After viewing the game film of Oklahoma State's 20-14 victory over Kansas, coach Mike Gundy saw several factors that contributed to the Cowboys' uneven performance on offense.
A redshirt freshman quarterback playing on the road for the first time. Injuries to key skill players. Rainy and wet conditions. KU playing more physical in the trenches.
But Gundy also agreed with offensive coordinator Todd Monken's assessment following the game that play calling could have been better.
“Our plan was fine,” Gundy said. “We didn't have any rhythm, which didn't really allow us to really call the plays we wanted to. And then you look back and wish you would have, and sometimes that happens.”
OSU's 20 points against the Jayhawks broke a streak of 22 consecutive games of at least 30 points scored. The Cowboys still lead the nation in total offense (601.40 yards per game), but dropped from first to third in scoring offense (48.60 points per game).
GUNDY SAYS NO RECENT INJURIES ARE SEASON-ENDING
OSU has sustained a barrage of injuries in recent weeks, including to key players like wide receivers Tracy Moore (ankle) and Isaiah Anderson (finger), running back Jeremy Smith (ankle) and linebacker Caleb Lavey (leg). Others who did not play Saturday, presumably because of injury, include receiver John Goodlett, running back Desmond Roland, punt returner David Glidden and safety Lavocheya Cooper.
Gundy said that none of those injuries are believed to be season-ending, however.
“No, not at this point,” Gundy said.
They have shaken up the most recent depth chart, however.
Moore or Austin Hays is listed as a starting wide receiver. Nick Rockwell or Torrance Carr is listed as a backup inside receiver, replacing Goodlett and Glidden. Charlie Moore is listed as the No. 1 punt returner, replacing Glidden, with freshman Caleb Muncrief as the backup. Zack Craig has moved from backup free safety to backup strong safety, replacing Cooper, and Larry Stephens has moved up from third-team free safety to second team.
Smith and Roland are still listed as the Nos. 2 and 3 running backs, respectively, while Lavey is still listed as the starting middle linebacker.
Additionally, Wes Lunt or J.W. Walsh is listed as the starting quarterback for the third game in a row.
BIG 12 PARITY DOESN'T SURPRISE GUNDY
Gundy has said for weeks that he believes there is more parity in the Big 12 — and college football as a whole — than ever. So a wild Saturday in the league certainly didn't surprise him.
Oklahoma hammered Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Texas Tech shocked West Virginia in Lubbock. Iowa State pushed Kansas State to the brink. TCU, without starting quarterback Casey Pachall, blew out Baylor. And OSU, of course, struggled more with KU than most anticipated.
“The strength of this league is just going to be overwhelming,” Gundy said. “Weeks ago, I said a one-loss or a two-loss team could win this league. You could have a pretty good football team and only win seven or eight games.
“It's probably going to be (that way) from this point on in this league. It's just not going to change. You just got to hope you can get some games out of your conference scheduling that you can take a little bit of a breather on and then buckle down for conference.”
So where does that leave OSU in the crazy Big 12 race?
“I guess we're like everybody else,” Gundy said. “We've got to go play week-to-week. As I've said, it's awesome for the fans and great for TV and tough on the coaches.”