Apologies for not doing this for the Texas-San Antonio game. Many things got brushed aside last week.
It’s rare to look at a game primarily from the view of the trenches. But by popular Twitter demand, that’s what I did in reviewing Oklahoma State’s easy 59-3 victory over Lamar. Run blocking was worth examining, particularly with the offensive line banged up the way it is. Chris Grisbhy got his second consecutive start at right tackle, while redshirt freshman Paul Lewis got his first-career start at right guard.
Two notes: I simply DVR these games, so I got a heavy dose of North Texas-Ball State before Fox Sports Oklahoma finally cut to Boone Pickens Stadium at the 9:09 mark of the first quarter. Second, I did not chart Josh Stewart’s runs.
First and 10 from own 47: Jeremy Smith takes carry up the middle for three yards. Left tackle Parker Graham didn’t get a great push on the defensive end, and he ends up tackling Smith.
First and 10 from Lamar 40: J.W. Walsh fakes to Smith, then runs to his left and bounces to the outside. Charlie Moore threw a nice perimeter block, something the OSU receivers struggled with against Mississippi State.
First and goal from the Lamar 7: Left guard Brandon Webb picks up the linebacker, helping Desmond Roland gain three yards.
Second and goal from the Lamar 4: Out of the trey, Smith carries four yards for the touchdown. Roland blocked a defensive back, while fullback Jeremy Seaton was the lead blocker and picked up an end who had moved to the middle of the field. Smith also did a bit of weaving on the way to the end zone.
First and 10 from own 31: Smith carries for eight yards. How did he get to the second level of the defense? Center Jake Jenkins picked up a linebacker, while Lewis picked up the tackle. Grisbhy didn’t pick up the end but got upfield with Smith, who got past that end before going through the hole.
Third and 1 from own 40: Smith carries up the middle for six yards and a first down. Smith followed fullback Kye Staley (welcome back), who cut across the field as the lead blocker, and Lewis, who went straight through line to next level. Jenkins’ block on the tackle also helped. Guard Travis Cross also got out on a defensive back up the field, and Graham kept an end on the outside.
Second and 5 from the Lamar 49: Roland rushes three yards up the middle. Graham blocked the end, Cross got a linebacker, while Stewart helped out on a defensive back.
Third and 2 from the Lamar 26: Walsh fakes to Smith and bounces outside for a five-yard gain and a first down. Staley got the block on the outside.
First and goal from the Lamar 1: Smith goes up the middle and into the end zone. Staley had a monster block on the end. Knocked him off his feet. Yowza.
First and 10 from own 47: Roland gets tackled for a loss of six yards. Tackle Brandon Garrett did not hold his block on the linebacker.
First and 10 from the Lamar 16: Smith goes up the middle for 11 yards. Staley got the lead block on the end, while Cross and Garrett first double-teamed the tackle. Then Cross got the middle linebacker.
First and goal from the Lamar 5: Smith straight up the middle again for four yards. Garrett and Cross again doubled the tackle, then Cross blocked the linebacker. Smith did a lot of work, too, pushing the pile ahead near the goal line.
Second and goal from the Lamar 1: Smith leaps into the end zone. That is all.
Second and 3 from own 29: Roland rushes up middle for no gain. Seaton got a block on the end, but Jenkins and Graham did not get fantastic pushes on their guys.
Second and 6 from own 48: Walsh fakes to Smith, while he and entire line push to the left. Walsh then goes to his right, where an end comes untouched, the tackle gets by Jenkins and a linebacker gets free. Walsh breaks away from the tackle and scrambles away to the outside for a gain of six yards. That was all Walsh’s athletic ability and escape-ability.
First and 10 from the Lamar 40: A draw play to Roland for a gain of three. Guard Brandon Webb whiffed on his man, but Roland broke that tackle.
Second and goal from the Lamar 2: Walsh fakes to Caleb Muncrief out of the trey and runs to his right for a gain of one. Backup fullback Teddy Johnson tries to go low to block a linebacker and is unsuccessful, while another linebacker comes up to make the tackle.
Third and goal from the Lamar 1: Roland is stuffed and loses a yard. Graham starts to block the linebacker but then backs off, and that’s who makes the tackle.
First and 10 from the Lamar 14: Muncrief carries for two yards. Johnson went to block on the outside, while an end came untouched to make the tackle.
Second and 8 from the Lamar 12: Muncrief carries for four yards. Center Zac Veatch, Lewis and Grisbhy all went to the tackle to help open the hole. Muncrief also broke a tackle from an end.
Third and 4 from the Lamar 8: Chelf fakes to Muncrief, who gets tackled by the linebacker. That opens up plenty of green grass for Chelf to get into the end zone. Lewis also pulled on that play and would have been there to block anyone in the second level, but there was nobody there.
First and 10 from own 10: Rennie Childs carries for a loss of one. Cross doesn’t pick up the linebacker who comes through to make the tackle.
First and 10 from own 23: Childs carries up the middle for a gain of one. The end comes untouched, after Garrett and Cross both go after the linebacker. Veatch also didn’t get a great push on the tackle.
Third and 1 from own 32: Childs carries up the middle for no gain. Veatch goes past the tackle to the next level, and Lewis doesn’t pick the tackle up.
First and 10 from own 16: By far Childs’ best run of the night, bursting through the left guard and tackle for a gain of seven. Johnson got the linebacker on the play, while receivers Blake Webb and Nick Rockwell provided perimeter blocks.
First and 10 from own 22: Chelf fakes to Childs and keeps to his left for 13 yards. Chelf faked out one defensive back, while another fell down. Webb didn’t exactly land a block on the perimeter, but his effort to get in front gave Chelf a couple extra yards.
First and 10 from own 48: Childs carries up the middle for four yards. Johnson got the lead block on the linebacker.
Second and 6 from the Lamar 48: Quarterback draw for Chelf, which picks up three yards. Cross and Veatch both got the tackle, which helped open the hole in the middle.
In conclusion: Certainly not a spotless performance, particularly from some of the less experienced players. But the Cowboys physically handled a team that it should physically handle up front. You’ll notice very few runs went to the outside, something I thought Smith tried to do too much against UTSA. The Cowboys just pounded and pounded up the middle. When I watched it live, I thought this rushing performance was just OK, but the Cowboys did gain 105 yards in the first half. Don’t forget this was an offensive line unit playing without two projected starters in Devin Davis (out for season with knee injury) and Daniel Koenig (out for second straight game). Having Staley back from injury and getting more snaps moving forward should help, as well.