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The 2017 Oklahoma State Offense Might be Better Than you Think Through 5 Games



Ahem, attention all my Mike Yurcich haters (so … most people reading), the 2017 Oklahoma State offense has been keeping pace with 2011 through five games (and this includes the 2011 game against Kansas when Oklahoma State put up 70).

For starters, OSU is more explosive per play than it was through five games in 2011 … by more than a yard. That’s astonishing to me. Another thing that stood out about those numbers is how many more plays per game OSU ran that season. It was running about 12 (!) more plays per game with Weeden under center than it is with Rudolph. This year’s team has been far more economical thus far.

Anyway, here are the numbers.

Thru Game 5 2011 Offense 2017 Offense
Yards 2,887 2,917
Yards per play 6.7 7.9
Rush yards 579 921
Yards per carry 4.0 5.0
Pass yards 2,156 1,996
Yards per attempt 8.8 10.8
Points 257 234
Points per game 51.4 46.8
Offensive drives 72 60
Offensive points 250 213
Points per drive 3.47 3.55
First downs 148 139
Leading passer Weeden — 376 YPG Rudolph — 382 YPG
Leading rusher Randle — 97 YPG Hill — 103 YPG
Leading receiver Blackmon — 107 YPG Washington — 129 YPG

Oklahoma State hasn’t been scoring as much overall (even with three defensive touchdowns), but it has been slightly more efficient from a scoring standpoint. That’s right! Through five games in both seasons, Yurcich has been dealing as well or better than Todd Monken.

Now the easy rebuttal there is that OSU was 5-0 in 2011 and stats are for losers. Yurcich seemed obstinate against TCU — we discussed this on the podcast today a little bit — he didn’t seem to want to get out of his stuff and into something else until it was mostly too late. I think Monken was probably a better innovator, but Yurcich has been rolling pretty hard statistically.

And I would expect these numbers to stay pretty equal all season. The yards per carry will level out — OSU had some enormous late-season games in 2011 that it might not have this year. The number OSU is aiming for from a points per drive standpoint is 3.4. That’s an all-time mark for O-State offenses and would be among the best in the nation. Mission accomplished thus far.

By all means, if you want to keep coming after Mike Yurcich for not being as good as Todd Monken, that’s your prerogative. But it’s tough for me to look at this data and say, “You know what Oklahoma State’s issue is right now in a season it is keeping pace with its best offensive season in school history? It needs to get rid of the guy calling the plays.”

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