After Further Review: Revisiting Oklahoma State’s 31-10 victory over Iowa State
After a few days to digest and watch the game again, let’s take a look back at Oklahoma State’s 31-10 victory over Iowa State, the Cowboys’ best overall performance of the season.
J.W. Walsh started and quarterback, and played through a season-ending knee injury sustained in the first quarter. Receivers Tracy Moore (ankle) and Isaiah Anderson (finger) did not play. Jeremy Smith (ankle) had one carry for the second consecutive game before limping off the field. Tight end Justin Horton also sustained a season-ending leg injury on a catch early in the third quarter. The injury hits keep coming for the Cowboys, and this will be a fair question to ask again for the TCU game.
Does Joseph Randle bounce back?
He did indeed, finishing with 24 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns. The running game struggled a bit to get going in the first three quarters before Randle popped a 62-yard run to set up OSU’s final touchdown. But running backs coach Jemal Singleton said those 3- and 4-yard runs are important to wear down a defense. Randle is now eighth in the nation in rushing, averaging 127.50 yards per game.
Is revenge a factor?
Again, it’s hard to tell and varies depending on who you ask. But it was definitely an emotionally charged atmosphere, with Homecoming and all-orange uniforms and such, and the Cowboys put together their most complete performance of the season.
The Cowboys were better than they were against Kansas, putting together an 8-play, 62-yard drive on their second possession to tie the game 7-7 on a Randle 4-yard score. But OSU allowed ISU to march 75 yards down the field and score in the game’s opening minutes and trailed 10-7 after the first quarter. Then, however, the Cowboys outscored the Cyclones 24-0 the rest of the way.
Run the ball
Again, the run game wasn’t spectacular through three quarters (103 yards on 25 carries). But it was solid and put OSU in reasonable second- and third-down situations and helped set up Randle’s big run in the fourth quarter. Walsh also provided some key runs, bad knee and all. The Cowboys finished with 210 yards rushing.
Force three turnovers
Still haven’t done that yet this season. But the Cowboys did get two in ISU territory in the third quarter–a nifty one-handed catch by Daytawion Lowe and a forced fumble by Shamiel Gary. OSU actually likely would have snagged three takeaways, had Lowe and Lyndell Johnson not knocked the ball away from each other on a potential first-half interception.
Other random observations
On ISU’s first drive, it converted two third-down attempts en route to a touchdown. The Cyclones converted two more the rest of the game.
Most underrated stat of the game? Seven quarterback hurries. Though the Cowboys only had three tackles for loss and one sack, the constant pressure forced Jared Barnett to make bad throws while escaping the pocket. Against a less mobile quarterback, more of those plays will result in sacks. Still, it was the best pass rush the Cowboys have gotten all season. The got good penetration from James Castleman and Calvin Barnett up the middle, good pressure off the edge from Cooper Bassett and good blitz pressure from linebackers Shaun Lewis, Alex Elkins and safety Zack Craig.
Not great play on kickoff returns by the Cowboys. Justin Gilbert took one out of the end zone in the first quarter and only made it to the 15-yard line. Then in the third quarter, a penalty negated a strong return by Gilbert.
OSU tried some option with Walsh, with little-to-no success. Ran the play to the right side three times, with Randle gaining one yard on the pitch twice in the first half, and losing two yards in the fourth quarter.
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