Arguably the most eye-popping number — and not in a good way — that came out of Oklahoma State's stunning loss to West Virginia was starting running back Jeremy Smith's 0.1 yards per carry average. He tallied exactly one yard on 15 carries, with a long of four yards.
Smith is, of course, at least partly to blame for that poor performance. But the guys who are supposed to create holes for Smith feel responsible, as well.
“We felt like we kind of let the team down a little bit,” offensive lineman Brandon Webb said. “As seniors, me and Parker (Graham) talked, and we think it's kind of our fault. We have to get better this week and show up against Kansas State.”
Another blocker who used the term “my fault?” Fullback Jeremy Seaton, who admitted being caught off-guard by the way West Virginia's cornerbacks were quickly biting on the run and getting to the ball carrier.
“They caught me a couple times where I'd have two receivers outside, but (the cornerbacks) were firing so fast that our receivers couldn't get to them,” Seaton said. “It wasn't possible. And it should have been my block, and I didn't see them, so that was definitely my responsibility and I should have got them.
“Now that I saw that, it kind of comes with experience, if another team does it, I'll be ready for it and I'll be able to block it.”
RE-EMERGENCE OF TRACY MOORE A BRIGHT SPOT FOR OFFENSE
Perhaps the only bright spot of the OSU offense Saturday was the re-emergence of Tracy Moore, who was clearly an intended target early and often for Walsh. He finished with five catches for 89 yards and his first touchdown of the season.
OSU coach Mike Gundy said last week that defenses sometimes focused on taking Moore out of the game in the early season. But Moore revealed Monday that some nagging minor injuries (none that had to do with his season-ending ankle injury from last season) played a part in his lack of production.
“Just not being 100 percent those first three games, I didn't want to push it,” Moore said. “I actually took myself out those second two games and didn't play too much. I don't really blame anybody for not being as productive, but now that I'm 100 percent, it's definitely gonna change from here on out.”
Moore said that receivers coaches Kasey Dunn and Jason Ray, coordinator Mike Yurcich and Gundy all stressed that Moore should get more involved in the offense against West Virginia. Plays were dialed up to get him the ball. And the Mountaineers' scheme to play a lot of man coverage also helped him get open.
Moore could be needed even more Saturday against Kansas State, as the health of OSU's top two receivers, Josh Stewart and Jhajuan Seales, is in question after both left the West Virginia game with apparent head injuries.
CALVIN BARNETT CALLS TYLER LOCKETT ‘THE PROTOTYPE PLAYER THAT YOU'D WANT'
Defensive tackle Calvin Barnett remembers checking in on his former high school teammate, Tyler Lockett, when Barnett was a sophomore at Navarro Junior College and Lockett was a freshman at Kansas State.
“He really hasn't changed,” Barnett said to himself.
Barnett most remembers Lockett's work ethic when both starred at Tulsa Washington. Barnett said Lockett always gave great effort on the practice field and in the weight room. Always did his homework. And always had a positive attitude.
Now, Lockett has developed into one of the Big 12's biggest offensive and special teams weapons. He leads the conference in all-purpose yards (157.2 per game), is tied for first with 7.25 receptions per game and ranks second in receiving yards (117.2 per game).
“The discipline that kid has is really unreal,” Barnett said. “He's like the prototype player that you'd want.”
Barnett said he still occasionally keeps in touch with Lockett, but that there will be no trash talk heading into the Cowboys' game against the Wildcats.
“There's no need to do that,” he said. “We're all at the same level at the end of the day. We all compete at a high level. It's a mutual respect.”
BOONE PICKENS, ‘THE SYSTEM' CO-AUTHOR TO HOLD BOOK SIGNING AT OSU SATURDAY
OSU megabooster Boone Pickens and Jeff Benedict, co-author of The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, will host a book signing from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at OSU's student union.
The impact of Pickens' $165 million donation to Cowboy football is the subject of a chapter in The System, which debuted this week at No. 12 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The chapter gives readers an inside look at Pickens' day while attending OSU's game against Texas last season.