Oklahoma State handily defeated Kansas 31-13 and will now seek their fourth straight Big 12 win when they visit West Virginia. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago fans were calling for Cowboys coach Mike Gundy to be fired after OSU lost back-to-back Big 12 games, including an embarrassing 45-35 loss at Texas Tech.
A three-game winning streak has been enough to silence the critics, for now, but back-to-back Big 12 losses to end the season would conjure up the memories of the struggles of the last two seasons. Here’s how No. 21 OSU can prevent that from happening.
1. Field Goals
It seems like a little thing to talk about, but field goals have been a big part of the OSU offense this season. Matt Ammendola attempted 22 field goals last season and has already attempted 19 this season with two regular-season games remaining.
Ammendola, however, converted was just 1-for-4 against KU. The wind can be blamed, but he has to at least hit two of them. OSU should be able to survive a similar performance against WVU, but it likely won’t be able to against Oklahoma in the Bedlam game.
2. Spencer Sanders
I wrote this before the injury news about Sanders broke from reliable sources. The statement below now applies to a bowl game that Sanders may or may not play in, but is good advice for him moving forward regardless. It will be on the offense and the coaching staff to make life as easy for Dru Brown or Brenden Costello as possible.
Sanders should spread the ball around a little more, and not just to his primary target in Dillon Stoner. It’s worked well so far for Sanders, but how he’ll adjust when a defense takes away Stoner remains to be seen. I’d like to see other wide receivers get more involved.
3. The Point Cap
OSU hasn’t scored more than 35 points since Week 3 in its 40-21 win at Tulsa. After the Cowboys led 31-0 after three quarters against KU, and with the defense WVU has that skid probably ends in Morgantown. It was garbage time with backups, but OSU’s offense continues to fade in the second half and the defense has a few games with its play down the stretch in games.