Cowboy Football: Numbers and Trends

We were asked back in August if we were going to include our projections on stats for this season in Go Pokes Magazine. For about five years running we did that in our August issue, but after last season we have discontinued that feature.

Everything runs it's course and that really did. Besides the last three season the Cowboys had become more consistent in their season numbers. We thought this weekly slice of numbers and trends would be more fun. We are know into our third week and we've been doing pretty good. Our turnover number forced by the defense against Arizona was not so good.

Do not confuse this with Top Matchups and Predictions which will make it's seasonal debut later this week. However, with some Cowboys calling my radio show on Triple Play Sports Radio and asking about some breakdowns, I decided that this new segment might be fun and interesting as we will take it week by week. We'll take some game specific and season long statistical breakdowns and look at them. Some will be more predictions and guesses, but some will become more trends as we progress through the season.

Here is some of how we fared with our projections in week two with Arizona:

One of our topics was how the Cowboys defense would compare to how they played Arizona in the Valero Alamo Bowl last December.

Points: Alamo Bowl-10 Thursday-16 Actual-14

First Downs: Alamo Bowl-25 Thursday-21 Actual-21

Rushing Yards: Alamo Bowl-90 Thursday-62 Actual-41

Passing Yards: Alamo Bowl-280 Thursday-301 Actual-398

Turnovers: Alamo Bowl-4 Thursday-5 Actual-1

Sacks: Alamo Bowl-5 Thursday-3 Actual-1

How Will Brandon Weeden Do Compared to What He Threw for Against Arizona at the Alamo?

Weeden's Line: Alamo Bowl-25-of-41, no int. Thursday-32-of-44, no int. Actual-42-of-53, 1 int. Passing Yards: Alamo Bowl-240-yards Thursday-348-yards Actual-397-yards Touchdowns: Alamo Bowl-2 Thursday-4 Actual-2

Now for our topics for this week:

You've heard so much about tempo in the preseason as Oklahoma State fans were concerned that new offensive coordinator Todd Monken coming from the NFL would not match the speed and intensity that former coordinator and now West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen showed in running the offense. The topic came up so much in interviews that by the time the first game rolled around Monken was starting to get sensitive. Here are the exact numbers from last season and our predictions for the rest of the season. You may be surprised at these.

Here goes:

Last Season Opponent - # Plays by OSU - # Plays by Opp. This Season - # Plays by OSU - # Plays by Opponent

Washington State - 81 - 71 ULL - 87 - 71

Troy - 76 - 76 Arizona - 84 - 72

Tulsa - 77 - 79 @Tulsa - 88 - 79

Texas A&M - 68 - 106 @Texas A&M - 78 - 81

@ULL - 87 - 83 Kansas - 91 - 62

@Texas Tech - 81 - 83 @Texas - 80 - 72

Nebraska - 71 - 79 @Missouri - 88 - 84

@Kansas State - 75 - 75 Baylor - 85 - 84

@Texas - 75 - 70 Kansas State - 77 - 69

@Kansas - 86 - 66 @Texas Tech - 84 - 80

Oklahoma - 66 - 107 Oklahoma - 78 - 78

Alamo Bowl/Arizona - 88 - 61 2011 Bowl Game - ?

So far this season Joseph Randle is averaging 6.8-yards per carry and Jeremy Smith is averaging 3.8-yards per carry. At the same time Randle has scored four touchdowns and Smith, who has actually scored in the last six Oklahoma State football games dating back to his tough touchdown run inside the 10-yard-line at Texas, has scored two touchdowns. Randle has virtually doubled up Smith in yards per carry and touchdowns. The question begs, why wouldn't you just keep Randle in more and give him more carries?

Head coach Mike Gundy answered that question in part this week when he talked about Smith coming in to run on fresh legs. The other part of that answer is that Smith is given different circumstances to run the football. Smith gets the ball on a lot of the short yardage and goal line situations when defenses are stacked to stop the run. You can call those the tough yards if you like.

Our question is, at the end of the year will the disparity of yards per carry and touchdowns be the same, almost two-to-one that it is after two games?

I will say that it won't and here are my projections for the stat line of both players at the end of the regular season, not counting the bowl game.

Here goes:

Joseph Randle: 217 carries - 1,257-yards - 5.79-ypc - 17 TDs

Jeremy Smith: 111 carries - 584-yards - 5.26-ypc - 11 TDs

You can see that we have Smith catching up in both yards per carry and in touchdowns. Randle will still have a sizeable advantage in both, but he will not have Smith doubled up. The prevailing influence on these number will continue to be the situations that the two backs are dealing with when they collect their carries.

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