Cowboys Need to Find a Way for Offense to Get Mojo Back
STILLWATER --Some very sobering numbers for Oklahoma State football following the disappointing 41-13 loss in Bedlam last Saturday and as the 5-2 Cowboys limp into the final three games of the season. There is still a chance, with some help, to make it to the Big 12 Championship Game, but the loss to Oklahoma makes it seem farfetched as do the numbers.
The Cowboys are seventh in the Big 12 in scoring offense averaging 25.9 points a game. They are sixth in total offense at 387.4-yards a contest, seventh in passing offense completing 61 percent of the attempts for 213-yards a game. They are ninth in sacks against, only ahead of Kansas, with 21 sacks allowed, an average of three a game.
I bet all those Oklahoma State fans that made fun of the likes of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich or walk-on turned starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius regret their gestures. I can't really remember the last time that Oklahoma State averaged under 400-yards of offense a game in a season.
The goal of winning the Big 12 is not eliminated, but it is further from reach. Playing good offense would be start and we all know the offensive line has been under siege from injuries, from attrition, etc. Time to piece this back together.
"As coaches we're on salary here, we love to coach the game. As players, these guys are on scholarship or walked-on obviously, they love to play the game" head coach Mike Gundy said on Monday being philosophical. "And then there's something to be said about life. We get up and do the very best we can and we compete every single day and try to improve ourselves. That's the message that they get, and they buy into it. The good thing about young people is they're very resilient. Our job is to get them practiced, get them good game plans, get them enjoying being around each other and get them prepared to play Saturday morning."
Get them to blocking, running, passing, catching, and playing offense against a Texas Tech defense that is ninth in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, and passing defense. They are above only Kansas in all four of those areas.
Expect Spencer Sanders to start, and honestly, I don't see why not. Sanders was doing his best when he was being assaulted by Oklahoma defensive end Ronnie Perkins and his teammates.
"Overall he played really good. He didn't have much of a chance," Gundy evaluated of Sanders' play. "We struggled, we were outmatched up front against them for a variety of reasons. We didn't have any effort problems, guys were playing hard and competing, but physically up front we were outmatched in that game. We knew we had some issues going in and then when Teven (Jenkins) got injured that put us in a more difficult situation, brought in another young guy, played a little musical chairs. We've practiced that some, not a lot. The quarterbacks played OK based on the circumstances they were presented on Saturday night."
Gundy, and I agree with him is not down on either offensive line coach Charlie Dickey or offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn. The hand was a bad deal this season, but it isn't changing, so the approach and the strategy has too.
"I do like Coach Dickey and I like what Coach Dunn is doing with our schemes, and I like the effort we're getting from our players," Gundy added. "The best answer I can give you is we're gonna try to come up with seven guys that we feel good about and prepare for the next game. As long as each one of those guys gives us everything they have, then I'm OK with that. We can't control some of the things that have happened and so we just ask those guys to do the best they can and give the effort they can and play hard. We were getting that."
They need a little more this Saturday. The season still has promise but losing to Texas Tech would signal an end to that promise and only increase the criticism from the outside.