In his postgame press conference, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy credited the offense's strategic adjustments for the overtime win against West Virginia. The Cowboys came into OT with a struggling rushing attack, yet they marched down the field on the ground and scored in six plays.
So what gives? Today, we will break down the OSU's offensive performance in overtime.
In overtime though, they changed things up. They came out in a similar formation, but ran the opposite way in an effort to catch the defense off guard.
Here, they ran a play similar to what they used earlier in the game. As you can see, the play-side guard pulls, which along with a kickout block by the fullback, opens up a lane on the outside.
So when the Cowboys aligned in this formation, the defense was expecting a run to the left side. The Cowboys were able to take advantage of the empty space on the right, earning a nine yard gain and an important first down.
The Cowboys then used a read option out of an unbalanced set, meaning that they moved the right tackle over to the left side as a tight end. Their hope was that the defense would play to the strong side of the formation, leaving the opposite side uncovered. The play worked, and Walsh found his way into open space.
They then brought Rudolph back in as quarterback for a third-and-one. The mindset here was that with a hard run action, the defense would jump to the fake and Rudolph would walk into the end zone. The defense stayed at home, leaving Rudolph to only muster a yard.
On a fourth down conversion, Coach Gundy left the ball in the hands of his senior J.W. Walsh. The pulling guard and the fullback's kickout block opened up a lane for Walsh to push his way in the end zone.
Execution is key when playing in overtime, but don't think that play calling can have an effect as well. The Cowboy coaching staff put together a well-called drive, and the offense finally reached its potential on the ground. Better late than never, right?