Ed. Note: With Oklahoma State’s bye week upon us, members of the PFB staff are going give three fixes they’d like to see when the Cowboys take the field next against Texas on Oct. 27. Beat writer Marshall Scott is up first.
1. More Two-Back Plays
Going into the season, there were a lot of question marks around OSU, but one strength everyone was sure about was the Cowboys’ depth at running back. So, why not use them?
In spurts, OSU has used multiple running backs in the backfield, but not as often as I think they could. I think the offense is at its most creative when Justice Hill and Chuba Hubbard or Hill and J.D. King are sharing the backfield.
Look at this play from Saturday:
I’m going to take a phrase from Mike Gundy here, but Taylor Cornelius is able to violate the Kansas State defenders’ eyes with his fakes to Hill and Dillon Stoner, leaving Hubbard, the fastest player on the field, with about seven yards of freedom.
The amount of fakes and eyes being violated should also free up Cornelius (or whoever) with some more time if the defenders are unsure of where the ball is going.
I understand taking a snap under center can be dicey without a lot of reps, but with a week off, I think it would benefit OSU if Cornelius (or whoever) could take a snap and fall forward on the 1-yard line.
The Cowboys’ goal-line offense hasn’t been good a lot of the season, relying on jet sweeps and being able to out speed a defender to the corner of the end zone. When you get inside the 5, a TD is expected.
OSU has gotten in the red zone 35 times this season and has scored points 31 times. However 10 of those came from field goals, meaning OSU has found the end zone 60 percent of the time they’ve gotten inside its opponents’ 25, a percentage that should be higher if the Cowboys could find more stable strategies on the goal line.
If they’re just too uncomfortable with putting the quarterback under center, then use a wildcat formation. Use a running back or Cornelius’ 6-6, 232-pound frame and put some Cowboy backs in front of him and go forward, not sideways.
Spread the Love
Tylan Wallace is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I think OSU is stacked at receiver.
Wallace having double the next receiver’s catches is a little ridiculous when there are guys like Tyron Johnson and Dillon Stoner also on the field. Even Landon Wolf has been dynamic when he’s gotten his chances this season.
OSU gets pretty one-dimensional in the passing game when a fade route to Wallace is used more than quick routes to Stoner and Wolf, even if Wallace is jumping over two people.
OSU has a lot of weapons, but the Cowboys don’t always use all of them.