Big-Play Potential Pleases Holgorsen

Dana Holgorsen spent almost as much time on TV as his players did in a 33-16 throttling of Texas on Saturday night. The reason being is that now, more than at any point this season, the first-year coordinator's offense looks completely unstoppable.

The Cowboy offense demoralized Texas, particularly in the second quarter. Texas entered the contest ranked fifth nationally in yards allowed, giving up 267.3. OSU had 308 yards at halftime.

Texas also entered ranked second in pass defense, allowing just 132 yards per game. Justin Blackmon had 145 by himself and the Pokes rolled up 409 in all.

As other offenses explode and then swoon across the country, Holgorsen's troops rank No. 1 nationally with 547.5 yards per game. Ten games into the season, the national statistical leader charts are a who's who of Cowboy playmakers.

But what makes the Cowboys' (9-1, 5-1 Big 12) offensive machine run smoothly is that the man calling the shots is never satisfied and deflects any questions about being surprised by the level of success he's experienced in his first year in Stillwater.

"We're where we were in our first year at Houston, statistically speaking," he said. "Whether it's stuff that matters or stuff that doesn't, it's relatively similar. The big-play potential is something that's encouraging but at this level with the program being established, there are guys around here that can make plays."

That has about summed up Holgorsen's approach this season: He doesn't laud credit on himself or what his team has accomplished, which has avoided any complacency creeping in on the Cowboys.

The trend stood pat after the Cowboys' convincing victory against the Longhorns. Holgorsen was pleased with the performance but he also knows there is room for improvement.

"We had some negative plays and some penalties, which I didn't like, but we overcame them … the big thing was we didn't lose the turnover battle, didn't lose the penalty battle, didn't lose the third down battle and converted in the red zone," he said. "Overall, it was pretty productive."

While that may seem like a pretty serious understatement to any Cowboy fans who watched OSU move the ball with ease against UT, that's just Holgorsen.

And Holgorsen's ability to downplay could prove to be important as the Cowboys prepare for their final road test of the season on Saturday against struggling Kansas. The Jayhawks (3-7, 1-5) rank 98th in points allowed (33 per game) while the Pokes are ranked third in points scored (45 ppg), but Holgorsen isn't taking KU's playmakers for granted.

"(The Jayhawks) are still learning. You have a bunch of kids that play hard and are used to winning," he said. "They are well coached, they play well, they play hard and they gave Nebraska all they wanted last week."

All three of Kansas' wins this season have come in Lawrence, including an upset of then-No. 15 Georgia Tech and a shocking 35-point comeback against Colorado.

The Cowboys, who are 4-0 on the road this season and 7-1 away from home the past two years, have developed a penchant for winning outside of the Boone.

Holgorsen said OSU has used an "us vs. the world" mentality and are hoping to complete the rod sweep of the Sunflower State.

"It's worked, we've lost more games at home than we have on the road so playing on the road is not big deal to us," Holgorsen said.


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