From The Coordinator: Hoping For Improvement

The negativity over Oklahoma State's offense has reached an all-time low. Mike Yurcich was asked how difficult is it to call plays with the lack of execution by the offensive line. What kind of struggle is there in devising a game plan? The Cowboys face a Baylor offense averaging 585 yards and 50.1 points a game and a defense that only allows an average of 322 yards and 21 points a game.

Against Texas, Baylor struggled on offense but allowed 334 yards and seven points to Texas in, ironically, a 28-7 Baylor win. So, what can Oklahoma State get done on Saturday going against such a really explosive opponent in Baylor?

"Well, I don't have a crystal ball. I'd like to think we're going to improve," Yurcich said and he had a straight face. He had a look of somebody that was ready to go back to the OSU football coaches offices to get back to work.

"We're going to work very hard on improving. We're working on the plan right now. Monday is a big prep day for us, and we're trying to get the plan installed. It will be a long day, but we'll pound through it and be ready to install our base concept for tomorrow."

It was discussed on my radio show that quarterback Daxx Garman is a sacrificial lamb. Garman has stayed tough and taking a lot of hits and punishment. As a result, freshman and possible quarterback of the future Mason Rudolf has been spared the potential punishment and the high probability of lack of success.

Last Saturday, in my opinion, Garman actually showed improvement. You can't blame him for the three drops. I only noted two bad throwing decisions, and the sacks were hard to avoid as quick as Longhorn defenders got turned loose.

"I thought he really battled his butt off on Saturday. I think he played tough," Yurcich said of Garman, who was 17-of-29 passing with the one pick for 158 yards. "For as much as he's been through, he's got a really great mindset right now and I'm proud of the way he's bearing through all of this.

"All of this adversity that he's facing is not easy, so he's doing a really good job of being true to himself and staying consistent from a mental standpoint. Going back to last Saturday, there would be a play here or a play there that we would like to take back from an execution standpoint, but he really played tough and that's all you can really ask."

As for the offensive line, I would like to think there would be some improvement and so would Yurcich. It is a major block, pun intended, to getting anything accomplished right now on offense.

"It all starts up front. The game has evolved, but if you look at the best offenses in the country you'll see very good offensive lines. You'll also see very good quarterbacks," said the Cowboys offensive coordinator.

"You have to play as a unit. It's not ever about one position, so you have to be well-rounded. Every position is intertwined with everything else. It's called 'team' for a reason. Everything is relative and everything plays on each other, as far as positions. That's the beauty of this game. It takes 11 guys to operate and function. To have success, you need 11 playing."

This week there really seems like no hope, but talking to players they are ready to get back at it. Blake Jarwin was at Monday's press conference and he said he believes his offensive teammates are ready to go again and believe they can win in Waco. If they do, it would be more amazing and a greater cause for celebration than the 49-17 win was last year on national television over the then third-ranked Bears. It would be a football miracle!


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