In a fourth quarter that saw 10th-ranked Oklahoma State go from taking the lead to eventually punctuating the comeback with a 17-point win that left Texas Tech feeling less like Matadors and more like the bull, Cowboys quarterback J.W. Walsh broke a tackle in the hole as he kept the ball on a zone read and then as he tried to kick his stride into a fifth gear that he normally has he realized that a slight knee injury that he suffered in the first half was going to keep him in fourth gear and he was tackled just short of the end zone.
Walsh got more of the snaps in Saturday's 70-53 win over Texas Tech, and that was practiced during the week. It was not a surprise to starter Mason Rudolph and neither was the zone read call in the first quarter that Rudolph made a nice read, nice fake and gained 10 yards and a first down on.
Part of this package is taking advantage of the talents of the two quarterbacks and part of the package is convincing opposing defensive coordinators that you still have to be worried about Walsh throwing and Rudolph running. In Lubbock, it was mission accomplished and after a first half that saw limited success with the run game as Chris Carson and Rennie Childs looked tentative at times and a lacked vision at others might have led to more open opportunities.
In the second half Jeff Carr flashed some vision and speed and ready and more than willing Raymond Taylor was opportunistic with blocks and evasive of tacklers on a 28-yard third quarter touchdown run that one might say was the most impressive run by any running back this season, and remember, it was Taylor that had the cut back 58-yard touchdown run versus UTSA.
Just to review some highlights and lowlights from the win over the Red Raiders:
Give Chris Carson credit as while he has struggled some in the run game, he proved to be an outstanding receiver in the game and his first catch over the middle helped set up an important touchdown.
Rudolph got locked into the same spot in the left flat and left short early in the game and it resulted in an interception but as the game went on he began working through progressions and found some excellent opportunities with a wide variety of receivers. He finished 21-of-35 for 285 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. If he hadn't had at least three clear drops he would have easily been over 300 yards and maybe another touchdown.
@Austin Hays was sensational from his great catch on the fade in the corner that even fooled the field judge on the play and was reversed on instant replay to his alert picking up the backward pass and hitting Blake Jarwin for the touchdown. Hays also had some big blocks in the game as well.
The offensive line was solid. Jesse Robinson allowed a sack but also had some good blocks in the run game as he was used early to g-block (pull) and was even used to g-block some of the zone and zone read action. Michael Wilson also had had some misses or plays where he lost his man, but he was the power booster on a key first down run by Taylor in the fourth quarter.
What can you say about James Washington as he broke out huge in the fourth quarter as he made sure his homecoming to West Texas (he is from Stamford, Texas) was successful. Washington was great on the double reverse and he used his speed to shoot up an alley that was also helped by a tremendous block on the outside by fellow receiver Marcell Ateman. He then came back and got a step and ran under Walsh's pass for another fourth quarter touchdown.
Finally, it is time for critics to admit that offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich knows how to set up concepts and get the most out of his talent as his playcalling at times was masterful on Saturday. Ask yourself this, do you think the Texas Tech defensive staff feels good or feels like they got whipped physically on the field by the Cowboy offensive players and on the white board by Yurcich and his staff?