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Notebook: Pokes Overcome Misses and Mishaps to Bring Home a Win



Well, that was fun, in a twisted, masochistic way. But Oklahoma State survived and its hopes of a Big 12 title game appearance (and possibly more) are still very much alive. Before we head into the bye week, let’s jump into the notebook.

• I know we would all like Oklahoma State to come out and run over teams but this is a conference road game and Texas Tech appears to be a better team than we’ve seen the last couple of years.

• That being said, Oklahoma State was lucky to come out with a win in a game it should have won by three touchdowns. And it needed some late-game heroism from its quarterback and defense to get it done.

• Speaking of QB1, Rudolph had one of the most up-and-down games of his career. He had an early pick-6. He was 9 of 16 with zero passing TDs in the second half while his team was fighting for its life on the road. But he came up with some superstar plays that not many quarterbacks can make. He hasn’t had the greatest start to Big 12 play but he’s working behind another patchwork O-line.

• Also on that note, as Joel Klatt said post-game, Rudoplh’s going to have a long NFL career. Will he actually spend multiple years at he next level? Who knows? But MR is special and these guys don’t stroll through Stillwater (or anywhere) every year.

• OSU left a bunch points on the field between the pick-6 Rudolph gave away, having to settle for several field goals, settling for another they shouldn’t have and then missing a couple of chip shots. The point being that OSU is much better than it played in tortilla town. Whether or not that’s a good thing, I haven’t figured out.

• And (somehow) make it nine.

• Keenen Brown saw his first two targets of the season and he turned them into two catches including one for 37 yards. The Cowboy Back is not just an extra blocker, apparently.

• Tech came into the game No. 2 in the nation in turnover margin and Mason Rudolph did his best to pad the Red Raiders’ numbers. An overthrown ball turned into a 95-yard pick-6. OSU should have gone up 14-0 halfway through the first quarter and taken a controlling lead. But instead it gave the Red Raiders life, and that nearly came back to bite them. Somehow, the game ended with one TO for each team. It’s better than minus-3.

• Okay, so I joked about this a couple of weeks ago but I think that if OSU is in an obvious kicking situation and it’s going to be less than a 30-yard attempt, Mike Gundy needs to take a couple straight delay-of-game penalties to get Ammendola into his sweet spot.

• Justice Hill set up his lone touchdown pass with the previous play, which will be mostly unheralded, in which he made 5 yards out of absolutely nothing on the outside. He’s really got a knack for picking up those extra 3-4 yards when there’s not much there.

• Speaking of Justice, as Kyle Porter pointed out, the coaching staff rode him for a career-high 30 carries. I get it, to a point. They needed every bit of it to get the win but I hope we see a little more J.D. King against Baylor in two weeks. There’s still a long season ahead and we need Justice in November.

• Brad Lundblade went down in the first half with an apparent foot injury and did not return. Johnny Wilson moved over from right guard where he got just his second career start after OSU lost Larry Williams for the year prior to the TCU game. Wilson performed well (without looking at the tape).

• It’s concerning that OSU’s offensive linemen are dropping like flies and we’re just two weeks into conference play. This was a line that looked improved but had to stay healthy and the Cowboys have just been unlucky on that front. We all think Josh Henson is an ace recruiter but his real evaluation for this season will be measured by how he’s able to get his patchwork pool of linemen ready for live reps. Fair or not.

• Matt Ammendola continued to struggled on the short kicks missing attempts from 19 and 22 yards. I have complete confidence that he would have nailed two 45-yarders if given the chance. But that’s not your job. Your job is to hit field goals, extra points and to put kickoffs into the end zone. And Ammendola didn’t do enough of those consistently against Tech.

• Somehow Kirk Tucker got an unsportsmanlike call while standing on the sidelines but Jordan Brailford gets his head nearly ripped off and can’t draw a legit flag.

• That leads us to my next point. Oklahoma State scored 3.6 points per red-zone attempt and that’s not including the pick-6 from Rudolph. Its average of 4.6 entering this game was sixth-best in the conference. Not good. Of course, two dingers on sub-25 yard field goal attempts doesn’t help.

• OSU’s defense came up with a huge defensive stop late in the fourth with three minutes remaining. They forced the first punt in four drives by Tech which allowed the Cowboys to drive down and score what would be the game-winning touchdown. The defense didn’t look great, at times. But a few times it did. Maybe that’s all it takes in this league. If it had a little more help from your offense and special teams this would have been a blowout.

• OSU was called for several costly penalties for the second week in a row. That and the health issues make this upcoming bye week a welcome reprive. The team and coaches need to refocus and guys need to get healthy. We’ll see you all for Homecoming.

What’s next

The Cowboys welcome Baylor for Homecoming in two weeks. Let’s hope we see the Baylor that faced Kansas State and not the one that scared OU. Cause I don’t think I could handle that.

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