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Grading The Game - Offense Trying To Raise Its GPA

The Kansas State game was exciting and raised my expectations for the offense even if just a little bit.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Offense (B+)

This B+ is more of an 89.4 kind of B. It's the kind that when your parents ask why you didn't get an A, you tell them it's because the professor didn't think you reached your capabilities or because of one misspelling. The Cowboy offense was about as hot as it has looked all year. Mason Rudolph had his second 400-yard game of the year and threw for three touchdowns while getting James Washington and Marcel Ateman over 100 yards. OSU hasn't had two receivers with more than 100 in the same game since Josh Stewart and Blake Jackson a few years back.

The grade isn't an A for three reasons. One, the interception (hand off) and two, the fumble that turned into seven for Kansas State. There's also the whole not having a run game on Saturday. However, I didn't deduct from that a lot because the Cowboys were without their starting and backup running backs.

Defense (B-)

Now this is the sort of B- that is more around 81.5 percent and your parents are just happy it wasn't a C. The first half was pretty terrible. Four of the first five Kansas State drives were touchdowns and that wasn't even with an actual quarterback. The Wildcats had four straight third down conversions before missing on one to end the half 4-for-5. The defense also allowed that receiver who can throw a bit to have over 120 yards on the ground and 100 yards throwing. That's not preferrable.

However, after allowing 28 points in the first half the grade was saved. The third and fourth quarter was that much better. The Wildcats had seven drives. In those seven drives they punted five times, had an interception and one touchdown, holding the Cats to six points in the last 30 minutes of game time and allowing only 175 total yards. Pretty decent second half. The whole allowing 34 points in the game hurt the grade though.

Special Teams (B)

This unit was as average as it could get. Other than the game-winning field goal, it was sort of off and on for the game. A missed extra point wasn't Ben Grogan's fault, it was a coverage issue and even he said so afterward. That's three times on the year so we'll see how that goes the rest of the season. Zach Sinor did have two punts inside the 20, so that was great and Brandon Sheperd had some good returns, but nothing extremely flashy. The special teams did help the Cowboys have average starting field position at the 31 yard line for the game.