Mike Yurcich knows Oklahoma State will have its work cut out against Kansas State

Mike Yurcich knows Oklahoma State will have its work cut out against Kansas State

Let's start with this. Never before can I remember an Oklahoma State win over a prominent Big 12 rival on the road that received so much angst. I had a caller on my radio show Monday that said he felt like the team didn't even win the game.

Oh how Cowboys fans have been spoiled, and this is coming off a 7-6 season last year. Please make sure to know that Oklahoma State won the game over Texas 30-27. Texas fans and the Austin media, especially the Austin American-Statesman, are citing everything including it seems the Kennedy assassination as part of the conspiracy in Texas losing. But in the end a good Oklahoma State defense, some poor decisions by Texas head coach Charlie Strong and a dropped punt snap helped seal the Cowboys win.

Head coach Mike Gundy said today that he understands with social media the pressure on his team to dominate. Gundy said he will get 40 or so texts or Twitter messages a game and afterwards he might get five or six congratulations and the rest want to know about the things that went wrong.

"To go down there and win and play in those conditions and that environment is always a plus," Gundy said of Texas. "I think you're going to find that in the league this year. There's a lot of parity, and there are a lot of teams that can play well. Each week will be a battle."  

The biggest issues from the win coming out of the offense, which started blistering hot in the first quarter before cooling down to a second half of 158 yards of total offense and only one touchdown, were whether starting quarterback Mason Rudolph had anything physically wrong with him as he struggled with his passing.

Rudolph sailed several passes and had a ball picked off and returned for a touchdown in the third quarter, and that was after fumbling the ball and seeing it returned for a touchdown in the first half.

"He's fine, just little bumps and bruises, really," offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said of his quarterback's physical condition. "He took a couple hits, but nothing serious. He came back strong and had a good practice yesterday (Sunday). He's a guy who has a lot of confidence in himself. He's a guys who bounces back and has a short memory. He learns from his mistakes. I have tremendous confidence in him and his ability."

There was also the issue of the run game going for 103 yards and the offensive line at times struggled to get much push on the Texas defensive line. Chris Carson went out with an ankle injury and Rennie Childs came on and ran hard but didn't have a lot of room to get started.

Yurcich said it can improve and a lot of it has to do with calling run plays at the right time, in the right situations, against the right defensive alignments and most importantly, the right run plays. He also said it won't be easy this Saturday as Kansas State is pretty good up front on defense.  

"They're big and strong. They defend the ball well. They're very disciplined. They don't make many mistakes," Yurcich said of the unbeaten Cats that are allowing just 12 points, 315 yards, and 78 yards rushing through three games, albeit against a typical Bill Snyder nonconference schedule.

"They play very strong and aggressive and are very good against the run. They're a defense that really understands their schemes and are very disciplined. On the interior, they've got some good size. They have the ability to take on other teams and wear them out. They're good against the pass rush as well. At the defensive end position they've got some guys who can contain you pretty well."

Oklahoma State fans, most of them you would think are happy with the wins, but as Gundy pointed out they want explosive offense and more than 4.1 rushing yards and 160.5 yards a game. Guess what? The head coach and offensive coordinator do too.


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