2010 was Dana Holgorsen's offense. What you saw on the field was HIS product.
2011-12 was Todd Monken's offense. What you saw on the field was HIS product.
But since 2013 and the hiring of Division II unknown Mike Yurcich, there has been some debate as to whether or not this is indeed HIS product. His first season was probably the closest we've seen to being all Yurcich.
This past Saturday was the final straw in convincing me that the offense we are watching is Gundy's,
Now don't get me wrong, Yurcich is drawing up schemes. How much he's drawing up I don't know. How much he's drawing up that Gundy is vetoing, who knows. But be assured, Gundy is putting the final stamp of approval on everything, including the play calling.
We've seen clear examples of it recently, and Gundy admits to it.
Overtime against OU. The 2nd half of the Cactus Bowl. The first half against CMU.
Then there was the game this past weekend in Austin.
As with UTSA, OSU ran the ball way more than they threw it (46 rushes to 36 passes), and if not for three Texas penalties on the last of those drives, Grogan would have been kicking to TIE the game after the muffed snap on the punt. Since OSU passed more than they ran on their 4 legit scoring drives, that tells you how much they ran it the rest of the time.
If the Cowboys had lost, we would have heard the tired Gundy line "We have to run the ball better."
Sure you do, but at what point did ANYONE think that the running game was going to be the equal of the passing game coming into this season?
This team's talent is geared towards the pass. Running backs were unproven, and the offensive line would hopefully continue the late season improvement of 2014, but Rudolph and the receivers would be the driving force of the offense.
Mason Rudolph is young, but we are willing to grow with him, pain and all. His promise is obvious, so allow some mistakes and coach him through those. If this season is about growth, let HIM grow. Don't try to force a running game down a team's throat that is clearly not equipped to carry that load. You are oozing at the gills with receiving talent. Wear it out.
So why try so hard to have a running game? Because Gundy wants balance. Interestingly enough, in Yurcich's 8 seasons as on OC prior to coming to Stillwater, his teams ran the ball more than they threw it 5 times. One season was a split (450 rush/458 pass). Ironically, his best season was his last at Shippensburg, when the team rushed 452 times, but threw 581 times. Average wins when running more than passing? 6.8
Average wins when passing more than running? 9.0
This tells me that when Yurcich had talent at QB, he utilized it well.
The last time Gundy had this much control over the offense, Brandon Weeden was a third string QB behind Alex Cate, and the Cowboys flopped home to end the 2009 season. Boone then "convinced" Gundy to hire Holgorsen, and the rest is history.
Please Mike Gundy, get your hands out of the cookie jar. Let this thing fly. Let the run game be complimentary to the passing game.
And let Mike Yurcich have HIS offense.
I'm traveling, and had to get this post out quickly. Given that, I did want to add a short addendum making something clear...
Given the situation, I actually think Gundy didn't cob up the end of that game. In fact, he did exactly what he said he wanted to do, and it resulted in a win. Dude is a professional at his craft, so he knows way more than I do about making decisions in the heat of the moment. Look, he needed some fortuitous flag throwing by the refs, but that being said he played the game until Texas f'd up, and it won us the game. He knew he had a defense that could hold the fort, or maybe get a turnover, so he played his chips with the strongest hand at that moment.
That being said, there is this...
OSU ran 35 first down plays. Of those, 27 were runs for a total gained of 86 yards (3.2 ypc). On the surface, that is better than the overall 2.2 ypc for the game. However, of those 27 first down rushing plays, five netted half of the yards (43). The other 22 running plays (for the other 43 yards) averaged just a hair under 2 ypc.
No wonder the Cowboys endured 14 third down plays of 5 yards or longer. They converted exactly half...two by penalty, five by pass (83 yds, 16.6 ypc). The 7 unsuccessful 3rd and long situations ended with 3 runs, 2 sacks, 1 INT (TD), and 1 incompletion.
Gundy is great when he smells the opponent's blood in the water. But instead of gorging, he either seems to get full (Cactus Bowl), or if he gets nicked and smells his own blood in the water (Texas) he panics and circles the wagons, hoping his defense and good fortune smile on him.
That worked in Austin, but there are only two other dates on the calendar where you can count on something like that working again.