Cowboy Offense To Test Hoosiers in Tempe

Bloomington, Ind. – There's more to Indiana's bowl game opponent than a coaching tirade. While Oklahoma State is best known this year for Coach Mike Gundy's postgame tirade in September, the Cowyboy offense is something to note as well...

Bloomington, Ind. – There's more to Indiana's bowl game opponent than a coaching tirade.

Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy grabbed national attention for his public berating of a local columnist for a story criticizing quarterback Bobby Reid in September. But truth be told, Gundy's temper is probably just about the only thing IU fans know about their Insight Bowl foe.

But there's more to this 6-6 Cowboy team than a volatile coach. While the Cowboys enter Dec. 31, Tempe, Ariz., bowl game having lost three out of their last four, there's still plenty to be worried about for the Hoosiers.

Offensively, Oklahoma State has been one of the nation's most productive units. The Cowboys rank in the top 10 nationally in rushing offense (7th - 245.8 yards/game) and total offense (9th – 484.1 yards/game) and scored at least 35 points in seven of 12 games.

Leading the way is quarterback Zac Robinson, a 6-3, 205-pound sophomore who replaced Reid as the team's starter in September. A dual-threat quarterback much like IU's Kellen Lewis, Robinson completed 177-of-299 passes for 2,522 yards and 20 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. On the ground, Robinson rushed for another 777 yards on 125 carries and another seven touchdowns.

That's 3,299 yards of total offense, a total that ranks 28th nationally. By comparison, IU's Lewis ranks 22nd nationally with 3,492 yards of total offense (2,839 passing, 653 rushing).

But the Cowboys aren't a one-man band. While Robinson might prove to the be the biggest challenge for the IU defense, Oklahoma State also has a couple of talented running backs in Dontrell Savage and Kendall Hunter. Savage ranks 18th nationally with 1,172 rushing yards, while Hunter has run for another 663 yards on 99 carries. Savage missed two September games due to injury but has since returned and rushed for at least 100 yards in nine straight games, including a 25-carry, 212-yard performance in Oklahoma State's 45-14 win over Nebraska.

While the offense has been outstanding, the defense has been suspect. Gundy's team ranked 103rd nationally in total defense (446.7 yards/game) and 116th in passing defense (292.8 yards/game). Oklahoma State's opponents averaged 29.3 points/game, and four out of OSU's last five foes scored at least 38 points.

In Oklahoma State's defense, it played a handful of the nation's elite teams this fall. OSU started the year with a 35-14 loss to Georgia, the nation's third-ranked team which just missed out on a shot at the BCS title game. In the last month the Cowboys also suffered setbacks to a pair of top-10 teams in Oklahoma (L 49-17) and Kansas (L 43-28) while also dropped a 38-35 game to Texas.

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