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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys will likely go heavy on the run game against Missouri

The Cowboys certainly aren't Auburn, the nation's best rushing team at more than 335 yards per game. But OSU developed a solid ground attack in the second half of the season.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: December 15, 2013

STILLWATER — No one needed to tell Desmond Roland how Auburn rolled up 545 rushing yards on Missouri in the SEC title game.

The Oklahoma State running back watched it himself.

And got excited.

“Oh, yeah,” Roland said. “I was watching the game and (Missouri) couldn't stop one run. (Auburn was) running simple plays. That made me feel real good.

“I have a good feeling about this game (the Cotton Bowl). Our O-line, I'm sure they do, too, and Jeremy (Smith), Kye (Staley). We're all gonna go into this game motivated.”

Cowboy offensive lineman Parker Graham was a little more careful with his words, noting that Auburn's particular scheme on that particular day worked extremely well against Missouri's defense.

Still, OSU is likely to bring a strong helping of the run game to its Cotton Bowl showdown against Missouri on Jan. 3.

The Cowboys certainly aren't Auburn, the nation's best rushing team at more than 335 yards per game. They don't have a Heisman finalist in Tre Mason, who finished the season with more than 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns, or Nick Marshall, a 1,000-yard rusher at quarterback who has scored 11 times with his legs.

But OSU developed a solid ground attack in the second half of the season, once Joe Wickline found his best offensive line combination against TCU on Oct. 19 and Roland became the starting running back against Iowa State the following week. Even quarterback Clint Chelf became an effective running option on zone-read and draw plays.

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