Holgorsen: OSU Offense Playing Its Best

Oklahoma State's offense seems to somehow get better week in and week out under first-year coordinator Dana Holgorsen. The Cowboys set a school record with 725 yards of total offense in a 55-28 drubbing of No. 22 Baylor on Saturday, surpassing the previous school record of 722 in a 37-point blowout of Tulsa on Sept. 18.

And as the Cowboys prepare to head to Austin, Texas, searching for their first win in the state's capitol since 1944, Holgorsen said he thinks OSU is hitting the road playing its best football of the season.

"Yeah, I think (we are playing our best)," he said. "We're kind of starting to jell. We got a little complacent at times. We probably busted more assignments than we have all year (against Baylor), honestly, but we made a lot of plays. We blocked well and we played smart; we didn't have bunch of penalties and turnovers and stuff. We've got to get missed assignments cleaned up and just continue to press on.

"We've been saying since game one, just get one game better, each week, get one game better, and if we get a game better, we'll have a chance to have some success and have a chance to win."

And win the Cowboys have. OSU is alone in first place in the Big 12 South at 8-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Holgorsen has said in recent weeks he has been surprised at just how effective his offense has been in Year One, especially given the season started with a slew of first-time starters. But Holgorsen knew they had it in them all along.

"We felt that we could get it to this point," Holgorsen said. "You never know how the team's going to mesh and how everybody is going to play well together. I felt pretty good about it or I wouldn't have taken the job. It's an established program. Coach Gundy's done a good job with it for five years; they're used to winning, the facilities are good, so we knew we had something to work with."

A few other things he had to work with include Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter and Brandon Weeden.

Weeden, a junior quarterback, was named the Big 12 offensive player of the week for a second time after setting school records for passing yards (435) and completions (34) against Baylor. It was the fourth time a Cowboy has been named offensive player of the week this season under Holgorsen's watch.

The other two are Hunter and Blackmon. Both Cowboy playmakers earned a special distinction on Monday by being named among the 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's most outstanding player.

Hunter is the nation's third leading rusher with 1,240 yards with 14 touchdowns and Blackmon leads the country in receiving with 1,285 yards and has 17 total scores (15 receiving).

Blackmon and Hunter spearhead a Cowboys are third nationally in total offense (549.2 yards per game) and scoring (46.3 points per game).

And Holgorsen said he knows his offense will need their reliability and leadership as the Pokes face a struggling Texas (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) squad that still ranks fifth nationally in total defense and second in pass defense.

"They're well-coached, they've got a bunch of energy. They're not inexperienced at all," he said. "They're athletic, their schemes are sound. They play with a bunch of effort; play with a bunch of energy. It will be a challenge. They're top two in every category defensively other than scoring defense, which they've been put in some bad situations this year too, so they're good and it will be a challenge."


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