Smith Runs Past Longhorns

Todd Monken doesn't like how easy it's become to define players by stats. In fact, he can't stand it. And the Oklahoma State offensive coordinator used running back Jeremy Smith as his most recent example.

Smith played a huge role in the No. 6 Cowboys' 38-26 victory against No. 22 Texas on Saturday. The sophomore carried the ball seven times for 140 yards and two touchdowns for a 20-yard average per carry. He came up huge for the Pokes in Austin, but that doesn't mean it was any more impressive than how he's performed all season, according to Monken.

"I just think that when you have good players and they work hard, all they can control is what they do with the opportunities they're given," said Monken, OSU's first-year offensive coordinator. "We're way too stat-driven as a sport and a lot of times that's how we rate guys. That's not fair. All of a sudden, we're sitting here saying, ‘Oh, (Jeremy) must have had his biggest game.' That's not necessarily the case. Jeremy does a great job when he's given opportunities. He's done it all season and that continued here today.

"Also, It really broke open for him. I mean, are you kidding me with the holes that opened up? The o-line did a great job. It all works together."

And it really did all work together as the Cowboys earned their second-straight victory in Austin. And, just as the Cowboys have done all season, they found a way to win. On Saturday, it was Smith who provided the offensive spark.

"Oh my gosh he had a great day today," starting running back Joseph Randle said. "The holes were there but he found them and he hit them with speed. He definitely boosted the team's confidence today. We needed him with the way some things were going and he stepped up and did a great job. He always does a great job."

While Smith's 140 yards and two touchdowns were both season highs, his consistency speaks for itself. Smith's streak of 10-straight games with a touchdown ties Cowboy great Terry Miller for the second-longest streak in OSU history. Smith's streak started with the Cowboys' win in Austin last season.

"We know Jeremy Smith is good. On most teams he would probably be the starter," receiver Justin Blackmon said.

And Smith made plays like a starter in the Pokes' victory. It wasn't just the 30 and 74-yard touchdown runs that were so beneficial for OSU, it was the timing of them.

The first came on a fourth-and-1 from the 30 that boosted the Cowboys' lead to 21-10 heading into halftime and the second gave the Pokes a two touchdown lead after UT had scrawled to within seven.

"(Smith) is a beast. Today was a game where (Texas) literally sold out to stop the pass," quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "Those two backs kind of threw us on their shoulders and carried us. Jeremy had two really big ones that were backbreakers."

Speaking of backbreakers, Smith's 74-yard burst was the longest play from scrimmage for the OSU offense this season. But after all was said and done, Smith continued to deflect the credit off of himself.

"All the credit goes to the o-line," Smith said. "They pretty much did their thing… coach always preaches, ‘one cut and go,' and that's what I did and the line did a great job."


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