Against the Sooners, Randle ran hard and tough, carrying 19 times.
“It's a roller coaster ride, definitely,” Randle said of his past few weeks. “But it's all paying off now.”
Said Monken: “Randle: I'm so proud of Joe. Joe practiced his butt off. Nobody felt worse than Joe. I thought Joe ran hard. And he protected the ball all week (in practice).”
The Cowboys hinted at their strategy from the start, running five of six plays on their opening drive.
They never wavered from the commitment.
Paving the way for the running game, the Cowboys used more motion, more two-back sets, more jumbo packages and more outside runs than they had all season, all the work of offensive line coach Joe Wickline.
“It's really coach Wickline,” Monken said. “Coach Wickline came up with a great plan for us to run the football. We rely on him that way.”
OSU romped to a 34-point win without Brandon Weeden tossing a touchdown for the first time in his career as a starter.
“We believe we can throw it,” Monken said. “But we have to be able to run it. You're going to be a team that throws it to win, but the reality is you've got to be careful putting too much on them. We count so much on them to make so many decisions.”
Besides, the Cowboys were counting on the Sooners committing to stopping Weeden and the receiving crew.
“You can't just throw it every snap and be effective,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. “And we also felt like they would think that we weren't going to try to run the ball. We felt like they would just probably defend pass.”