Gundy excited to see how Lunt, Cowboys perform in season opener

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are having to replace a lot of star power in 2012. With quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon off to the NFL, the Pokes are left with a new youthful look, making it ever so important for the team to come together and keep the ball rolling after winning a Big 12 championship.

Last year we were pretty much unstoppable because we were so close as a team," said junior Jeremy Smith. "During fall, even on our breaks everyone's still together talking and talking about football. That's the one thing we had to grow in and that's what we did."

Wes Lunt has big shoes to fill as OSU's new starting signal caller. But it's only taken a few short months for the freshman to earn the respect of his teammates.

"I've seen a maturity in three months that you really don't see, that people don't really get to see," junior Charlie Moore said. "I've seen this guy grow up really quick and I think he's ready to be a leader."

Lunt will be throwing the ball to an inexperienced receiving corps. Not only did the Cowboys lose the two-time Biletnikoff winner in Blackmon, but the team's second-leading receiver Josh Cooper is gone as well. The two players combined for 2,237 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2011. That's a whole lot of production to replace.

"I mean we want to prove to people that we've still got good receivers and we're still a good team without those guys, said sophomore Josh Stewart. " They moved on. We moved on. We're just ready to show what we've got during the season."

OSU's starting lineup is littered with question marks, which can only be answered once the season kicks off.

"One thing that I look for is how crisp are we in all three phases, especially on offense where we've got a new quarterback," coach Mike Gundy said. "We'll really find out how far we've come over the last nine months."