Oklahoma State starting quarterback Spencer Sanders played just one full drive before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the Cowboys’ opener against Tulsa Saturday.
Sanders completed two passes, ran one time and was sacked twice on OSU’s opening drive that resulted in a 27-yard field goal. On the first play of the next drive, Sanders carried the ball again but was hit and fumbled on what would ultimately be his final play of the game.
Without Sanders, Oklahoma State’s offense struggled against Tulsa, gaining just 287 total yards and scoring 16 points. Back up quarterbacks Ethan Bullock and Shane Illingworth combined to complete 12 of 18 passes for 115 yards and one interception. With OSU’s Big 12 opener against West Virginia coming up this Saturday, Sanders’ health going into the game will be an important topic.
On the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference this morning, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy confirmed that Sanders is still in a medical boot.
“Spencer will be out of the boot on Tuesday then we’ll reevaluate him,” Gunday said. “His injury was mild so you can’t really say either way. I would think that he should be okay but you never know.”
On the same teleconference, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown said WVU is going to prepare this week as if Sanders is going to play.
“We’ll gameplan as if Sanders is going to play. I think that’s how you’ve got to go about it,” Brown said. “We’ll adjust if he doesn’t, but we’ll gameplan as if he was going to play.”
Sanders was also battling injuries when the Cowboys and Mountaineers met last season. In the week before the game, Sanders was ruled out with a thumb injury. Even without having played against him yet, Brown is still wary of what Sanders is capable of.
“He’s got elite speed for the quarterback position,” Brown explained. “You can see that in a couple of the runs he had early in the contest on Saturday, but also in the games last year. That’s why you go about preparing like he’s going to be the starter.”
In 2019, back up quarterback Dru Brown lead OSU to a 20-13 victory over WVU in Morgantown. If either Bullock or Illingworth has to play Saturday, Brown is still wary of what the rest of OSU’s offense, headlined by running back Chuba Hubbard and receiver Tylan Wallace, can do.
“I don’t think [Saturday] was an accurate representation of who they are offensively,” Brown said. “They are an explosive offense. I think they have NFL players across the board at their skill positions and I expect them to play, as a unit, much, much, much better.”
Oklahoma State and West Virginia will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday from Stillwater, Oklahoma. The game will be broadcast on ABC.