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Oklahoma State football report card: Mike Yurcich, Cowboys' defensive line get high marks

by Berry Tramel Published: October 26, 2013

OSU's defense was opportunistic and its offense found a way to pile up points. But all is not rosy in Cowboyland, and the grades from a 58-27 rout of Iowa State reflect it.


This might have been the finest game of Yurcich's maiden season as offensive coordinator. With a quarterback obviously misfiring and a running game that was good but not great in the first half, Yurcich found some wrinkles to break open the game. OSU kept up its shotgun option look in the second half, but with predetermined plays. With fullback Kye Staley charging at Iowa State's defensive ends, sometimes blocking, sometimes not, the Cyclones stayed in constant confusion. In the third quarter, OSU reeled off 179 rushing yards on 16 carries and took control of the game.


Clint Chelf completed just 10 of 26 passes. That's 39 percent. That's unacceptable. And it's not like OSU was calling a bunch of low-percentage passes. Counting three passes on which were penalties were called against Iowa State, Chelf threw downfield only five of 29 passes. His longest completion went for 16 yards.


The Cowboys limited Iowa State to 138 yards on 31 running plays, and 52 of those yards came on quarterback Sam Richardson's option run. OSU's front four controlled the line of scrimmage. Linebackers Ryan Simmons (11) and Caleb Lavey (10) had a bunch of tackles, but Lavey said that freedom was created by the line's domination up front.


Iowa State entered the game 1-5 and coming off a 71-7 loss at Baylor. But the Cyclone fans are steadfast. Jack Trice Stadium was sold out, 56,800; ISU's always-ample tailgating was in high gear; and the crisp autumn day – temperatures approaching 50, with a brisk wind – made for a gorgeous day of football. The only downer? Like always, ISU fans were slow to enter the stadium, creating a logjam at the gates even at opening kick.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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