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Berry Tramel


Oklahoma State football: Running game has tumbled

by Berry Tramel Modified: October 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm •  Published: October 7, 2013

Since a 286-yard rushing game against Mississippi State, OSU's rushing attack has sputtered.
Since a 286-yard rushing game against Mississippi State, OSU's rushing attack has sputtered.

We have come to expect OSU to sit prominently near the top of the NCAA’s rushing statistics. That’s why the Cowboys’ current status is so stark.

NCAA passing offense: OSU ranks 22nd, at 300.4 yards per game. Which is perfectly acceptable with a dual-threat quarterback in J.W. Walsh. For all the talk about Walsh’s lack of arm strength, that’s an OK number.

NCAA total offense: OSU ranks 48th, 445.2 yards per game. That’s a little worrisome. The Cowboys have been a 500-yard team for several years now, and with the meat of the schedule approaching, that 445.2 yards per game likely is to drop.

NCAA rushing offense: OSU ranks 82nd, at 144.8 yards per game. That’s just not good at all, particularly since the Cowboys got 286 yards rushing against Mississippi State and just 438 combined since. Clearly, the Bulldogs were not ready for the new-look OSU offense. Other teams have figured out that the best plan against OSU is to stop the run and take your chances on getting beat deep.

The run game was worse against Kansas State than against West Virginia. The Cowboys had just 85 yards rushing against the Wildcats. For all the talk about Jeremy Smith’s horrible day against West Virginia, the Cowboys still managed 111 yards, courtesy of Walsh and Des Roland.

We’ve seen enough to know that this is who the Cowboys are. A team that struggles to run, without the big-armed quarterback to make defenses pay for stacking the box. So the Cowboys have to be inventive offensively. That’s more taxing on new coordinator Mike Yurcich.

The Cowboys’ next test is against the Big 12′s best defense, TCU. OSU has two weeks to prepare for the Frogs. Looks like they’re going to need it.