You know the old saying that "Rome wasn't built in a day"? Neither is a solid FBS conventional rushing attack. In fact, for the Oklahoma State Cowboys on offense the sign "under construction" is still out but last Saturday in Ames, Iowa in the 35-31 win over Iowa State that running attack took much bigger strides.
Oklahoma State rushed for 154 yards, but instead of a lot of "smoke and mirrors" involved it was some good old zone blocking up front and some hard running by primarily junior college transfer Chris Carson and walk-on standout Raymond Taylor.
"I thought we made improvement in the run game and I felt the offensive line blocked better than they have and the back did a good job of taking advantage of those blocks," offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said on Monday. " I felt like Chris Carson was the best he's been and he is coming along at a good time. I think the run game is getting to where we can use it to help us win ball games."
"I felt really good about the way it went on Saturday," running back Raymond Taylor added. Taylor rushed for 41 yards on nine carries on Saturday and Carson had a season-high 70 yards on 12 carries. "Chris (Carson) had a really good game running and I was able to compliment that. The run games helped lead us to victory. It's just the offensive line doing their job, the coaches encouraging me and having trust in me and everybody putting in hard work."
Not only can the Oklahoma State running backs now look to push up the rushing attack but they are also a very valuable part of the passing game from pass protection to the ability that Carson and freshman Jeff Carr have shown as receivers.
"Coach (Marcus) Arroyo has done a great job with them and Chris Carson is really a good receiver and we've had a lot of success with Jeff Carr out on the perimeter," Yurcich added. "We need to keep getting him the ball out there."
"We’ve got to protect him (Mason Rudolph) and we have to be ready to make big plays," Taylor added.
The timing is great because the Oklahoma State offense is pretty good averaging 43.6 points and 497.6 yards a game and most of that average was built with the smoke and mirrors run game. The next two weeks a conventional run game will be a welcome addition.