Three Reasons OSU Won't Finish 10-2

Running game may be the key to the second half of the season for Oklahoma State

To close out the bye week activities as we get ready to move into Homecoming week and the preparation and preview of Kansas for next Saturday here are three areas or developments in this football team that make us believe that the Oklahoma State Cowboys won't win the Big 12 or contend and that they will finish with a record of 9-3 or worse when the regular season is over. By the way 9-3 is a good record but when you start out 6-0 the fan base and all around the program get cranked up for more. 

1. Run Game
Enough discussion here as it has been hashed and re-hashed every week of the season thus far. Here is something to think about, if the offensive line on average held their blocks another second to two seconds and the running backs hit the holes just a fraction of a second faster, do you know what it would look like? You can't imagine. An offense that right now is 100th in the country in rushing offense at 137.5 yards a game would likely average 170 to 180 yards a game and move up dramatically. That is what is crazy, just a second or two in blocking and running makes all the difference in the world. 

2. Pass Game
As head coach Mike Gundy said the other day the best thing that could happen to quarterback Mason Rudolph and the passing game is a better running game. That would keep the defense on its heels and allow the passing game many more opportunities. Rudolph understands that as he is a very bright quarterback that has a good understanding of the game overall.

"We're going to look at it," Rudolph said of the run game and really the entire offense. "Every facet of the offense we're trying to work and improve. I think those guys have done well with improving the run game." 

Another area I would like to see improve is the physicality of the receiving corps. I'd like to see a little more aggressive attitude and fight at the point of the catch in the passing game.

3. Return Game
I've been very supportive of Jalen McCleskey as a punt returner. I know he is only averaging 1.2 yards a return but what he has done is he has caught punts and we haven't seen them roll another 10 to 15 yards, even 20 yards, further downfield. Kickoff returns with primarily another freshman in Jeff Carr have been more exciting but still averaging 22.1 yards on kickoff returns as a team. So many times in past seasons the return game has had a big play or two during the season that sparked a win. I think that is there and those two freshmen plus a veteran or two like Brandon Sheperd or Jhajuan Seales could end up making a play like that. It might be badly needed.

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