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CRFF Roundtable Week 2: Missouri State

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We brought back our team at Cowboys Ride For Free to answer questions on the upcoming game against Missouri State.

Tom Pennington

Continuing on from last week I am poising four questions to our team of writers to get their input on this weeks upcoming game and a look back at last weeks game.

What was the biggest thing you saw last week that needs to be fixed going forward?
  • Robert Whetsell: "Gotta figure out how to improve the passing game. If we're going to have all these talented wide receivers then we need to get them the ball."
  • Taylor York: "Play calling. At this point I don't care if it's Walsh or Daxx. What I care about is that we see a coherent game plan for the quarterback they choose. Walsh can throw a football 0-30 yards down the field, so let's make a plan that revolves around that fact. Curls comebacks floods outs, they all happen 20 yards down the field.
  • Parker Schultz: "The passing game and/or Walsh is this team's biggest issue. After that, the snapping has to be better, and we still have Grogan :("
  • Evan Jones: "Either establishing a deep threat, or figuring out how to make opponents honor the passing game is important, as has been discussed.  I really think that with some creativity, the coaching staff can create a scheme that doesn't have to be able to toss the long ball to burn the secondary. Honestly, I think that that will be worked out.  What I want to see fixed from Saturday's brawl is devastating defensive penalties and stiffen up our special teams and kicking game. I'll never get used to an OSU kicker without the ability to smoke 42 yard field goals on the reg.  Also, every team should have a deep snapper on scholarship. It is too vital of a position to lay that much risk."
  • Dekota Gregory: "The team continued come up with huge plays, but then give up a big play on the very next snap. The D would sack Winston on 2nd down then give up a first down on third and long. That also comes with the youth and inexperience, but good leadership and the older guys stepping up would also help that a lot."
  • Gunter Sharp: "Passing game. Walsh HAS to be able to stretch the field if we are going to beat team like Baylor, OU, or win a conference championship."
  • Derek Hatridge: "Passing is obviously a big issue, but so is the center/long snapper position. Going back and watching the game again, a lot of snaps where high and/or mistimed, throwing the offense off by a few seconds, which can be crucial. Also, let's not forget the punting debacle..."
  • Cory Treece: "By far its the miscues on special teams. Having multiple mistakes in the kicking game, particularly punting, made a huge difference in a tight game."
  • Chris Ross: "Sure Walsh's arm strength limits the playbook, but the biggest issue for Oklahoma State right now is the center. The Pokes lost the top 2 centers from a year ago, so a lot of it is just growing pains, but there were several bad snaps in last nights game.  Walsh was fielding high snaps all night, throwing off the timing just a bit, and of course the snap on the one punt was just awful."

The main themes of what needed to be fixed was the offense, specifically the passing game and special teams. The main idea of the problems with the passing game being that if OSU is going to be successful they cannot be one dimensional. Another factor of that is the play calling. The combination of Walsh's lack of arm strength and Yurcich's play calling can sometime lead to the Pokes being run only on offense. The special teams was a big struggle this past weekend. We all know of Grogan's struggle as he missed a 42 yarder and possibly even more concerning in the bad snaps that occurred in the punting game.

*****

Who or what stood out to you the most vs. Florida State?
  • Robert Whetsell: "Glenn Spencer"
  • Taylor York: "What stood out to me on the OSU side? Our D has athletes. It feels like our recruiting has really paid off. Obviously Spencer is the man, but as Yurcich said, it really comes down to the athletes to make the coaches look good. These guys make Spencer look like a god."
  • Parker Schultz: "Our defense was such a huge and welcome surprise. That  D-Line was no joke with Ogbah looking like a real BAMF."
  • Evan Jones: "I feel like I have to say Hill, Ogbah, or our D-line... But one of the biggest standouts for me was our entire teams disposition.  If I'm being honest, at 17-0, I was about ready to turn Strawberry Shortcake on for the kiddo and go play Fifa... But when they panned a shot down to our sideline, our kids had stern faces, solid body language, and a determination about them.  They took 3 hard hits to the head by the heavy weight champ, got back up, and walked right back into the fray.  It was an amazing sight."
  • Dekota Gregory: "The future is bright at Oklahoma State!! Pure talent alone kept OSU in a game against the best team in the country and with more experience OSU could possibly reverse rolls with Florida State."
  • Gunter Sharp: "The defensive line. They were ripping away at an offensive line made up of five seniors."
  • Derek Hatridge: "Defense, defense, defense. Ogbah is a beast and Boone needs to give Glenn Spencer a blank check and a pen."
  • Cory Treece: "The defensive line MAY be better than last year's. It might not show up in the defensive production if we can't get consistent play out of the secondary, but they played amazing on Saturday against one of the best O-Lines in the country. Ogbah is going to be really really good this year."

