Every Big 12 football team’s biggest concern for 2023: Can Tyler Shough stay healthy?

Tyler Shough, Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Tyler Shough, Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /
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Big 12 football
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Dillon Gabriel #8 and wide receiver Drake Stoops #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners look to the sideline during the first half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Oklahoma: Wide receiver depth

Questions of what went wrong in Norman have been the main topic surrounding the Sooners’ 2022 performance. Not being able to finish one-score games, lack of consistency on defense or occasional accuracy problems with Dillon Gabriel.

All are valid, but one of the more significant problems in 2023 is who will fill in big shoes catching passes for Gabriel.

Tight-end Brayden Willis and wide receivers Marvin Mims and Theo Wease are all gone from the program. All three took most of last year’s receptions, leaving this year’s team lacking consistent playing time.

Michigan transfer Andrea Anthony is expected to take a more significant role, as well as Jahlil Farooq. Venables was not shy to mention sophomore Gavin Freeman as a player that made serious progress over the off-season.

Oklahoma State: Finding Playmakers

This is a very odd Mike Gundy-led football team. The Cowboys are young at quarterback and had to dip into the portal to find a one-year rental in Alan Bowman. They should have a decent rushing attack and some solid receiving options.

The offensive line could feature five offensive linemen, and the defense has some key pieces. However, the O/U total is six at the moment.

Bowman has not seen consistent playing time in a few years, the Cowboys got a Division II defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo for the same position with them, and they have some holes in the secondary.

This is the team that is probably going to see the most shifting of any by the time November rolls around. The key is more unknown names make the most of added playing time and keep the Cowboys in contention for an 18th consecutive bowl appearance.

Texas: Secondary

To the people that believe in the annual Texas preseason hype, the first factor they look over is this year’s secondary.

It wasn’t elite in 2022 and lost a couple of quality seniors in Anthony Cook and D’Shawn Jamison.

Jahdae Barron has the most experience (leading the team with 11.5 tackles for loss in 2022), and the Longhorns snagged Arkansas’ Jalen Catalon out of the portal. Jerrin Thompson is a solid returnee, who racked up over 80 tackles last season. The biggest problem was creating turnovers as the secondary returned only four picks from the year before.

Outside of those two (which Catalon has not seen consistent time in a few years), the room looks hazy and could be seen as a weakness as early as Week 2 in Tuscaloosa.