OSU football notebook: Is time of possession irrelevant for Cowboys?

OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL — Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy says Alex Elkins is continuing to get better. The juco-transfer linebacker has two critical stops against Baylor in short-yardage situations.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: November 3, 2011

Possibly the most irrelevant stat for Oklahoma State the past two seasons?

Time of possession.

OSU ranks last in the Big 12 in that category for the second year in a row, holding the ball for just more than 27 minutes per game so far this season. But that doesn’t matter much for the quick-strike Cowboy offense, which ranks second in the nation in scoring (49.9 points per game).

Take last week’s Baylor game as an example. The Bears held the ball for more than 17 minutes longer than OSU, yet lost by 35 points. That’s because the Cowboys scored 59 points on just 65 offensive plays.

“We score in a hurry,” OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young said. “That's one of the good things, and that's also one of the bad things. When you're a defensive coach, you'd like to see some of those 10-minute drives, but it's hard to complain when you're scoring touchdowns.”

The same discrepancy in time of possession could take place against Kansas State, which ranks second in the Big 12 in that category (34:23).

Gundy: Elkins steadily improving

Linebacker Alex Elkins came off the edge and made two tackles near the goal line on Baylor's first possession last week, including the stop on fourth down to keep Terrance Ganaway out of the end zone.

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said Elkins, a junior college transfer, has raised his play from a 5 to a 7 throughout the course of the season.

“He was able to make plays (at the beginning of the season) but wasn't in the right spot as much as he needed to be,” Gundy said. “He's in the right spot more now (and) he's understanding.