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Five Stats: Perfect Starts and Rudolph’s Lack of Fourth Quarters



Another week, another dominant performance by Oklahoma State. Last week’s was the most impressive so far, with a 59-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers inside Ben Roethlisberger’s house.

After allowing time to really digest the game, there were five stats and numbers that really stood out to me.

7 of 7

Oklahoma State’s offense could not be stopped on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on their first seven possessions. OSU hasn’t had that kind of offensive start against a Power-5 opponent since 2011 against Kansas. In that one OSU scored on eight straight possessions in the first half.

While that team may have scored more, this year’s win was more impressive. On the road, against a team that would beat Kansas by three touchdowns and that gave another top-10 team (Penn State) a decent game last week.

And OSU made it look easy. If they can continue to score like this, few teams will be able to keep pace with them.


Speaking of perfect starts…

For the seventh time of Mike Gundy’s career as head coach, Oklahoma State starts the season 3-0. You could argue it’s actually 8-of-13 if you still believe OSU *beat* Central Michigan last year.

That’s impressive, and includes wins over Pitt, Mississippi State, Arizona, and Washington State (twice). It’s hard to start 3-0 in non-conference. Things can happen (ie: last year). That Gundy has done it so often also helps to explain why he’s been so successful.


It’s impressive enough that Mason Rudolph has played 0:00 minutes of a fourth-quarter so far this season. What’s really mind blowing, is through 180 minutes of game-time, Rudolph has been in the game for only 113:02 of it.

That means Rudolph has been out of the game for 37.2% More than a third of OSU’s game-time. He’s almost sat a full game. That hasn’t stopped him from throwing for 1,135 yards and 11 touchdowns.

This is the kind of thing Oregon used to do under Chip Kelley. Run scores up so high so quickly, fans started getting bored in the second half. (Not that I didn’t enjoy trouncing Pitt). I can’t imagine there are many, if any, other quarterbacks this year who have done as much as Rudolph in as little of time.


This might end up being Oklahoma State’s best defense. Through three games, they’re giving up an average of 12.6 points per game (I took out the two special team snafu TDs). Want to make that even more impressive? Just look at the first halfs of each game where the first-team defense has given up 24 total point. And that includes a field goal Tulsa got after Rudolph’s fumble.

Don’t discount the level of competition. Excluding the OSU game, Tulsa is averaging 58.5 points per game, USA is averaging 36, and Pitt is averaging 21. Reminder: Pitt also played Penn State.


After a disappointing week 1, OSU’s third-down defense again put on a solid performance, holding Pittsburgh to 5-15.

Fans (myself included) were concerned after TU successfully converted 61.5 percent of their third-down attempts. Last week against South Alabama, OSU held USA to 10 percent. This week, Pitt was only able to convert on 33 percent of their third-down attempts.

Not to nitpick, however two of those converted third downs were for touchdowns, and two were long; a 3rd-and-10, and a 3rd-and-13.

Fixing OSU’s third-down defensive woes has been a priority for Gundy and DC Glenn Spencer. So far, it looks like what they’re doing is working. If this trend can continue, my belief that this could be Mike Gundy’s best defense will hold true.

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