78 yards...342 yards....420 total yards.
Numbers that totally make sense based on what we've seen so far this season.
Except they don't.
After steamrolling Mississippi State on the ground in the opener, the Cowboys haven't mustered so much as a whimper on the ground. Jeremy Smith, annointed the heir apparent to Joseph Randle, couldn't get past the line of scrimmage. Rennie Childs gave OSU a spark out of the backfield against TCU, so of course we clamored for more.
Which is why it made total sense when Desmond Roland got the start in Ames and ran roughshod over the Iowa State defense for the slowest 200+ yards and 4 TD's in the history of OSU football. Clint Chelf, as we expected, got the start at QB and added 85 yards on the ground.
Now, before we go believing that somehow OSU has figured it all out, let's just point out a couple of things...
- Iowa State has THE worst defense in the Big 12, ranking last or next to last in almost every meaningful category;
- Against the leagues worst pass defense, Clint Chelf nearly matched his completion % from last week, going 10-26 for a measly 78 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT;
Yes, the wind was blowing enough to affect the ball, but the wind wasn't blowing last week when he went 10-25 in BPS, so now we have a common denominator. His interception was clearly some type of miscommunication with the receiver, as Chelf lobbed it up deep while Ateman ran a hook. Yurcich called a pretty good game, but if Chelf can't improve on his completion % (which I find it hard to believe he can't), this offense is not winning the Big 12, I don't care how much the defense has improved.
Look, this was a very good win on the road in a place that has given OSU trouble in the recent past, but if the Cowboys toss another performance like that into the ring for consideration in Lubbock next Saturday night, Kliff and Company will have a field day rebounding from their tough loss in Norman.
And it wasn't quite as easy as the final score indicates. Minus Justin Gilbert's pick 6 in the first quarter, OSU would have held a 21-20 lead at halftime. The defense, while seeming to be stingy, gave up some big plays and were hurt by QB runs before knocking Sam Richardson out of the game. While Gilbert got us excited with his INT and score, he promptly got burned for two TD's.
Halftime adjustments tightened up the D and clearly focused the offense on running the ball. Chelf went 4-5 on the first drive, but then went 3-15 to close out the half. He would go only 3-6 in the 2nd half. Granted, there were a couple of balls that should have been caught, but not enough to bail Chelf completely out of another horrendous completion percentage. Charlie Moore made a great play on the TD pass, taking the ball away from the defender on the poorly placed lob. If the wind is an issue, this isn't the type of pass I'm throwing...
I will say, any win on the road in the Big 12 is a good win, but there are still plenty of question marks for the offense, and the Red Raiders defense is just a "smidgen" better than the Cyclones. The defense did their job, buttoning things up after the first half. They gave up less than 350 total yards and less than 200 yard through the air, in addition to the two bonus TD's on the pick 6 and fumble return. BTW, I'm sure we would like to think our QB's and WR's are better than their Cyclone counterparts, but they went 18-38 for 192 yards. OSU went 10-27 for 78 yards.
Gundy's post game comments once again continued to baffle, and this one is the last straw in my belief that he has ANY idea what he's doing with the quarterback position, EVER...
Gundy: "I wouldn't think that we would change (quarterbacks again)." Might use Walsh more, though. #okstate— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) October 26, 2013
Just gonna shake my head on that one.
In the meantime, it looks like Roland has taken the starting position from Jeremy Smith, but what the hell happened to Childs? After what felt like a little bit of a break out performance last week, and comments from coaches, he had a dropped screen pass and 2 rushes for -1 yd. So much for seeing more action from the freshman. Gundy's presser on Monday should be quite the display by the head coach, as he undoubtedly will find new ways to say absolutely nothing of importance.
And then we will wait for Lubbock.