Sunday Rewind: Stats Don't Tell It All

It is hard to ignore that while they were playing football and helping Oklahoma State to a 57-13 win over Missouri State there were Cowboy players who had their family homes in the Houston and South Texas area severely damaged by Hurricane Ike. The team said a prayer before and after the game for all the families in that area, the ones in the OSU football family and others impacted by the storm.

"As of this morning we only had a couple of guy over here that had found out their families had severe damage," said head coach Mike Gundy, who along with his staff is doing everything they can to assist those players.

"This is, obviously, a very difficult situation, but we are very fortunate in it looks like everybody (families) have avoided injuries. Hopefully, that water will recede in the next few days and all of those folks can begin the work of getting back to a normal life.

"Until then we are going to be very concerned about them. I know our players are going to want to go down and help their families out and they need to make the best decision for them," Gundy continued.

When Hurricane Katrina hit three years ago the NCAA made a wise and compassionate move to allow fans at schools, through their compliance offices, to help out with players and their families. It was a way to get direct help to those that needed it coming from those that cared. No cheating, no recruiting violations, no extra benefits, just human kindness and generosity. Here's hoping the NCAA comes through again in order to allow people concerned to help out with people they know or feel they know.

Prayers are always welcomed for all that have been impacted by "Ike."

As for the Cowboys' victory over Missouri State, heading into an open week that will include a lot of polish on offense and defense, a lot of recruiting by the coaching staff, and a weekend off for players, Gundy wasn't overly impressed with the win and he shouldn't be. The Cowboys had the Bears outmanned.

"Pretty much the same as after the game," said Gundy of his thoughts after watching tape. "It was good work for our young players, (some) quality time in a game situation allowing them to work through mistakes. It gave them a feel for playing that that level and some experience."

Gundy added that the good thing for the front line players was the early command by the Cowboys got the starters off the field and kept them healthy. There were no apparent or reported injuries during or after the game.

"I'm not as comfortable now after losing some of the players that we have lost the first few weeks of the season," added the head coach on his overall depth on the team.

Statistics are often times for losers and this early in the year can't be trusted to reveal a lot because of the disparity in who teams have played. For instance, Oklahoma State's next opponent Troy is high in just about every category across the board but they have played Middle Tennessee State and Alcorn State.

That said, it does look impressive that the Cowboys are third nationally in rushing offense (334.0 yards per game), sixth in total offense (546. -yards per game), and sixth in scoring offense (50.67 points per game.

They have three running backs in the top 60 in the nation in rushing with Kendall Hunter being fourth (149.67 yards per game), Keith Toston is 45th (84.67 yards per game), and Beau Johnson is 58th (77.33 yards per game).

"I would say they are average, at best, right now," said Gundy of his offensive line. "If they will continue to work hard and they stay healthy they can be a good offensive line.

"It's really good skill players that make people miss (of the offensive stats). We'll have to see. It's hard to tell what they can do against Big 12 opposition. We'll see how they hold up," added Gundy of the three offensive backs and whether they might be able to go for more than 100 yards each against a Big 12 opponent.

Gundy was eager to meet with the defensive staff because he saw that junior college transfer defensive tackle Chris Donladson, just a sophomore out of Coffeyville (Kan.) C.C. played a lot and played well.

"His production was high," said Gundy. "He had a face mask penalty, but he got in some quality work and was above average on production. I want to see what they thought about him."

Gundy added that he noticed aggressive and hard hitting linebacker Donald Booker was also high in production but also made some mistakes. New starting nickle back and veteran senior T.J. Bell made few mistakes, but Gundy said his production (tackles) could have been higher.

For those that worry about defense, the Cowboys are no longer last in the Big 12 in scoring defense but they are 11th. In the nation they are ranked 59th at 21.0 points a game. Other random NCAA stats include:

Rush Defense - 59th (127.7)
Pass Defense - 28th (164.0)
Total Defense - 36th (291.67)
Net Punting - 1st (43.63)
Punt Returns - 7th
Kickoff Returns - 30th
Turnover Margin - 88th (-.67)
3rd Down Conversions - 12th (52.9%)
4th Down Conversions - 1st (100%)
3rd Down Conversion Defense - 6th (22.2%)
4th Down Conversion Defense - 100th (100%)

It's an open week and the Cowboys can be expected to practice hard through Thursday, with a Friday session with strength and conditioning coordinator Rob Glass before getting the weekend off.

GoPokes Top Stories