Odd stats tell the tale of OSU's unusual win over Texas A&M

Despite being outgained by nearly 200 yards and allowing Texas A&M to convert multiple third and fourth downs, Oklahoma State found a way to win Thursday night in Stillwater.
BY BRANDON CHATMON, Staff Writer, bchatmon@opubco.om Modified: October 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm •  Published: October 2, 2010

Several different descriptions can be used to describe Oklahoma State's 38-35 win over Texas A&M.

Shocking. Exciting. Ugly. Mistake-filled. High-scoring. Explosive. Unusual.

But one word is all that matters for OSU: Win.

Here's a closer look at five key stats which show the unusual nature of the Cowboys victory, why they mattered on Thursday and how those results may affect the Pokes moving forward:

* Texas A&M ran 106 plays, OSU ran 68 plays

Analysis: The Cowboys defense playing 106 snaps tested OSU's depth unlike ever before this season. Several youngsters were forced into action at critical moments and made plays. The Aggies longest drives came on their final two scoring possessions, most likely because the Cowboys defense ran out of gas.

Moving forward: OSU has to feel better about their depth. Youngsters like Shaun Lewis made big plays in their first Big 12 action and those quality reps should pay off the rest of the season.

* Texas A&M converted 11 of 21 third downs and 4 of 5 fourth downs

Analysis: It's very rare a team wins a game while struggling to stop the opponent on third down. The Aggies converted 52 percent of its third down opportunities and 80 percent of fourth down opportunities. Only five forced turnovers kept this stat from costing the Pokes the game.

Moving forward: "We have to do a better job of rushing the passer, you have to get pressure on the quarterback," said OSU coach Mike Gundy. OSU needs Ugo Chinasa to play like he did against A&M consistently while Jamie Blatnick and Richetti Jones need to emerge as consistent threats off the edge.

* After starting the game with three punts and three turnovers on their first six possessions, OSU scored touchdowns on five of its next six possessions.

Analysis: When OSU's offense finds a rhythm, it's extremely difficult to stop. And the key to finding a rhythm seems to be quarterback Brandon Weeden getting comfortable and being confident in the pocket. Weeden appeared uncomfortable the first six possessions and much more comfortable the second six possessions.

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