Cowboys Run Game Saves The Day In Overtime

Rennie Childs, J.W. Walsh made the plays when they were needed in overtime as Oklahoma State improved to 6-0 with the victory over West Virginia

How does a team that struggled for a full game in regulation to run the ball very effectively all of a sudden use the run to win the game?

C'mon, Oklahoma State ran the ball for 109 yards on 32 carries in regulation on Saturday night in Morgantown, W.V. That comes out to a paltry average of 3.4 yards per carry, and that includes the 40-yard run by Mason Rudolph, which was the longest of the night. Rudolph, even with seven lost yards, was the leading rusher. With one more game winning possession in overtime, he was passed by two teammates as the most critical runners for Oklahoma State.

On the first play in overtime there were no tricks, no fancy blocking schemes, and no gaping holes or even missed tackles by the defense. The first play was just guts and desire as Rennie Childs took the ball and headed to his right only to see two West Virginia defenders unblocked way out there setting a mean edge to turn him inside.

Instead, Childs kicked in all the speed he could muster and got around the two Mountaineer defenders and turned down the sideline boundary for a seven-yard gain. It set a tone, and on the second play of the overtime Childs got a well blocked play and slid through the open hole and burst for another seven-yard gain. Here is where some blocking schemes may come in.

"We changed our blocking scheme in overtime. We had enough time to talk about it," Mike Gundy said afterwards to media and the Cowboy Radio Network, "We made some adjustments formation-wise. We changed our blocking scheme. Rennie (Childs) came in and ran the ball really effective for us. That would be the only answer for how we were able to actually rush the ball some in overtime."

Childs is one of the heroes of overtime as is senior short-yardage and score zone quarterback J.W. Walsh, who scored the winning touchdown on a two-yard run. 

The third hero of overtime is the most likely to surprise most of you. Who is the favorite whipping boy on an offensive line that is still working to get things right and gain some adoration from the Cowboy fans? That's easy, it's Paul Lewis.

He is the smallest of the offensive linemen at 6-3, 295 pounds. He has also had some unforgettable plays on the wrong side of the scale, but to be fair he had one of his best games against Kansas State. He also had some blocks throughout the game on Saturday night, but he also had some tough spots. He was called for holding on a pass play where he was blown up by the defensive lineman and knocked back on the ground on his back and because he was still holding the player he was flagged. He got beat and was still holding. 

Later on the second possession of the third quarter, Lewis pulled out and across to his left and joined up with Cowboy back Zac Veatch and both of them passed two West Virginia defenders right on the edge of the defensive line. One of those was defensive end Christian Brown, who slammed into Chris Carson for no gain. 

But in the overtime on fourth down and goal just outside the 1-yard line, Gundy never considered kicking a field goal and asked J.W. Walsh to find a way to get in. Coming across the formation on the play from his right guard position was Lewis and as Walsh ducked into one gap and then jumped into another there was Lewis pushing a defensive lineman through and creating a clear hole for Walsh to slide through on his way to the end zone and the win. 

"Give the offensive line credit," Walsh said afterwards in the locker room. "We did run the ball in overtime. I'm so proud to be a part of this team because we just find a way to get it done."

I'm not excusing Paul Lewis for any of his missed blocks this season or any mistakes but I am celebrating that on Saturday night in overtime in Morgantown with a lot of spirited Mountaineer fans cheering so loud you could barely think, Lewis made a huge block and the Cowboys won.

GoPokes Top Stories