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Back in the saddle: Sanders 'available' for Tulsa game Saturday

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Spencer Sanders

There might have been a week delay, but quarterback Spencer Sanders is ready make his 2021 debut. 

On Thursday, coach Mike Gundy said Sanders would be available for the Cowboys' game against Tulsa on Saturday during the latest episode of the Orange Power Podcast hosted by Dave Hunziker. 

Sanders missed the opening game against Missouri State due to COVID-19 protocols, thrusting sophomore Shane Illingworth into the starting role. 

"(Sanders) is out of protocol, he has practiced well this week. He was able to practice throughout the week and feels good," Gundy said. 

Illingworth went 22-40 for 315 yards and a touchdown during his promotion Saturday, but will be relegated back to his second-string duties this weekend, with Sanders expected to make his 21st career start.  

Sanders will begin his highly-anticipated season campaign against Tulsa. In the offseason, Gundy said Sanders had improved more in two months than he had in two years, along with high praise from quarterbacks coach Tim Rattay for Sanders development the past several months. 

Sanders threw for 2,007 yards across nine games and 14 touchdowns this past season. He completed 62.8% of his passes, and threw eight interceptions. 

"I saw him (Thursday) and he seems to be doing really well," Gundy said. "I'm excited about him getting out there and seeing what he can bring to the table."