Cowboy News and Notes

OSU sophomore kick returner Justin Gilbert was named the Big 12 special teams player of the week on Monday after he returned a kick off 96 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter against Tulsa.

Gilbert also turned in a solid performance from his cornerback spot, snagging an interception in the first half that he returned 24 yards to set up a Cowboy scoring drive.

Randle off to a hot start

Three games into his career as the Cowboys' starter, Joseph Randle has been making quite the impact for the Cowboys. Following a workman like 25-carry, 128-yard, 3-touchdown performance in the sloppy conditions at Tulsa, the sophomore from Wichita, Kan., is ranked eighth nationally in rushing yards and second in the Big 12.

In the Big 12, he's behind on Missouri's Henry Josey with 378 yards on 6.1 per carry. Perhaps even more impressively, Randle is fourth nationally and first in the conference in rushing touchdowns with seven.

With his 117 receiving yards added in, Randle leads the team in all-purpose yards with a 165-ypg average.

Tannehill better with ball security

The Cowboys were able to stave off a tough A&M team with a late field goal to win last season's meeting and forced former Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson into five turnovers in the process. Current QB Ryan Tannehill has had far more success than his predecessor in taking care of the football. Tannehill only has one turnover this season (an interception against Idaho) and Cowboy defensive coordinator praised the Aggie signal caller for improving that area.

"They cut down on their turnovers. They had a ton of turnovers with their previous quarterback. Not all of them were his fault; some of it was bad luck. But Tannehill is an excellent quarterback, he throws the ball well, moves around the pocket and they've got a great group of receivers and running backs to help him out."

High-octane matchup

ESPN's decision to send the College Gameday crew to Saturday's West Virginia/LSU game might turn out to be a poor one if the Oklahoma State and Texas A&M offenses put on the show they're capable of.

OSU ranks second in the nation in passing (417.3), total offense (601) and third in scoring (52.3).

Texas A&M isn't quite as high as the Cowboys but they still bring a lot to the table. The Aggies rank 18th in total offense (487.5) and 17th in scoring (41.5). However, the dynamic Aggie rushing tandem of Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael is off to a somewhat slow start, ranking 47th nationally in rushing. A&M's rushing attack ranks 10 spots lower than OSU's despite the Cowboys' pass-happy approach.

Expect a nail biter

OSU enters always rowdy College Station riding the nation's third-longest road winning streak (6) and has won 10 of its past 11 contests away from Stillwater.

That said, the series with A&M has been decided by close calls the past several years. Since 1997, seven times the matchup has been decided by five points or less. It is also the first time both teams have faced off when ranked in the top 10 at the same time (OSU No. 6/7; A&M No. 8/8). The Cowboys have had success in the past against top 10 teams on the road, winning six times.

1944: Oklahoma State 46, No. 7 Tulsa 40

1967: Oklahoma State 10, No. 3 Colorado 7

1974: Oklahoma State 26, No. 10 Arkansas 7

1976: Oklahoma State 31, No. 5 Oklahoma 24

2001: Oklahoma State 16, No. 4 Oklahoma 13

2008: No. 17 Oklahoma State 28, No. 3 Missouri 23

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