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Notebook: Rudolph, Cowboys Put up Gaudy Numbers in Blowout of Pitt



Oklahoma State went on the road and blew out a Power 5 team by 38 points, and it never felt that close. There were some new records made and some interesting numbers along the way.

Let’s get into the notebook from the game.

• It was a record-setting performance by Rudolph and Oklahoma State’s offense. QB1 bested his 372-yard first half against Pitt last year with 423 and five scores. He now sits at 9,790 passing yards for his career and will soon own Zac Robinson’s record from total offense during a career.

• So Justice Hill is really good. After a head-scratching performance against South Alabama, Hill returned to Tulsa form. He was done by halftime but only needed two quarters to chew up 91 yards and two scores on 8.3 yards per carry. He also grabbed two catches on three targets.

• I hope Justice made it on the plane before Pittsburgh police saw this evidence. Those poor ankles.

• Whether or not it’s overrated, wide-receiver depth is a good thing to have. James Washington didn’t catch a pass until midway through the second quarter with OSU already up 35-7. He then caught three passes on that one drive and helped set up a Justice Hill touchdown. He finished with 124 yards on just seven targets.

• Washington is going to catch Rashuan. I predicted that this summer in spite of all the depth of talent around him. He’s simply the best deep threat in America and you can’t stop him from making plays. He’s now just 1,124 yards shy of Woods’ career total. If Oklahoma State makes a bowl game, he just needs to average 112.4 yards per game. If it makes the Big 12 title game he only needs to average 102.2. He’s currently averaging 122.3 for the year.

• Four different receivers for Oklahoma State reached 100 yards on Saturday. That’s an OSU first. The last time it happened in any FBS game was by Texas Tech in 2005 against Kansas State.

• Jalen McCleskey had easily the best game of his career after a rough start to the season. He caught all seven of his targets for a career-high 162 yards and three touchdowns. He also did all his damage before halftime.

• Pitt tried to take away James Washington and left a lot of uncovered turf in the middle of the field. Rudolph masterfully carved up the Panthers’ defense going to guys like McCleskey, Dillon Stoner and Justice Hill early.

• Glenn Spencer’s crew deserves some credit, as well. It held Pitt scoreless through its first four drives and forced two turnovers by interception and one by downs.

• Pass protection wasn’t great but Pitt’s defense brings a lot of pressure. Rudolph continues to show his calm under pressure but you’d like it if he didn’t need all that much. Pat Narduzzi’s squad knows what they’re doing but its far from the best front seven OSU O-line will see this year.

• Right tackle Zach Crabtree and wide receiver Chris Lacy both left the game with injuries but according to Mike Gundy, the two should be able to go next week in OSU’s conference opener against TCU.

• Taylor Cornelius turned 22 years old on Saturday and he celebrated by going 3 for 5 for 75 yards. It was garbage time but he had throws of 39 and 26 yards and again looked solid in mop-up duty. I have no idea who is going to be OSU’s starter in 2018 but he’s definitely going to have a chance to compete for the job. We’ve relegated him to the high-floor, low-ceiling safe pick but virtually all of his snaps have been when a game was not in question. How that might undersell his actual playmaking ability is unknown. I do know he can sling it and is more mobile than he looks.

• “Corndog” also gave us a good look at true freshman blue-chipper Tylan Wallace who hauled in the 39-yard pass one-handed and a 10-yarder from Cornelius as well. So much talent at wideout. Chris Lacy went out early and Tyron Beckham-Rice didn’t make the trip yet five OSU wide receivers averaged at least 20 yards per catch.

• We need to talk about these blowout wins. Oklahoma State is taking care of opponents at an historical rate. In fact, Oklahoma State’s margin of victory through ties its best ever under Mike Gundy at a plus-36.67. Strangely enough, it was in 2006, during Gundy’s second year that it also outscored its first three opponents by a combined 110 points. And that 2006 team didn’t boast a Power 5 opponent on its non-conference slate. For reference, the 2011 team carried a plus-25.33 margin of victory into its Big 12 opener.

• The 38-point win over Pitt is the biggest win over an Power 5 program since the Cowboys beat up on Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2012 58-14.

Next up: Oklahoma State heads home for its conference opener against TCU on September 23 at 2:30 p.m.

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