It’s been almost two weeks since Oklahoma State Cowboys took the field against TCU. The Cowboys won 34-27 and their season is back on track. OSU has two games it will be heavily favored in during the next two weeks before ending the season against Oklahoma. Here is what the Cowboys can do to defeat Kansas this weekend and improve to 7-3.
1. Offensive consistency
The OSU offense has consistently started out well, and did so again against TCU. OSU held an early 17-3 advantage before allowing TCU to tie the game at 17 at the half. The offense had lost all momentum, and I honestly wasn’t sure if they would be able to put together a decent drive the rest of the game.
The Cowboys scored three times in the second half, but not because of sustained offense. If it weren’t for Chuba Hubbard’s touchdown runs of 92 and 62 yards. OSU probably losses to TCU. Matt Ammendola kicked a field goal to put the Cowboys up by 10 late in the fourth, but that drive amassed just 23 yards over seven plays.
I’d like to see multiple sustained offense drives ending in touchdowns. OSU’s opening drive took 10 plays and resulted in 67 yards and a field goal. The offense was able to put together a six play drive resulting in 80 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter.
I understand Hubbard’s greatness and realize OSU had two drives that took three plays total because of him. That isn’t sustainable. If he doesn’t have those long touchdown runs, does OSU score a touchdown at all in the second half? The offense is getting better, but it needs more of a complete game from everyone not named Hubbard.
2. Running backs
Why was Spencer Sanders the only other ball carrier other than Hubbard against TCU? Oklahoma has taken this approach with Kennedy Brooks and Jalen Hurts, but OSU head coach Mike Gundy has mentioned Hubbard is touching the ball a little too often. I wonder how much OSU could benefit by playing L.D. Brown more. Brown hasn’t been super impressive, but he did have a good game against Baylor.
One of the backs needs to step up and have four to five solid carries a game of about five-to-six yard gains. Deondrick Glass is waiting in the wings, but Hubbard is likely headed to the NFL. Someone has to step up next year and it would benefit OSU if that person did so now.
3. Sanders and wide receivers
Sanders has improved each week as expected. He only had one turnover against TCU and that shouldn’t be held against him. It was an interception that Tylan Wallace may have been able to break up.
Once again though, Sanders faded down the stretch in the passing game. He only attempted 15 passes, with the majority of them in the first half. However, aside from the two deep balls to Dillon Stoner, there wasn’t much there. Braydon Johnson caught a pass for 47 yards, Landon Wolf caught two for 10 yards and Jordan McCray caught one for five yards. Sanders had more rushing attempts (19) than passing (15). It’s probably all by design and putting Sanders in the best position to succeed, but having a better passing threat will certainly free up Hubbard more.
I could have nitpicked something to add about the defense but that isn’t fair. The defense has been on this post so many times over the last two seasons and they have been a big reason why OSU has won its last two games, so I left them off completely.