3 key injured Oklahoma State players ahead of Texas football matchup

Spencer Sanders Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
Spencer Sanders Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jaden Bray, Texas football
Jaden Bray, Texas football /

Looking for its fourth straight win, No. 20 ranked Texas football has a high-stakes ranked matchup ahead in Week 8 of the 2022 season against the No. 11 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road in Stillwater. Texas has a shot to continue to put itself in the driver’s seat in the Big 12 as the favorite in the opening betting odds over Oklahoma State for this conference meeting next weekend.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns come into this matchup against Oklahoma State sporting a record of 5-2 (3-1 Big 12) following a narrow 24-21 win at home over the Iowa State Cyclones on Oct. 15. That triumph over Iowa State last weekend gave the Longhorns three straight wins dating back to Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State doesn’t have as much momentum coming into this game, sporting a record of 5-1 (2-1 Big 12) following a tough three-point overtime loss at the hands of the No. 13 ranked TCU Horned Frogs on the road in Fort Worth on Oct. 15. Oklahoma State also seems to have come out of the last two games pretty banged up.

Spencer Sanders and the key Oklahoma State players banged up before facing Texas football in Week 8

And some of those injuries for the Pokes in the last few weeks could have an impact on who is available for them on Oct. 22 against Texas. With that in mind, here’s a look at three key injured Oklahoma State players ahead of the critical matchup against Texas in Week 8.

Preston Wilson, C

One of the costliest absences for Oklahoma State in the loss to TCU last weekend was redshirt junior center Preston Wilson, who missed his first full game of the season. Wilson suffered a leg injury in Oklahoma State’s 10-point win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders at home in Stillwater on Oct. 8.

And that led to Wilson missing the game last weekend against TCU.

If last weekend showed us anything, it was how important Wilson is to this offensive line both in pass protection and run blocking. In the absence of Wilson, redshirt sophomore Eli Russ got the start at center. But even Russ couldn’t make it through the full game, as he suffered an injury in the third quarter against TCU.

It remains unclear if Wilson will be able to return for Oklahoma State at center this weekend against the Longhorns. That will be a critical injury update to watch that we will continue to follow throughout this week.

Oklahoma State wasn’t able to run the ball as effectively up the middle last weekend in the absence of Wilson. There were also a couple of bad snaps to the quarterback with some backups taking the reps at center.

Wilson does rank in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 among starting centers in terms of pass-blocking grade. And he does rank at the bottom of the conference in run-blocking grade among starting centers.

Yet, Wilson’s grades are a little bit deceiving in terms of the impact he makes on the game. Wilson is better than those grades might indicate as he is an anchor in run-blocking up the middle and helps provide stability in pass protection.

It is worth noting that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said that he “expected” Wilson, among other injured Pokes players, to be active against TCU (per an injury update write-up from Pistols Firing Blog). That update came after the Texas Tech game.