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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys indeed playing faster

by John Helsley Published: September 20, 2013

Oklahoma State promised to play faster this season.

And the Cowboys are.

Record faster, at least for them.

And to think, they probably haven't played full-tilt fast yet; there hasn't been a need, considering OSU was in a run-out-the-clock situation in the fourth quarter of each game of its 3-0 start.

So, what constitutes fastest ever?

A blog on, a piece entitled Football Study Hall, takes a look at pace of play through a simple formula: average time of possession per game divided by average offensive plays per game.

So far this season, OSU sits at 19.9 seconds per play, ranking No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 7 nationally. BYU leads nationally at 17.8, followed by Wyoming (18.0), Oregon (18.6), California (18.8), Houston (19.6), Fresno State (19.8) and OSU.

“I didn't know it was possible to go that much faster, but we have,” said Cowboys receiver David Glidden. “We've sped it up a lot more.”

For some context, only seven teams have ever broken 20 seconds for a season, with each of the seven managing the feat since 2009, when hurry-up, no-huddle offenses were gaining in popularity.

This season, seven teams are averaging under 20 seconds per play.

OSU's fastest season came in its Big 12 title year of 2011, when the Cowboys averaged 20 seconds.

As the schedule figures to bring more competitive games, expect the Cowboys to press the pedal even more as they approach their preferred pace of play.

“We can always get faster,” said OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. “We can always push the standard from a tempo standpoint, getting lined up fast and making sure that they're wearing the defense out and disrupting their communication and you're making them, from a substitution standpoint, take care of that as well.”


By routing Lamar 59-3, the Cowboys reached a Mike Gundy milestone of sorts.

It marked the 25th time in Gundy's tenure as head coach that OSU has scored at least 50 points in a game.

Continue reading this story on the...

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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