While Oklahoma State was drumming a lowly FCS team in its season opener on Thursday night, there were plenty of chances for fans to miss departed quarterback Mason Rudolph — most notably on attempted deep passing plays.
Meanwhile, the former Cowboy QB was busy endearing himself to a new fanbase.
The Pittsburgh Steelers put a bow on their preseason slate with a 39-24 win over the Carolina Panthers, but the reason for this game was simple. Get some fringe roster players one last chance to shine before Saturday’s roster cuts, and get one last look at QBs 3 and 4 before you make that decision.
Mason Rudolph was No. 3 coming into this game and very little would have allowed second-year quarterback Josh Dobbs to leap frog him. Dobbs got the start and connected on 8 of 12 passes for 151 yards and a score.
But Rudolph did the actual leapfrogging while celebrating after a 24-yard touchdown connection with Tevin Jones.
Mason Rudolph leapfrogged Tevin Jones. pic.twitter.com/TgpWizUE5e
— Billy Hartford (@LandryJonesFan) August 31, 2018
He also found Quadree Henderson in this scramble and score with a nice Odell-like grab in the end zone.
— NFL (@NFL) August 31, 2018
And Rudolph even kept it on the ground for this 2-point conversion, which the Steelers are apt to pull out at any turn.
Mason Rudolph FIRED UP ? pic.twitter.com/99UmGnvR6y
— Benstonium (@Benstonium) August 31, 2018
Rudolph even drew his first taunting penalty for getting in the face of Carolina linebacker Andre Smith after the play.
Mason Rudolph on fiery end-zone encounter with Panthers LB: I probably antagonized too much.’ pic.twitter.com/ZaFIr73vLE
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 31, 2018
Steelers fan ate that up almost as much as they savored his highlight reel scores.
Completely and totally 100% here for Mason Rudolph getting in dude's face
— Zac Celedonia (@ZeFlashNFL) August 31, 2018
Rudolph finished with a stat line of 5-of-9 for 102 yards and two TDs with zero interceptions. And any skepticism among the fanbase seemed to dissolve, at least if Twitter is any indicator.
Mason Rudolph is going to be a very very good player in the NFL.
— Tajh Boyd (@TajhB10) August 31, 2018
— Andrew Stockey (@astockeyWTAE) August 31, 2018
MY QUARTERBACK MASON RUDOLPH
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) August 31, 2018
Maybe we needed this as a fan base to truly appreciate Mason Rudolph. pic.twitter.com/9l0egpYub2
— Ric Ellis (@RicEllis85) August 31, 2018