Following a ragged 20-14 win at Kansas, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy called out his offensive line for getting pushed around up front.
In Saturday's 31-10 romp past Iowa State, OSU ran for 210 yards, part of a 615-yard total offense figure that ranks as the most allowed during the Paul Rhoads era with the Cyclones.
“We made sure we did a lot better job this week of being physical,” Cowboys guard Lane Taylor said. “We didn't want to give anybody an excuse. We know it starts up front. We just want to set that tone for the rest of the season.”
Said Gundy: “I think they took it as a challenge. They were teasing me all week, ‘Coach, do you think we practiced hard enough today?' Coach (Joe) Wickline does a great job of challenging those guys each week. They know what we expect. Hopefully, we can get them to perform and play at a high level.”
RANDLE CARRYING THE LOAD
With running back Jeremy Smith hampered by a foot injury, the burden of the running game has fallen on Joseph Randle.
At Kansas, Randle handled 29 of OSU's 30 running back carries. Against Iowa State, he accounted for 24 of 30 back attempts, and also caught three passes.
“I'm ready for whatever,” Randle said. “I can hold it down until (Smith) can come back and get some more carries. But I'm fine with getting more carries. I got the rock — I think I got it (27) times between catching it and running it — so I'm happy about that.”
COWBOYS DEFENSE DELIVERS
Iowa State started strong against the Cowboys, scoring 10 points through three possessions.
After that, OSU's defense didn't much budge, forcing eight punts, two turnovers and stopping the Cyclones on downs over their final 11 series. On eight of the drives, the Cowboys didn't allow a first down.
“The coaches told us coming into the game that if we didn't give up big plays, we would stop them,” said OSU safety Daytawion Lowe. “That's exactly what we did. We stopped giving up the big plays and we started stopping them.”
OPPONENT WATCH: TCU
Most Saturday's, the Cowboys carry a decided edge with punter/kicker Quinn Sharp.
That edge — at least on the placekicking side — might not be so evident against TCU.
Horned Frogs kicker Jaden Oberkrom booted six field goals and scored 23 points in a wild 56-53 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday. He connected on kicks from 32, 41, 32, 45, 42 and 38 yards, making him 14-of-16 on field goals for the season.
By John Helsley