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Chalk Talk: Final Drive Had Multiple Missed Opportunities



The Oklahoma State Cowboys had an opportunity to tie or take the lead in last week’s game against Oklahoma even after Mason Rudolph threw what appeared to be the game-clinching interception. The Cowboys had plenty of time and two timeouts, but they oddly seemed to rush and there were multiple missed opportunities that would have kept the drive, and their chances, alive. In this edition of Chalk Talk, we’ll take a look at the Cowboys’ final four plays that eventually lead to a costly turnover on downs.

The Cowboys’ final first down was a shallow crosser concept, and Rudolph made the correct decision dumping the ball off to Cowboy Back Keenen Brown. Brown, however, tried to run around the Sooner secondary instead of turning upfield and getting closer to the first-down line. Because of this, a potential gain of five or six was minimized to a gain of two.

On second down, the Cowboys ran an outside zone with backside double posts. Oklahoma defended the play well, but if Rudolph would have held the mesh a second longer it could have opened up for Stoner to be wide open in the middle of the field.

On third down, the Cowboys ran a play action concept with Dillon Stoner as the primary receiver. Rudolph locked onto Stoner and was forced to throw the ball high to avoid the linebackers. He failed to see, however, a completely uncovered receiver on the sideline because he locked on too early.

Fourth down was the exact same for Rudolph. The Cowboys ran four verticals, and Rudolph locked onto Tyron Johnson on the outside instead of reading the concept. Notice in the GIF how Dillon Stoner was open after passing the linebacker. Rudolph actually could have completed the deep ball to Johnson but overthrew him by a couple yards.

As we’ve talked about in the past, Rudolph looks for the deep ball first in his progressions, often treating his alerts as his primary reads. This is what makes him both great and vulnerable. Although he’s become excellent at completing the deep balls, he occasionally will not pay attention to the actual passing concept.

Rudolph might have struggled against the Sooners, but he still has four (potentially five) games to play, and he’ll undoubtedly improve from his mistakes in Bedlam.

How would you grade Rudolph’s performance against Oklahoma? Leave your opinions in the comments below!

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