Clint Chelf continued to run like the wind against Texas. And the Longhorns chugged along on the ground — until they got behind and had to throw it.
Let’s look at how Oklahoma State ran the football and attempted to stop the run against Texas.
OSU ON THE RUN
First, Chelf had three big runs — including an 18-yarder for a score on a draw play — on OSU’s second possession.
First and 10 from own 28 (two-back set)
Result: Chelf keeps on the zone-read, gets out to the left side and taken down near the sideline after a gain of 14 for a first down.
What happened: First, the fake to Desmond Roland totally fools end Cedric Reed. Second, Chelf got some great blocking from fullback Kye Staley, who had to hesitate a bit before taking care of Dalton Santos, andfrom receivers Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore on the outside. Chelf showed a nice move to cut outside Tracy Moore’s block, and then Mykkele Thompson took a bad angle as Chelf accelerated around the corner.
Second and 10 from Texas 40 (One back, before Roland motions out to right)
Result: Chelf keeps up the middle on the quarterback draw for a gain of 22 yards and a first down.
What happened: The pre-snap movement was so, so key here. Roland going to split out clearly confused linebacker Steve Edmond and corner Quandre Diggs about who should take Roland and who should cover John Goodlett in the slot. Neither player was set when the ball was snapped, and the middle of the field was wide open. Left guard Brandon Webb was also out with Chelf to block downfield.
Third and 10 from Texas 18 (two backs, before Roland motions out to right)
Result: Chelf keeps on the draw up the middle and goes untouched for the touchdown.
What happened: Man, this was wide open, wasn’t it? Texas showed a heavy blitz and brought a ton of pressure, including the corner off the left side, which caused the safety to need to cover Charlie Moore. Two linebackers also blitzed, and Roland’s motion caused the other corner to move out of the box. Center Jake Jenkins and Webb created a good hole in the middle, and Staley ran right with Chelf in case someone downfield needed to be blocked. But there was only green grass en route to the end zone.
Roland’s best run of the day:
First and 10 from own 25 (one-back set)
Result: Roland takes a straight handoff, bursts through the middle and then cuts out to the left side for the big gain.
What happened: Roland first shot past Reed and tackle Desmond Jackson, while Jenkins blocked Edmond. And Thompson, again, took a bad angle.
Chelf’s second rushing touchdown:
First and goal Texas 4 (two-back set)
Result: Chelf keeps on the zone-read, gets out to the left side and walks into the end zone.
What happened: Just look at Staley’s block on that play. That is all.
OSU AGAINST THE RUN
Without Johnathan Gray, the Longhorns just churned and churned on the ground in the first half. A lot of four-, five-, six-yard carries, with a strong mix of inside and outside runs. Malcolm Brown’s longest run was seven yards. Joe Bergeron did have a 21-yarder (which we’ll show here in a bit). The Texas offensive line won many battles in the trenches, and a couple key missed tackles from linebackers and safeties helped Brown and Bergeron get that extra yard of two or 10 on certain plays.
Texas’ 16-play, 60-yard drive that ended in a 39-yard field goal
The Longhorns gained 19 yards on six carries. This six-yarder by Brown was the biggest:
First and 10 from own 35 (one-back set)
Result: Brown gets outside to the left for a gain of six before linebacker Caleb Lavey brings him down.
What happened: The left tackle doesn’t block Sam Wren, who thinks he’s jumped in the backfield. But by then, Brown has already gotten past him. Receiver Jaxon Shipley also had a key block on linebacker Ryan Simmons.
Things went better for the Cowboys a few plays later:
First and 10 OSU 35 (one-back set)
Result: Bergeron dropped by end Jimmy Bean for a loss of two.
What happened: Great individual effort by Bean, who used a swim move to get past the left tackle and into the backfield quickly.
This negative play ultimately led to five consecutive throws by Case McCoy. The Longhorns got one more first down, but three straight incompletions led to the field goal. That’s kind of what you get with McCoy, who is inconsistent. OSU forced a punt on Texas’ next drive after a reverse that was a pretty epic fail, losing five yards.
Texas’ touchdown drive, a 10-play, 75-yarder
There was a heavy dose of Bergeron at the beginning of this possession, including this 21-yarder:
Second and 10 from Texas 40 (one-back set)
Result: Bergeron cuts through the middle of the OSU defense before corner Justin Gilbert trips him up from behind.
What happened: Several things. On the line, end Emmanuel Ogbah was pushed out of the way. The left guard pulled to get Lavey. And Daytawion Lowe missed a tackle.
But then, Brown finished the drive off.
Third and 4 from OSU 7 (one-back set)
Result: Brown takes the handoff, slices through the middle of the defense and falls into the end zone.
What happened: Pretty much a blocking clinic here. Guard Mason Waters got defensive tackle Ofa Hautau. Kenny Estelle got Lavey. The left guard pulled to get Simmons in the backfield. The fullback got corner Tyler Patmon. The tight end Greg Daniels got end Tyler Johnson, who was barely set. And Lowe couldn’t get Brown near the goal line (not a stellar game for Lowe, by the way, even though he finished with seven tackles).
But here’s another strong play the Cowboys:
Second and 1 own 34 (one-back set)
Result: Brown dropped by Johnson for a loss of two.
What happened: Another great individual effort, like Bean’s earlier play. And like Bean, Johnson swam right by the tackle to get into the backfield.
The Longhorns called a timeout after that. Despite the negative play, Texas did pick up another first down, but after that, Gilbert got his pick-six.