Will The Cowboys Go Fast Against TCU?

Your guess is as good as mine whether Oklahoma State will ramp up the offense more Saturday than against the last team they faced wearing purple. The Cowboys seemed to put points on the board when they decided to go fast, including the fourth quarter drive in which they marched the length of the field for what proved to be the game's winning points.

The question begs, why didn't the Cowboys, who went up and down the field for three quarters in San Antonio against UTSA in tempo and looked more comfortable going quick in an otherwise uncomfortable day in West Virginia, go fast more often? Will they go faster against the best defense they've faced so far this season on Saturday playing TCU?

"We lost three receivers for the last game so it limited our ability to play fast," explained head coach Mike Gundy when asked Monday during his news conference. "There are times in a game where we can move really quick then based on match ups and what we think gives us the best chance to score points. It varies some from week to week."

What about this week against a TCU team that Gundy and the offensive coaching staff might seriously want to get out of rhythm or certainly out of their comfort zone? The problem is TCU is one of those defenses that plays a lot of man coverage and base up front, and they do so in order to allow their players to play fast and not have to think as much.

"Well, I expect every team to be physical, but I think TCU is very physical," said offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. "From a talent standpoint, from their front four to their front seven to their safeties playing aggressively in the box, they want to tighten you down and want to stop the run. From a physical standpoint, it will be one of our toughest battles all season."

Along those lines, it is important to have every assignment down and don't risk an missed assignment or being sloppy. You miss a block up front with TCU and bad things can happen. Tempo is likely to be measured again.

"We have to make sure we're getting quality reps on every snap. We want to be sound on our assignments and make sure we know where we're going and know the adjustments we have to make based on the defense," added Yurcich.

"At times, we need to take our foot off the gas in regards to tempo to do that. We're working hard on it, and our guys know it's part of our identity, so we don't want to lose that. We want to continue to progress and be fast on offense."

The bye week went well, according to Yurcich, who we know spent at least Friday night of his bye weekend in Rock Hill, S.C., watching Northwestern defeat Clover 49-6.

Yurcich saw Cowboys quarterback commitment Mason Rudolph lead the Trojans to the win that makes them 7-0. Rudolph was 14-of-16 passing for 215 yards with five touchdowns. On the season, he has completed 73 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards with 25 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Rudolph is scheduled to be in Stillwater for the TCU game on Saturday.

As for the bye week, Yurcich said the offense accomplished what it needed to accomplish in order to be prepared to win a game this week.

"Yes. We got back to the fundamentals and the basics. We got back to our base schemes and ball security," he said. "We're continuing to work to get better at those things."

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