Cowboys Have Big 12's Best Offense?

STILLWATER – We said going into the game with Nebraska that the fans on hand, and those watching via ESPN Sports on ABC, would be treated to two big-play offenses. It made all the football sense in the world that the team that came out on top of the big-play chart would come out on top of the game.

In the first quarter that sure looked like it would be the Cornhuskers. They out "big-played" the Cowboys two-to-nothing. Big plays, or as OSU head coach Mike Gundy and others like to refer to them as "chunk plays," for our purposes will be plays of over 20 yards. In the first quarter Nebraska had two for 52 yards. They also had a 10-0 lead on the scoreboard. The tide would turn in the second quarter and decisively in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys upset 20th-ranked Nebraska 41-29.

In the second quarter two plays, first a Bobby Reid scramble for 56 yards to the Husker 21 set up Oklahoma State's first score.

"It was a huge play (Reid's scramble)," said Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker. "It gave them a lot of momentum to get started."

"That was Bobby just improvising and being Bobby," said Gundy. "It's what we've been telling him we want him to do when he sees it available."

Then toward the end of the half, with the clock counting down (which Gundy claims was intentional), Reid hit Adarius Bowman on what the Cowboys call "seven snake" for a 45-yard, one-play drive and touchdown to cut Nebraska's halftime lead to 23-20.

"That's something that was all planned, to act like we didn't get lined up right, and then line up fast and snap the ball," laughed Gundy. "By doing that I think what we were trying to accomplish worked and that was to get Bowman single coverage."

"I know right before it happened, after Perrish (Cox) had the great return, I told coach I want it. Can I please get it?" said Bowman. "He made my call. It is a seven snake route, and I think it was cover four maybe and I saw the corner turn and maybe come back and I thought Bobby did a good job of throwing kind of short instead of deep and that allowed me to come underneath it."

At halftime the big play scoreboard read five for 125 yards for Nebraska and two for 101 yards for the Cowboys.

The third quarter went scoreless and had it not been for a Zac Taylor-to-Marlon Lucky on a successful screen pass for 21 yards the quarter would have gone chunk-less.

That left the fourth quarter and that's when the Cowboys completely out-chunked the Huskers. Reid and company lit the Husker defense for four big plays totaling 116 yards. There was the 55-yard pass from Reid down the left sideline to D'Juan Woods on the first play of the quarter followed by a 20-yard touchdown run by Dantrell Savage, who finished with 117 yards rushing. Reid hit Bowman for two more chunk plays in the passing game, one a touchdown drive and the other on a clock-eating mission late.

The final count in the big-play stat read as follows: Nebraska with six plays for 146 yards. That left the Huskers with 73 other offensive plays gaining 306 yards for an average of 4.2 yards. The Cowboys also produced six big plays totaling 217 yards, and that doesn't count the only defensive scoring play, Nate Peterson's 19-yard scoop and score of a Taylor fumble. OSU had 56 other plays for 279 yards, an average of 5.0 yards per play. Not only did the Cowboys out-chunk them but they also out small gained the Huskers too. It prompted the question, is the Oklahoma State offense the best in the Big 12?

"Yup," said Cowboys offensive tackle Corey Hilliard in a very matter of fact response.

Head coach Mike Gundy wasn't as quick to jump on the notion. "I don't really know how to answer that," said Gundy. "I don't want to trade anybody on my team for anybody else. There are some good players in this league, and obviously the best offensive player in the country went out two weeks ago down in Norman. Nebraska has a couple of good running backs and Missouri's quarterback is playing well. Obviously, Texas has a whole slew of guys that can make a play. I don't want to trade anybody in this group for anybody else in the league. They worked too hard and put too much into it, and I'll say this again, don't forget the staff and what they were able to accomplish to put these players in a position to win against a very good blitzing team that did not blitz after the first touchdown pass. It's a tribute to everybody and it's a team win."

If the Cowboys aren't the best offense in the Big 12, I would just as soon the real best offense in the conference not be revealed in person over the next four weeks.

GoPokes Top Stories