State of the Cowboys: Week 10

After each game, this feature will analyze several aspects of the Oklahoma State football team. Each category will either rise (+1), fall (-1) or stay even (0). Each change is based on the Cowboys performance last week. The count began after the Cowboys' loss against Arizona -- that calibrated the chart (considering we didn't learn much from the Savannah State blowout).

The Cowboys defeated Texas Tech on Senior Day at Boone Pickens Stadium, 59-21.

QUARTERBACK: Rising (+2)
I'm afraid to say this, but finally, it's true: the Cowboys have found their starting quarterback. Junior Clint Chelf all but has the position locked up after Saturday. He was 11-21 for 229 yards and three touchdowns against the Red Raiders. But his most important number?: Zero. That's how many interceptions he threw against the Big 12's top ranked defense. So far, Chelf has brought a level of maturity and decision making to the field. Walsh also contributed on Saturday, adding two short-yardage touchdowns – one passing and one rushing. OSU gave its two-QB system a test run in hopes they can be even better in Norman next week.

GROUND GAME: Rising (+3)
Joseph Randle could have easily hit the 100-yard mark on Saturday. It would have been his seventh of the season. But when the Cowboys got up by 45 points early in the fourth quarter, Randle was replaced by Desmond Roland in slop time. Randle led OSU with 91 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. Five more Cowboy rushers added 165 yards and two more touchdowns. The Red Raiders entered the game ranked No. 18 in the nation in total defense. The Cowboys ground game ran right through them on Saturday.

AIR GAME: Rising (+2)
Another game, another breakout performance from a Cowboy wide receiver. One week after Josh Stewart tore up West Virginia, Isaiah Anderson destroyed the Red Raider secondary. His Senior Day effort resulted in 176 receiving yards and three touchdowns on just four catches. Despite average performances from other OSU wide receivers, this unit in undoubtedly on the rise. Anderson is fully healthy and the Cowboys need a senior leader in the group.

FRONT SEVEN: Rising (+4)
Entering the game, Texas Tech had only allowed 15 sacks in 10 games. That's what makes OSU's three sacks all that more impressive. Calvin Barnett, Nigel Nicholas and Joe Mitchell each took down TTU quarterback Seth Deoge. The Cowboys also turned in one of their best run-stopping performances of the year, allowing just 99 yards on the ground. This group continues to dominate and continues to rise.

SECONDARY: Rising (+2)
Similar to last week, we expected Texas Tech to put up video game numbers with its air attack. And it did in the first half with 198 passing yards. But the OSU secondary locked down after that. In the second half, Doege was 5-of-12, for 30 yards and an interception by James Castleman. Shameil Gary also hauled in a pick. Justin Gilbert, who has no interceptions this season, dropped two sure-handed picks. Overall, a nice performance by an up-and-down secondary.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Rising (+2)
Zack Craig achieved a rare feat on Saturday. He blocked two punts, returning one for a touchdown. Quinn Sharp made a 51-yarder and missed a 42-yarder. No kicks return for touchdowns allowed and none recorded. It was another solid day for a blossoming group.

OVERALL: Rising (+3)
The Cowboys put themselves into the top echelon of the Big 12 conference with Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday with a dominating performance. Chelf looks like the leader the Cowboys' need at this point in the season. The defense is at its best. Many key position players are back at full health after injury. It was the perfect warm up win as the Cowboys face Bedlam next.

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