Almost everyone said defense. It's obvious as to why because there performance was out of no where and awesome. Ogbah definitely made his claim as a force to be reckoned with on defense. A name I am surprised no one mentioned is Tyreek Hill. I know his performance was somewhat expected he still stood out to me.

*****

What do you most want to see next week versus a sub-par opponent in Missouri St.?
  • Robert Whetsell: "Confirmation that Gundy is full of crap with all his QB talk. Oh, also confirmation of Rudolph's redshirt."
  • Taylor York: "A 60 minute Walsh practice session passing down field. Let him prove to coach that he can make some plays with his arm. Whatever he does poorly, fix it and try again against UTSA."
  • Parker Schultz: "Daxx and Tyreek Hill embarrassing a bad team."
  • Evan Jones: "I want to see the 2nd team start the 3rd quarter. I want to see Walsh make some attempts downfield. I want to see more variations in or check down plays beside 'up the middle.' I want to see a shutout."
  • Dekota Gregory: "What will Tyreek Hill do against a bad defense. He was able to put up big number against the fastest and possibly best defense in the nation. What happens when the opposing team has nobody fast enough to even have a chance to catch him?"
  • Gunter Sharp: "Daxx Garman."
  • Derek Hatridge: "More colorful play calling. I know Yurcich has it in him. He's shown flashes of some gutsy plans before, and most seemed to work. He has to get out of his vanilla shell and trust his personnel if he's going to fully unleash this offense."
  • Cory Treece: "Better production out of the passing game. This offense works really well when we can soften up the front 7 by hitting on a pass or two down-field. That usually opens up huge holes in the running game. I think next week will be a much more balanced attack offensively."

Most everyone wants to see what the offense has to do. Whether it be a chance to see the QB situation with Daxx and if Mason Rudolph is going to be redshirted. Derek said more colorful play calling and although it would be nice to see I don't think we will because they will not want to show much of the play book versus a team they can outmatch talent wise. Of course we all want another chance to see Tyreek. I think the main thing that we all want is a win.

*****

Did last weeks showing change your expectations going into the rest of this year? If so how?
  • Robert Whetsell: "Absolutely. This team "should" be able to compete for the top 2 spots in the conference. The Freek and The Beast."
  • Taylor York: "Did my expectations change? No. Here is how I see it: The defense's ceiling is undefeated. They could go the distance with anyone in the nation. Before this game I would have put their ceiling at 8 games with the inexperienced secondary. So the defense went from 8 to 13(?). The offense's ceiling is still at 9 games. Unchanged in my eyes. They could do worse than 9 but I think the absolute best this offense can do is 9 wins. The offense will loose games this season, not the defense."
  • Parker Schultz: "Yes, I think I was more down on the Pokes than a lot of OSU fans. I was expecting 7-8 wins, but 9 really isn't out of the question anymore. The defense looked much better than I expected, and even with Walsh's struggles, the offense still looked dangerous."
  • Evan Jones: "Absolutely. If anyone saw this coming from our team of youngsters, I would like to call BS.  I never expected this type of play from our D. I thought our offense would be decent and able to hold it's own, but I was very concerned about our D. Most all of my concerns were taken away by that performance on Saturday. I had us sitting at 7 wins this season. If we roll into the house that Bill Snyder built with anything less than 7 wins, I will be disappointed. I think 9 wins is a very real possibility. "
  • Dekota Gregory: "I predicted a 9-3 season and people said I was crazy. I was beginning to doubt my prediction, but Saturday proved that 9-3 is very possible for the Cowboys."
  • Gunter Sharp: "Yes. Makes a few games look easier to win. Adds 1-2 wins to the final record."
  • Derek Hatridge: "In a sense, yes. Personally, I was stuck in expectations limbo. There were so many question marks, I was unsure if this team was capable of 5-7 or 10-2. Now, however, I believe this Oklahoma State team is very capable of running the Big 12, even with a gauntlet of a November."
  • Cory Treece: "I still think this team will win 8-9 games this year, but I fell much better about our chances at KSU, OU, and Baylor especially with this defense. Winning at least one or maybe 2 could make OSU a factor in the Big 12 Title race."

There were mixed opinions on if expectations were changed. For me personally they were. I think this team has the talent to compete for the Big 12 Title. I don't think they will but I certainly think OSU is a force to be reckoned with. There are some games that I saw as possible coin flips or losses that I now look at as an opportunity to get a win for the Pokes.

That wraps up this Roundtable. What are some of your thoughts on these questions? Let us know in the comments.