October 28, 2013

Work in progress

Despite scoring 58 points last Saturday in Ames, Iowa, and one Oklahoma State running back having a career day, the Cowboy offense is still a work in progress. Head coach Mike Gundy didn't shy away from naming the specific area that his team has to improve on for the stretch run of the 2013 - which includes all of the title contenders for the conference crown.

"We need to throw the football better, period," Gundy said. "If you look at the opponent we're playing this week (Texas Tech), they're scoring and they've been effective in throwing the football. There's three phases in a game. We all know that. At some point, you have to match them where their strength is. They have certainly had the ability to score points, but, defensively, they have been effective also. We need to become a better passing team to give ourselves a better chance to win this weekend."

While junior running back Desmond Roland was gashing the Cyclone defense for 219 rushing yards, the OSU passing game was anemic. Senior quarterback Clint Chelf managed just 78 passing yards in his second start of the season. That total came on 26 attempts, which included 10 completions, one touchdown and one interception. A strong north wind was undoubtedly a factor, though ISU's quarterbacks combined for 192 yards while completing 18 of 38 attempts.

Gundy noted that the OSU offensive line had its best performance of the season against ISU and attributed that to continuity. With Brandon Garrett apparently having locked down the right tackle job, the Cowboys had the same five primary offensive linemen on the field for the majority of the last two games - as well as the practices in between. On Saturday, Roland was the beneficiary.

"He gave us toughness running the football," said OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. "He...



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