We've been doing this several ways and I think I've decided that after flooding you with videos on Saturday night we will come back with the more extensive written reviews which come after looking at about two and a half hours of game tape on Sunday.
The Oklahoma State offense was pretty solid throughout the game as even with Chris Carson (ankle) and Rennie Childs (concussion symptoms) out the Cowboys still produced 490 yards of total offense against a pretty solid defensive unit in Kansas State. They did it was some non-standard running plays such as jets, jet flips, reverses, double reverses, and worked to get both Jeff Carr and Raymond Taylor on the outside more.
By the way, both players with some healthy direction from quarterback Mason Rudolph, who did a good job in pass protection and blitz pickup. Also, on the running back front, Childs injury was not in practice but was apparently suffered in the Texas game and just surfaced or he just reported it later after the team returned to Stillwater.
Rudolph was outstanding Saturday against Kansas State, connecting on 34 of 55 passes, both career highs for him. There were three passes we counted as drops, and another two that were well thrown and were what we call 50/50 balls and had those been completed now you are talking some rarified air in 39 of 55, at least when you get into that many attempts. He threw for 437 yards with one interception that was a deflection on a 50/50 ball and three touchdowns.
"In the end, we found a way to win," head coach Mike Gundy said. "Our quarterback played really well. I thought he made good decisions. Without watching the tape, I think there were three times when he was a little bit antsy and didn't throw the ball as well as he should have. Overall, he attempted 55 passes and hit 34 of them, even with three drops. One ball was tipped for an interception, but I thought he played well."
The receiver corps was strong with eight different wide or slot receivers catching passes. as I said there were three drops, not bad on a 56 pass attempt day. It was great to see Chris Lacy get back involved, Marcell Ateman and James Washington go over 100 yards and each have a touchdown. David Glidden was clutch again throughout the game.
Cowboy backs were not targeted at all but provided lots of blocking and the Cowboys often used the diamond formation to provide extra physical support to both the passing game, running game, and non-traditional running game.
The offensive line was solid. This may have been one of the better games for the offensive line as they allowed just two sacks for minus-6 yards. Those were really coverage sacks. They did allow too much push on some pass plays that impacted Rudolph's ability to release the pass the way he wanted.
Jesse Robinson came in for the fourth quarter at right guard as many have wished for. But Paul Lewis had one negative play I found in the first three quarters, and easily had his best game. Lewis, by the way, left with a stinger. Robinson did play fine in his place, but I counted two negative plays.
Victor Salako had a holding penalty that negated a 50-yard pass play, and that is the second time he has done that. Zach Crabtree struggled some but he was playing with a bad ankle from the first possession of the game on. The offensive lineman that struggled the most was left guard Michael Wilson.
"I don't think you look into a crystal ball and say this is what we have to do X amount of times. You see how the game is going, and we knew their strength was their front," often criticized but excellent play caller on Saturday in offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. "We knew they were very stout, and we feel our strength is our receiving core.
"And our offensive line did a heck of a job protecting today, I mean a heck of a job, and they deserve a lot of credit. They don't get enough credit. Especially after today's performance. It was great to see those guys compete and do a great job so I'm extremely happy for those guys and you just have to go with the flow from a run-pass standpoint, and the pass was working so we stayed with it."
Crabtree allows too much push on a second1and-1 but Rudolph still completes the pass for a first down. Bad scheme on the Jalen McCleskey jet sweep as nobody blocked onside end expecting the misdirection to confuse him and he was there for the tackle. He needed to at least be chipped. Lots of good including good pass protection, a really good pass on the first down throw to Glidden, and the misdirection and design and the broken tackle and strength on the run after the catch on the touchdown tunnel screen.
On the second series Wilson could not hold his block while the right side had a solid fold block on the first down carry by Carr for only a yard. Jhajuan Seales had the drop on second down. Ateman had another drop on that drive, but there was good pass protection throughout.
Salako pulled and had a big block on the linebacker on the six-yard run by Jeff Carr. Michael Wilson had the pull G-block on the Raymond Taylor 8-yard run and it was one his best blocks of the day. On the touchdown, Taylor had a huge block to help McClesky score.
Next possession, Rudolph was under center on first down and nifty reverse to McClesky for 12 yards. Salako allowed too much push and Rudolph was sacked for a 2-yard loss. A bad screen pass was hurt by a delayed blitz and Crabtree was ineffective because of the ankle. The next play Wilson was beat bad by an inside rush by the DE Willis on an incomplete pass.
The next possession was the backward screen that was caused in part by Crabtree allowing Willis way too much push and he really influenced the play and the recovery to set up for K-State's fourth touchdown. Next series the protection was good throughout and then on the 41-yard completion from Rudolph to Seales there was the holding penalty on Salako. Oklahoma State got a huge break here as the officials marked it off five yards short, and it would have had an impact on the drive. Crabtree gave up a sack to Bryant on the next play. Later the o-line and back handled a 6-man pressure and then the touchdown to Ateman was a really good throw by Rudolph.
Too much pressure with the blitz on the first play. The mark on J.W. Walsh's third down run was close and could have gone either way.
We'll skip a series that was well defended by K-State and the next OSU scoring series had a huge catch by Seales. Paul Lewis had his only negative play of the game that I saw and he was spun around and Geary stopped Taylor for just a 2-yard gain. Taylor's big-time second effort got him in the end zone for the touchdown.
The next series the 15-yard pass to Lacy was a good play on all parts.
Jesse Robinson was in at right guard. He ws solid on that first series, mainly pass protection. Good protection but also a good adjustment on his throwing lane by Rudolph on a 10-yard first down pass to Glidden. Taylor had a physical four-yard run where he broke a tackle and then knocked down a defender at the end. The drive ended with that weird interception on the 50/50 ball that fell onto the defender laying on the ground.
The next possession was the five-play drive for the go-ahead score as Carr was drug down by his jersey. He'll get stronger. The 47-yard play to Sheperd was a great play on Sheperd's part. Robinson lost his man on the Taylor one-yard run. The back-to-back passes to Ateman and Sheperd picking on Morgan Burns were excellent.
We will feature the fourth-down pass that kept the winning drive alive but the two runs by Taylor were clutch as kept his feet moving and moved the pile. The offensive line blocked tough and Taylor had great ball security.