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Cowboys show plenty of promise in Orange & Black spring game

<p>Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</p>

Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The Orange-Black spring game was a fun day for Oklahoma State football fans. Lots to like. But a few areas of concern, too. The grades reflect that.

CHRIS LACY: A

Chris Lacy (15) makes a catch against Rodarius Williams (8) during the Orange and Black spring game for the OSU college football team at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Chris Lacy (15) makes a catch against Rodarius Williams (8) during the Orange and Black spring game for the OSU college football team at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The wide receiver position is stacked and stocked. This much we know. But Chris Lacy reminded us Saturday. A guy who's seen as the Cowboys' third- or fourth-best option made the two biggest plays of the day. He snagged a 22-yard pass from Mason Rudolph to set up the Orange's first touchdown, then made a similar leaping catch along the sideline for 39 yards on the next possession. Big-time competitive plays.

KICKOFFS AND PUNTS: A

<p>Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor hopes to get a chance at throwing the football on a fake before this season ends. Sinor played quarterback at one point in high school. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]</p>

Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor hopes to get a chance at throwing the football on a fake before this season ends. Sinor played quarterback at one point in high school. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Zach Sinor showed off his strength with a couple booming punts and his skill with a directional punt that landed inside the 10, kicked sideways and rolled out of bounds at the 5. But Matt Hockett also had a couple big punts while also handling the kickoff duties. With the Cowboys needing to replace Ben Grogan, who kicked off, they look to be in great shape.

FIELD GOALS: C

The Cowboys are also replacing Grogan on field goals and extra points, and while Matt Ammendola was rock solid on PATs, hitting all three of his attempts, he hit just 1 of 3 field goal attempts. A 30-yarder was good but 48- and 43-yarders missed. Ammendola had plenty of leg on both misses, but the Cowboys will need more accuracy once the season starts.

FORMAT: A 

 

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy watches the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy watches the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
                    

Ten-minute quarters. Running clock in the fourth. No screwy scoring system. So often spring games end up being too long or too confusing, but Cowboy coach Mike Gundy got it right. The Orange-Black game lasted an hour and 32 minutes, fans got to see a bunch of their favorites, and at the end, they got to go onto the field and get autographs from the players. It’s easy to forget how cool a deal that is for fans, especially young ones.

SECONDARY: C

Jalen McCleskey (1) runs after a catch as Justin Phillips (19) defends during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Jalen McCleskey (1) runs after a catch as Justin Phillips (19) defends during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The defensive secondary is filled with new faces, but they did a decent job Saturday. While the offenses only threw 38 passes combined, the defense intercepted three of them and came close to intercepting at least three other others. But when Rudolph was in the game, the secondary wobbled. Yes, he’s top-notch, but he’s the type of quarterback that the Cowboy cornerbacks and safeties will face regularly in Big 12 play.

Related Photos
<p>Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</p>

Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-n_27738b8ba5d6ee5c47e6b7cce48392cd.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title=" Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Oklahoma State fans wait in line to meet quarterback Mason Rudolph after the Orange and Black spring game on Saturday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b0b9cf8ca519d3aced3bc9e86983b401.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor hopes to get a chance at throwing the football on a fake before this season ends. Sinor played quarterback at one point in high school. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor hopes to get a chance at throwing the football on a fake before this season ends. Sinor played quarterback at one point in high school. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor hopes to get a chance at throwing the football on a fake before this season ends. Sinor played quarterback at one point in high school. [PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9eb74f07608287b76e824acd6544863b.jpg" alt="Photo - Chris Lacy (15) makes a catch against Rodarius Williams (8) during the Orange and Black spring game for the OSU college football team at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Chris Lacy (15) makes a catch against Rodarius Williams (8) during the Orange and Black spring game for the OSU college football team at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Chris Lacy (15) makes a catch against Rodarius Williams (8) during the Orange and Black spring game for the OSU college football team at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d61fb142646007fe5a2c93b33c12445e.jpg" alt="Photo - Obi Obialo (88), left, and Taylor Cornelius (14) celebrate after Cornelius threw a touchdown pass to Obialo during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Obi Obialo (88), left, and Taylor Cornelius (14) celebrate after Cornelius threw a touchdown pass to Obialo during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Obi Obialo (88), left, and Taylor Cornelius (14) celebrate after Cornelius threw a touchdown pass to Obialo during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-06068630987ae6553fe14b633f939120.jpg" alt="Photo - Jalen McCleskey (1) runs after a catch as Justin Phillips (19) defends during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Jalen McCleskey (1) runs after a catch as Justin Phillips (19) defends during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Jalen McCleskey (1) runs after a catch as Justin Phillips (19) defends during the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c6c1f1bdc0adf657c27852bcc938bc01.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy watches the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy watches the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy watches the Orange and Black spring college football game for the OSU Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 15, 2017. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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