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Red zone offense key in Oklahoma State's success

The Cowboys rank No. 2 nationally in red zone scoring this season.
By Brandon Chatmon, Staff Writer, bchatmon@opubco.com Modified: November 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm •  Published: November 1, 2010

/articleid/3510267/1/pictures/1221815">Photo - Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle (1) gets past Kansas State's Alex Hrebec (56) during the second half of the college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Kansas State University Wildcats (KSU) on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, in Manhattan, Kan.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle (1) gets past Kansas State's Alex Hrebec (56) during the second half of the college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Kansas State University Wildcats (KSU) on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, in Manhattan, Kan. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Fullback Bryant Ward is a overlooked key to the Pokes' success. By acting as an extra blocker, Ward, one of the best lead blockers in the Big 12, gives the Pokes the ability to outman opponents in the run game — even in the red zone.

"He gives us an edge with his ability to block," Gundy said.

Kicker Dan Bailey changes offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen's red zone mindset. Bailey hasn't missed a kick all season, so Holgorsen takes a more conservative approach.

"I've been on a lot of teams where we get down there and they can't make them," Holgorsen said. "We try to be conservative with what we call down there."

Because three points is better than nothing.

Kansas State proved that on Saturday. When KSU kicker Josh Cherry missed a short field goal early in the third quarter, it sucked the life out of the Wildcats and sparked the Pokes to a win.

Bailey is 10 of 10 on red zone field goals and, while the goal is a touchdown, his contribution cannot be underrated.

"Coach Holgorsen always goes through the stats," Weeden said. "And red zone (percentage) is always a big thing."


Red Zone Warriors

Here's a look at the redzone numbers for Oklahoma State's top playmakers:

Quarterback Brandon Weeden

23 of 37 pass attempts for 195 yards (62.2 percent), 10 touchdowns, one interception, 190.21 quarterback rating.

Running back Kendall Hunter

38 carries for 134 yards (3.53 yards per carry), 10 touchdowns

Running back Jeremy Smith

12 carries for 31 yards (2.58 yards per carry) 3 touchdowns

Receiver Justin Blackmon

Eight receptions for 61 yards (7.63 yards per catch), four touchdowns

Receiver Josh Cooper

Six receptions for 48 yards (8.00 yards per catch), two touchdowns

Receiver Michael Harrison

Two receptions for 16 yards (8.00 yards per catch), two touchdowns

Source: cfbstats.com

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