Connect with us


Cowboys’ Offensive Numbers among Worst in Gundy Era

This isn’t the OSU offense that anyone expected.



[Pool photo by Gregg Ellman]

The national perspective of the Cowboys is that they are a high-octane, let-it-all-hang-out football team, and this year, the Pokes are far from that.

Oklahoma State fell to TCU 29-22 on Saturday in Fort Worth. It marks the fifth time this season (out of nine games) the Cowboys haven’t reached 25 points.

There are myriad reasons for OSU’s struggles, mainly injuries, but it’s crazy to think that this highly anticipated team is on pace to be just the third team in Mike Gundy’s tenure to score fewer than 30 points a game.

The Cowboys have averaged 28.11 points a game this season, rivaling only OSU’s 2014 (27.62) and 2005 (20.18) for the lowest-scoring groups of the Gundy era.

Some of those low-scoring games can be attributed to the Cowboys’ more defensive approach, as the Cowboys have a top-three defense in Gundy’s tenure. But if you look at a more micro stat like average yards per play, OSU’s offense still looks not good.

The Cowboys are averaging just 5.3 yards per offensive play in 2020. It’s the first time they’ve been under six since 2014, when OSU put up 5.43. If OSU finishes the year averaging 5.3 yards per play, the only year worse in Gundy’s 16-year tenure would be his first, 2005, where the Cowboys averaged a woeful 4.74.

This year wasn’t supposed to be like this. OSU returned a promising second-year quarterback, a receiver with the argument of being the best in the country and a running back with the argument of being the best in the country. But 2020 is going to 2020.

Coming into the year, it looked as if first-year coordinator Kasey Dunn was dealt an ace and a king, but the flop revealed a three, a seven and an eight. Then the turn gave a five. Maybe we’re still waiting on the river, but this hand has turned not great.

Here is a look at contributors who have missed time this season:

Player Position Reason
Dylan Galloway OL Retirement
Bryce Bray OL Dismissal
Jacob Farrell OL Dismissal
Spencer Sanders QB Injury
Cole Birmingham OL Injury
Hunter Anthony OL Injury
Chuba Hubbard RB Injury
LD Brown RB Injury
Tylan Wallace WR Injury
Jake Springfield OL Injury
Teven Jenkins OL Injury/Opt-out

“I don’t think we’re the same team we were when we started the first game,” Gundy said after Saturday’s game. “I mean, we got some young kids out there. We’re playing with three freshmen on the offensive line. We’re down six starters on offense from day one. So, it’s not fair to say to the team that it’s the same group. Now, we’re gonna compete our a– off and try to win every game, but we’re a little different team right now than we were when we started against Tulsa.”

The Cowboys’ offense didn’t even record a first down off the five turnovers OSU’s defense forced against TCU on Saturday. The Cowboys were also just 2-for-5 in the red zone, something that could also be attributed to an injured kicker.

“I thought the effort was really good,” Dunn said after TCU. “I think our offensive line is coming around. I think they showed that they were capable of moving the football for us, and we did that in the first half. We just didn’t spin it into the second half like we anticipated. We came back in at halftime and thought, ‘OK, man, all this stuff is working. Let’s go back out and rehash it again.’ For whatever reason, we just missed those throws. And when we got our chances in the red zone, we just didn’t capitalize.

“I feel good about where we’re headed. I’d sure love to be healthy, no question about that. I hope Tylan’s OK.”

Dunn was a celebrated hire of the offseason with how long he has been on Gundy’s staff and the success he has had as the Cowboys’ receivers coach. Dunn is the Cowboys’ third offensive coordinator in as many seasons, and it’s hard to imagine this is the start he envisioned.

Most Read