Cowboy Football: Numbers and Trends

I saw a post from one of our subscribers that said he was giving up. He can't figure out how the Oklahoma State defense led by Bill Young is getting it done, giving up all these yards but coming up with all these turnovers and playing a very complimentary role to the powerful Oklahoma State offense.

I believe it was DFW Poke that just said he was going to kick back and enjoy it the rest of the way. The Cowboys defense is the spread equivalent to defense. It is a defense that counter punches, giving up yards only to come back with explosive plays like fumbles, interceptions, sacks, and tackles for losses that change the situation and put it in their favor or simply end the opposing offensive series in a blink of an eye.

Something will have to give this week as Oklahoma State comes in tops in the nation in turnover margin and turnovers averaging 2.38 turnovers a game. Kansas State is second in the league at 1.12. Oklahoma State has forced 12 fumbles and intercepted 17 passes. Kansas State has only lost five fumbles and thrown three interceptions. Kansas State is second (behind Texas) in time of possession owning the ball an average of 34:23 a game, while Oklahoma State is last with 27:14 of possession on average. Third down conversions have Oklahoma State on top with 52 percent success, while Kansas State is only allowing 35.6 percent of opponent's third down conversions. The Wildcats are last in total offense and third in total defense. Oklahoma State is third in total offense and next to last in total defense.

You know what is next. Here are our projections for Saturday:

Turnovers OSU - 1 (fumble), Kansas State - 3 (2 fumbles, 1 interception)

Time of Possession OSU - 26:21, Kansas State - 33:39

Third Down Conversions OSU 8-of-12 for 67%, Kansas State 5-of-14 for 36%

Total Yards Gained OSU - 548, Kansas State - 368

Of course, the most important prediction is the score and you will have to wait later in the week for that. We have been on fire lately with the results of Missouri and Baylor being within a few points of what we predicted.

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. Monken's offense has used tempo to wear down several opponents and they are capable of going very fast. The number came down some against Kansas, but that was because the Cowboys were embarrassing the Jayhawks. Late in the game they also went almost exclusively to the run.

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 Actual - OSU 76, Kansas 81

@Texas Tech - 81 - 83 @Texas - 80 - 72 Actual - OSU 68, Texas 89

Nebraska - 71 - 79 @Missouri - 88 - 84 Actual - OSU 81, Missouri 80

@Kansas State - 75 - 75 Baylor - 85 - 84 Actual - OSU 63, Baylor 105

@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 had 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.

I have also badly underestimated the total run production of Randle and Smith combined as it now appears that they will exceed my projections, possibly by a bunch.

Here goes:

Projection after week two:

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: 135 carries - 842 yards - 6.2 ypc - 16 TDs

Smith: 67 carries - 502 yards - 7.5 ypc - 7 TDs

It is very clear that these guys will finish much better than I anticipated. Check out those yards per carry averages as they have shot way past what I projected.

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