October 15, 2012

Looking for answers

In last Saturday's game at Kansas, the Oklahoma State offense clearly did not perform to standard. The Cowboys' point total in the 20-14 win was its lowest since Halloween night in 2009 - a 41-14 loss to Texas. After film review, Mike Gundy came away thinking the root cause was the same as his initial reaction right after the game - that the KU defense won the battle in the trenches.

"After watching the tape from the game, what I had mentioned afterwards is what really happened," Gundy said. "They were much more physical up front than our guys. We had practiced well. Defensively they played with more effort up front than we did on offense so we weren't very effective running the football, which forced us into a situation where we became somewhat predictable throwing the ball, and then at that point we didn't throw it very well."

OSU quarterback situation remains in flux as the Cowboys prepare for their Homecoming date with Iowa State. Backup J.W. Walsh started and played the entire game at Kansas, as he did the game before against Texas. Starter Wes Lunt was suited up against the Jayhawks, but did not play. It appears the Cowboys will go another week with question marks surrounding the position - at least as far as the general public knows. Gundy pointed to Thursday as the day he would like to be certain as to which player will be the starter for Iowa State.

While OSU offensive struggles were clear, the defense had some moments that may give them something to build on going forward. After performing very poorly on third- and fourth-downs against Texas, the OSU defense stopped KU on third down on 12 of 18 tries. They were even better on fourth, stopping the Jayhawks all five times they went for it. That is worth noting, according to defensive coordinator Bill Young.

"We were really excited. We stopped them five times on fourth down," Young said. "They had some issues with their field goal kicker, so we knew they were going to go for it. Plus, we had a 20-point lead there for a while. We also performed well on third down, which helped us get them into those fourth down situations."

Red zone defense and creating turnovers were other "areas needing improvement" heading into the KU game, with opponents turning red zone opportunities into touchdowns and winning the turnover battle. Red zone defense was in the positive column, with the Cowboys denying the Jayhawks on their lone trip inside the red zone. OSU did not create a...

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