Mason Rudolph and the receivers can only do so much.
For OSU to hit the 9-3 or 10-2 mark that most of us at CRFF predicted, something has to give. I'm not overreacting to one game, but at the same time its got to get better.
The Cowboys run schemes since Yurcich came to Stillwater have been by far my biggest complaint. It feels like they are only set up to get 5 yards max often times less. These last two years and two games have been like we are watching our running backs try to run through a brick wall for four quarters.
For perspective, the two years prior to Yurcich arrival, OSU averaged 5.3 and 5.4 yards a carry. Since he has been in Stillwater the Cowboys have not topped the 4.5 YPC mark. Take that as you will, but for me YPC is a huge stat. It isn't about how much you pound the rock, for carries have actually been higher under Yurcich, its about how effective those carries are. I put a lot of weight in YPC. OSU just doesn't break the long runs like it used to which is a key component in any spread offense, respecting the run creates that much more space for Rudolph to do his thing.
Now, some of this can obviously be attributed to a lackluster offensive line, but that isn't the sole reason. In 2013 when OSU went 10-3 the O-line was at a minimum serviceable, yet they only managed 4.4 YPC.
This 2015 squad should be more than equipped to bump those numbers up, yet struggled with a MAC defense. Chris Carson can and will be the workhorse and his debut, while nothing extraordinary, was solid. You can work with 21 carries and 89 yards. However, you can't work with 15 for 42, especially when 21 of those yards come off one run.
I think the key will be Childs, getting only 5 carries wont do it. He has that breakaway speed that we haven't seen yet from Carson and Yurcich MUST find a way to give him some space to work. More packages with JW would be a welcomed sight as well. This years Childs is a completely different Childs than years past, and we've seen that in the first two games.
It was two games. I know that. As Aaron Rodgers said last year - relax. It is imperative, however, that OSU get something going next week against UTSA in the run game and really get that established with conference play looming. The O-line has to be better and push to let Carson and Childs have some room to breathe. With how predicated the offense is on establishing a run threat to create space, if it continues to struggle the offense will with it.