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 seasons 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 now into our fifth week and we've been doing pretty good. We even have some season long numbers/trends that we will continue to follow each week.

Do not confuse this with Top Matchups and Predictions which will come out every Thursday. However, with some Cowboys fans 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.

Before we get to the review portion of this, which gets larger each week, let's check out new entry and for the Kansas game we are going to look at second half domination. The reason is that the Cowboys are coming off a second half comeback over Texas A&M and the Cowboys have had two big second half comebacks the two of the last three times they have played Kansas including last season.

In the second half comeback in 2006 when the Cowboys from 14-0 down to win 42-32 under probably the greatest performance by quarterback Bobby Reid while he was at OSU, the Cowboys had 603 yards of total offense with 192 yards on the ground and 411 yards through the air.

Last season in Lawrence, the Cowboys used the second quarter to get ahead 20-14 at halftime, but came on in the second half for 28 points on the way to a 48-14 win. Oklahoma State finished with 597-yards of total offense with 189 yards on the ground and 408 yards through the air.

Look at those numbers again:

2006 - 603 yards of total offense with 192 yards rushing and 411 yards passing

2010 - 597 yards of total offense with 189 yards rushing and 408 yards passing

Then there was two weeks ago at Texas A&M, another strong second half showing.

2011 vs. A&M - 484 yds of total offense with 46 yds rushing and 438 yds passing

Honestly, I don't think Oklahoma State will need a second half comeback against Kansas this season. The Cowboys, undefeated and ranked sixth and seventh in the polls, are a heavy favorite and Kansas is struggling on defense. However, the Jayhawks have made a habit this season of strong first half performances followed by almost complete collapse in the second half against worthy and talented opponents.

Our prediction for Oklahoma State offensive numbers on Saturday versus Kansas.

2011 vs. KU - 579 yds of total offense with 193 yds rushing and 386 yds passing

We are still following our trends and predictions from a couple of weeks ago on tempo and how many plays the Oklahoma State offense runs under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. They have run more plays at a higher tempo thus far than Dana Holgorsen last season, and, in fact, almost reversed their numbers from the Texas A&M game a year ago.

Last Season Opponent - # Plays by OSU - # Plays by Opp. This Season Predictions - # Plays by OSU - # Plays by Opponent followed by Actual

Washington State - 81 - 71 ULL - 87 - 71

Troy - 76 - 76 Arizona - 84 - 72

Tulsa - 77 - 79 @Tulsa - 88 - 79 Actual - OSU 88, Tulsa 85

Texas A&M - 68 - 106 @Texas A&M - 78 - 81 Actual - OSU 95, A&M 74

@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 - ?

After week two Joseph Randle has virtually doubled up Jeremy 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, 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

The current numbers are:

Randle: 83 carries - 461 yards - 5.6 ypc - 7 TDs

Smith: 41 carries - 175 yards - 4.3 ypc - 4 TDs

You can see that we have Smith catching up in both yards per carry and in touchdowns. Randle will still have a sizable 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.

Last week's topic was Texas A&M. What is the secret to the Cowboys now four game winning streak over the Aggies. That last win a week and a half ago gives the Cowboys bragging rights against a team they recruit heavily against and likely will continue to. Thanks to the Aggies departure to the SEC those bragging rights will be owned for some time.

2010 Game: Oklahoma State 38 Texas A&M 35

Score by quarters:

A&M 14-7-0-14 - 35, OSU 0-7-21-10 - 38

Stats - A&M/OSU

Yards Rushing: 126/67

Yards Passing: 409/284

Total Yards: 535/351

Turnovers Lost: 5/3

3rd Down Conversion: 11-of-21/5-of-13

Sacks By: 1/4

2009 Game: Oklahoma State 36 Texas A&M 31

Score by quarters:

OSU 7-7-15-7 - 36, A&M 0-15-7-9 - 31

Stats - OSU/A&M

Yards Rushing: 169/109

Yards Passing: 279/273

Total Yards: 448/382

Turnovers Lost: 1/0

3rd Down Conversion: 6-of-14/7-of-16

Sacks By: 4/0

2008 Game: Oklahoma State 56 Texas A&M 28

Score by quarters:

A&M 7-0-7-14 - 28, OSU 21-7-14-14 - 56

Stats - A&M/OSU

Yards Rushing: 184/215

Yards Passing: 218/186

Total Yards: 402/401

Turnovers Lost: 5/1

3rd Down Conversion: 7-of-16/6-of-12

Sacks By: 0/2

The prevailing trends going into the most recent game were kind of interesting. In each of the games the one stat that Oklahoma State has always won is sacks. In the three games the Cowboys have sacked Aggie quarterbacks 10 times to just one sack by A&M. Going into the most recent game Texas A&M led the nation in sacks with 5.5 a game, but the Cowboys weren't far off with 3.0 sacks a game. Another trend is in each game and win, Oklahoma State had shut out A&M in one quarter. In 2010 it was the third. In 2009 it was the first and in 2008 it was the second quarter. The only other stat close in those three games was third down conversion where OSU has always been right around 50 percent. I stuck with the sacks and a shut out quarter. I felt Oklahoma State needed to have more sacks than the Aggies.

Here's how it came out.

2011 Game: Oklahoma State 30 Texas A&M 29

Score by quarters:

OSU 3-0-21-6 - 30, A&M 10-10-0-9- 29

Stats - OSU/A&M

Yards Rushing: 46/162

Yards Passing: 438/309

Total Yards: 484/471

Turnovers Lost: 1/4

3rd Down Conversion: 8-of-18/7-of-13

Sacks By: 2/3

The sacks trend did not work out, the third down conversion was close, but the shutout quarter was there and it was the third just like the 2010 comeback win in Stillwater against Texas A&M. The big number here was turnovers, all in the second half with four total, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

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