Here's the extent of what he learned last Saturday that helps us understand what is coming around the corner in Big 12 play.
Kansas is bad, and they're very likely going winless in 2015.
Emmanuel Ogbah is an absolute beast, but if he wasn't hogging all the attention we'd be hearing more about other pretty darn good players on the defensive line. That line, and linebackers behind them, will likely play the strongest hand in OSU's bid to contend for a conference title.
The offensive line is still not great, and the running game is probably going to cost us a win at some point.
Oh, you're not in agreement with that last statement? You tell me to take a look at the stat sheet for the Kansas game and take note of 47 carries for 202 yards? Yes, that looks pretty good, or at least it does until you look at the first half stats for the running game.
21 carries, 65 yards (3.1 ypc)
Against the worst run defense in the Big 12. That's not good. That's less ypc than OSU was averaging for the season coming into this game.
I'm not impressed by the numbers after the half. It was 35-10 by then and EVERYONE knew it was over. We loved to bring up what OSU's 2011 defense did PRIOR to garbage time in an effort to argue their effectiveness, so we don't get to ignore it now in order to prop something up that didn't really accomplish much when it mattered.
What's the problem? We pretty much know that the Cowboys are not very good at run blocking. Blame it on attitude, maybe the scheme, quite possibly play calling that emphasizes their weaknesses as opposed to taking pressure off those areas.
But I would also echo what a number of folks brought up during the game, and also from the previous game at West Virginia.
With the blocking challenges this offensive line faces, Chris Carson is not the best choice to start at running back. He's not even the best choice to spell the starter. This running game needs burst and elusiveness, and their are two other backs besides Rennie Childs that both have WAY more of that than Carson. There's no question in my mind that Raymond Taylor and Jeff Carr should be following up Childs.
Now Carson had a decent day against Kansas, amassing 44 yards on 9 carries, almost 5 ypc. But most of those came from bouncing outside when there was no room in the middle, and he honestly looks slower than Desmond Roland when that happens. If that's where OSU's success on the ground will materialize, then you need more speed and the ability to make a play in space. Carson has not shown the ability to "move the pile," so at that moment, what is his value? Childs and Taylor have shown just as much ability to get tough yards, and Carr is very slippery in the middle of those pile ups. Taylor and Carr are definitely the Cowboys' most elusive backs, so why not take advantage of that ability in a moment where the opportunity to run through a hole unmolested doesn't exist.
This upcoming trip to Lubbock will be very interesting, as the Red Raiders got run over and around in Norman, giving up 405 yards on the ground to the tune of 7.1 ypc. If OSU's running game has truly seen some minor improvement, then we should see some of that next Saturday. Carson is the team's leading rusher, but he's also the only RB that is averaging less than 4 ypc. His talents, along with those of the offensive line, are not a good combination right now.
But, don't hold your breath. I wouldn't expect anything to change anytime soon in regards to RB #1 and RB#2.
Therefore don't expect anything to change anytime soon in regards to the Cowboys running game. Maybe that doesn't matter in the end, as 7-0 is still 7-0. They don't ask how.
And, no matter what happens on Halloween in Lubbock, OSU will still control it's own destiny as the November race for the Big 12 title gets ready to come to Stillwater on Nov 7.