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Sanders pocket poise, consistency at receiver, leading to steady play

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Sanders

Spencer Sanders moves around TCU defense to move the ball further toward the end zone.

Spencer Sanders took the snap and dropped back as the TCU pass rush began its chase.

He stepped up and delivered a speedy pass to receiver Blaine Green on a slant route, which he took for a touchdown to swell the Cowboys lead to 28-3.

Sanders, who was playing behind a battered offensive line, showed his maturity and poise when standing in the pocket in the Cowboys- 63-17 rout of TCU, something the team credits to consistency with his weapons.

Sanders, who has been criticized for his pocket presence and lack of throwing the ball away at times, showed strides in that department getting rid of the ball when needed and not forcing throws.

“Everything is not going to work and at the position he is playing, sometimes second-and-10 is a lot better than forcing something and giving the other team the advantage,” coach Mike Gundy said.

Sanders didn’t play much of the fourth quarter, but in his time completed 17-of-25 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown. Sanders also added 53 rushing yards when he was forced to scramble. 

“I thought he played good,” Gundy said. “Best I remember, most of his throws were pretty accurate. I didn’t hear anyone on the headset concerned with his reads.”

Sanders has strung together a string of five straight games where he has propelled the Cowboys offense to be more consistent. Since his three interceptions against Baylor, Sanders has only turned the ball over twice in four games. In those games he has thrown for 977 yards and nine touchdowns.

Wide receiver Brennan Presley wouldn’t call it progression, but rather Sanders is showing the potential the team knows he has.

“I don’t think he has really progressed, everyone’s just seeing what he has been doing,” Presley said. “Just being able to throw in pieces and the train still keep going and not take out one piece and it stalls. When you have more people at your disposal for Spencer, he is as talented as anybody in the country.

“I’m not surprised by anything that he is doing, but I’m just happy everybody else is getting to see it.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com