The Cowboy offense, on paper, appears to be doing just fine without former superstars Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon — and without starting quarterback Wes Lunt for nearly two games. OSU leads the nation in scoring offense (55.75 points per game) and total offense (659 yards per game) and ranks in the top 7 in passing offense (sixth, 359 yards per game) and rushing offense (seventh, 300 yards per game).
Those gaudy numbers don't really matter to offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
“You can't carry over points, you can't carry over yards,” Monken said. “Stats are, really, for losers. You don't want to be 600 (yards) one week and 200 the next, because you're going to lose that game …
“Most of the time, statistics and numbers are all there just to make yourself feel better. We're a 2-2 team, unfortunately. I think we're a really good football team, and unfortunately we're 2-2. But sometimes all those stats just allow you to say, ‘Hey, it's not me. I'm not the reason. We're not the reason. If everything was as good as we are …' That's a bunch of crap. That's (a) loser's mentality of looking at things.”
DESMOND ROLAND PRODUCING AS ROLE INCREASES BY NECESSITY
Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland had his role elevated by default in June, when Herschel Sims was dismissed from the team.
Roland moved up the depth chart by necessity again Saturday against Texas, after No. 2 back Jeremy Smith left the game with an injury. Joseph Randle became the workhorse as a result, rushing for a career-high 199 yards and two touchdowns, but Roland got three carries for 20 yards, including two carries on the Cowboys' final drive.
“He's our third back right now,” Gundy said. “But he played well the other night. He's learning to play faster, at a quicker pace, which that's what it takes as you play these teams in our league that (have) better football players.”
Roland, a sophomore from Dallas, is averaging 7.2 yards per carry so far this season and has compiled 180 yards and four touchdowns. Coaches have always liked Roland's combination of power and speed, as well as his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Gundy also believes playing behind Randle and Smith, arguably the best 1-2 running back duo in the Big 12, has benefited Roland's development in his second season.
“We've been fortunate that we've had a back about every two years to pull kind the other one along,” Gundy said. “Joe learned from Kendall (Hunter), and now Desmond needs to learn from Jeremy and Joe. … He's got two good guys there to follow that should lead by example.”
OPPONENT WATCH: KANSAS GETS PHYSICAL DURING BYE WEEK
OSU is sticking to its normal bye week schedule this week, with one more practice scheduled for Thursday before the players are released until a Sunday evening workout.
Kansas, the Cowboys' next opponent, had a different strategy during its bye last week.
“It wasn't a light week for 'em,” coach Charlie Weis told the Lawrence Journal-World. “They probably hit more last week than they've hit any week the entire season. They hit Tuesday, they hit Wednesday, they hit Thursday, and everything was full-speed. Quarterbacks were live the whole week, too. There were no red jerseys out there.”
The Jayhawks face No. 7 Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan before returning home to take on the Cowboys on Oct. 13.