Here are a few observations from Oklahoma State’s 52-34 win against Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock:
1. Run, run, run …. run … and run some more: Desmond Roland had three touchdowns, Clint Chelf had two on the ground, Josh Stewart got some backfield touches and even Jeremy Smith contributed in a day of ball control for the Cowboys. Like OU did against Tech last week, the Cowboys followed that formula, keeping the ball away from a Red Raiders’ offense that was potent when it had its chances. OSU’s run-to-pass ratio was 55-to-34 and two key fourth-down touchdown runs by Roland showed Mike Gundy wasn’t afraid to win the game with his ground game. OSU finished with 281 yards rushing and Chelf, Roland and Rennie Childs each had more than 70 yards rushing.
2. Ladies and Gentlemen, Clint Chelf: Chelf had his highs and lows (again), but was mostly positive. Yes he threw a pick six before halftime (one of two interceptions that led to Texas Tech points), but he also had some big plays to get OSU ahead early. Chelf had a perfect 6-yard touchdown pass to Tracy Moore on the Pokes’ second drive of the game, the end result of a 10-play, 84-yard drive that got the Cowboys on the board first. Chelf also had perfect execution on a short rollout TD pass to Jeremy Seaton in the second quarter. And when Chelf arguably looked at his worst, Gundy stuck with him and it paid off with an excellent play call – a 67-yard quarterback keeper touchdown in the third quarter — to put the game out of reach at 42-24.
3. Defense, special teams sets up offense: Two plays on defense and special teams put the Cowboys in good shape in the first half. The forced fumble by Daytawion Lowe on Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro in the first quarter was crucial. Two plays after the recovery, Chelf hit Jhajuan Seales with a 44-yard flea flicker to set up Roland’s 1-yard TD run. Up 14-0 and the defense rolling, special teams got in on the action with a punt block by Derek Branson on Texas Tech’s next possession. Roland followed with his second touchdown of the half. The Cowboys needed the head start, because Tech came firing back.
4. Opportunistic D: Despite giving up 549 total yards, the Cowboys forced three turnovers, including interceptions by Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey. Amaro was uncoverable, finishing with 15 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown, but the damage was done before he got in the end zone in the third quarter. Add a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, and it was a pretty good defensive performance from OSU on the road in a hostile environment.