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10 Thoughts On Oklahoma State’s 37-20 Win Over West Virginia

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It was quite a day in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State caused three West Virginia turnovers, got 17 points off those and won 37-20 to get Mike Gundy the 100th win of his career. It was also his sixth win over a top 10 team as West Virginia came in 6-0 and ranked No. 10 in the country.

Mason Rudolph had maybe his best game of the year, and the OSU offense shredded a Mountaineers defense that came in allowing just 17 points a game. One reason for that, though, is that all three of the turnovers created by OSU’s defense resulted in drives that started inside WVU’s 20 for Rudolph and Co.

It was, as Mike Gundy said, the most complete game OSU has played all year.

On to the 10 thoughts.

1. Vincent Taylor, Chad Whitener and Ramon Richards

We will talk a lot about the Oklahoma State offense here in a minute, but how about a second for the work done by Vincent Taylor and Chad Whitener on Saturday against WVU?

Taylor had a forced fumble, two and a half sacks and three TFLs. Whitener had 13 tackles and a sack. They were both immense and led OSU’s defense for most of the day.

On Ramon: I thought our intern Caleb Deck summed it up best during the game on Ramon after he dropped the pick then made the pick and nearly scored:

Ramon is the essence of this team. Just incredulously botches the easy crap and then comes up with the most miraculous and amazing plays at the same time. So frustrating and fun and amazing.

Yes.

2. OSU defense setting OSU offense up

Since halftime of the Kansas game, Glenn Spencer’s unit has given Mike Yurcich’s unit the ball inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line five times. Five! Two against KU, three against West Virginia. OSU scored 10 points on those against KU and 17 against West Virginia (also the margin OSU won by).

That’s how you win conference championships, and it’s one reason we should probably look at Glenn Spencer’s defenses differently than most. Mike Gundy teams, by the way, move to 33-2 when forcing three or more turnovers and turning it over once or zero times in a single game.

3. Elite Rudolph re-emerged

Not sure we need to go any farther than this … but we will.

Rudolph was spectacular on Saturday. He showed everything that makes us drool and none of warts. He threw it away when he needed to, hit every ball over the middle, escaped out of the pocket and hit dudes on the sidelines and tossed dime after dime to his playmakers. Probably his best game all year.

The stats don’t even really tell the story. He was 26/36 for 273 yards and three TDs, but the lack of yardage was simply because he didn’t connect on a single deep ball (nor did he throw many that I can remember.

He’s now gone four straight games without a pick. Now he needs to take that show on the road (where he’s struggled in his career) for three of the final four games.

4. WVU defense vs. offense

It’s very strange to be more fearful of a WVU defense than a WVU offense, but I never felt like Skyler Howard was going to beat me. If Rudolph was off today, OSU could have been in trouble because WVU clearly wasn’t going to allow anything on the ground.

Thankfully Rudolph was not off and OSU scored 10 more points in a single game against the Mountaineers than WVU surrendered to TCU and Texas Tech combined.

Dana has to be frustrated with WVU scoring just 20 points on 12 possessions and looking like a B1G team for most of the game.

Let’s check on Dana.

Yep, Dana’s frustrated.

5. Game of Chris Lacy’s career

The man heretofore known for his blocking more than his hands and his route-running had the best game of his career. Three catches for 31 yards two TDs and the game-winner (which was impeccably thrown and expertly caught).

With Ateman in is Lacy the best WR4 in the Big 12? I say yes.

6. No running game

OSU ran it 31 times for 85 yards, and it somehow didn’t matter. Two things here:

  1. Justice Hill and Chris Carson got some monstrous yards that don’t show up in the box score by moving piles, escaping tackles in the back field and generally falling forward on almost every carry.
  2. When this happens, you have to have a great QB1 to carry you. It became clear OSU did (at least on Saturday) and WVU did not (at least on Saturday.

On this note, I thought Mike Yurcich called a pretty terrific game. One of my biggest complaints with him is that his rhythm with games sometimes resembles a middle-aged white accountant that works all day at a place like Irenas Xero Castle Hill and then is found at a Kanye concert. Today, though, he found it and pressed it over and over again. Not a masterpiece but a beauty nonetheless.

7. The beauty of Jalen McCleskey and James Washington

The yin and yang of OSU’s receiving. Washington the cutthroat deep threat with the hands of an oversized cartoon character. McCleskey the slinky option underneath who has become Mason Rudolph’s go-to man with Marcell Ateman still on hiatus.

They combined for 17 for 183 yards and a TD on Saturday and kept drive after drive cranking for the Pokes.

8. Can we talk about Zach Sinor?

I mean just look at this stat line!

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I always joke that Sinor is the best chance OSU has for a Heisman, but somebody on Twitter came up with a great name for it: The Seisman.

He pinned WVU inside its own 20 three of the four times he punted, and flipped the field from the OSU 26 to the WVU 17 on a 60-yarder early in the fourth quarter. Gundy always preaches special teams, and Sinor has been a huge (yuuuuge) part of it this year.

9. Points per drive

I’ll preach it until the end of time: points per drive is the most important team stat. WVU came in giving up a stout 1.41 per drive, and Oklahoma State’s offense posted over three. That’s 37 points on 12 drives (obviously aided by the defense’s turnovers).

On the other side of the ball, WVU was averaging 2.52 per drive on offense (top 40 in the nation) and OSU held them to 1.67. Just 20 points on 12 drives which is pretty incredible. I’m excited to see where OSU ranks nationally in these categories next week.

10. Back in Big 12 title race?

With just four Big 12 games left, OSU is in the thick of it. Yes, it needs Baylor to lose twice, but with Texas, OU, WVU and TCU coming up for the Bears, that looks like it could happen.

OSU is now 4-1 in conference with road games against Kansas State, TCU and OU and a home game against Texas Tech. You could now see a legitimate scenario in which you slither your way to being 7-1 and playing OU (again) for the Big 12 title in early December. Whooo boy.

But there’s still a long way to go, and this is definitely one to enjoy for the rest of Saturday. Gundy’s 100th, QB1 crushed and OSU back in the thick of a title race. YOUR THOUGHTS, MASON?

Also, don’t forget about our live podcast tonight at 7 p.m. at Hideaway. Stillwater should rock a little bit tonight, and we will have some fun with it. Hope to see you there.

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