior Larry Stephens backing Lowe up at free safety and senior Shamiel Gary, junior Lyndell Johnson and senior Zack Craig occupying the strong safety spot. Duffie and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has also mentioned that incoming freshmen Tre Flowers, Deric Robertson and Jordan Sterns could earn early playing time, particularly on special teams.
TV PLANS FINALIZED FOR LAMAR GAME
TV plans have been finalized for the Cowboys' home opener against Lamar on Sept. 14.
The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and will be aired on FOX Sports Southwest/FS Oklahoma. In addition, the game will be televised live nationally on FOX College Sports.
Oklahoma State will open the season on ABC against Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Houston. The following week the Cowboys will be featured on FOX Sports Net when they travel to San Antonio to face UTSA for an 11 a.m. kickoff in the Alamodome.
OL PARKER GRAHAM RAVES ABOUT ‘PHENOMENAL' CAMP
Parker Graham used an interesting adjective to describe the early mornings, two-a-day practices and physical grind of fall camp.
“I feel like we've had a lot of fun this year,” the senior offensive lineman said.
To Graham, that mindset — which comes with the outside expectation that the Cowboys are the Big 12 favorite — illustrates how much the program has grown during his four-plus years on campus. Particularly, how the offense has developed into one of the nation's best.
“It's been a really phenomenal camp for us, and I've been around camps that they haven't been phenomenal,” he said. “We'd been really scared that first game like, ‘Oh gosh, what's going to happen?'
“Clint (Chelf) is throwing the ball lights out. J.W. (Walsh) is throwing the ball lights out and running the ball all over the place. I'm really excited to see exactly how we can come out.
“I think we have a lot of confidence in the fact that we know that we can do this and we know that we surprised a lot of people last year (in how we performed with the quarterback carousel). But at the same time, this isn't an ego-filled team.”
START OF CLASSES LEADS TO ‘DIFFERENT KIND OF TIRED'
OSU took Sunday and Monday off to prepare for the start of classes.
But next comes the challenging part — learning (or remembering) how to balance the school workload with the football workload.
“It's a different kind of tired. It's a different kind of strain,” Spencer said. “As opposed to us getting them up and working them, it's an emotional strain. And I know it. I remember those days when I was in college.
“When school started, you're coming down from meetings and practice and you're trying to get algebra and science out of your mind. It's just different, and it takes a couple days (to get used to it). And we always talk about that. The first couple days when we're practicing and school starts, it's a grind. It's like pulling teeth out there.”