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Oklahoma State’s offense needs to be much better

Last season was a mediocre season for the Pokes on O and gone is the elite defense that supported it.

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When Mike Yurcich showed up at Oklahoma State in 2013 to run one of the best offenses in the country he sounded confident about who he was and what he was going to be able to accomplish.

“Coaching football really is coaching football,” Yurcich said. “It’s about relationships and it’s about people and working hard and staying true to your values and who you are.”

That might be true but in 2013 the Oklahoma State offense took a step backwards in two of the most important advanced stats around: yards per play and points per drive.

They’re simple stats, really. To call them “advanced” is only to say that they haven’t hit the mainstream yet. ESPN doesn’t deem them worthy of its bottom line but if you follow football at all you know how important they are.

In fact, it was the worst the OSU offense has performed since 2009 in both points per drive and yards per play. First let’s look at points per drive and the national rank of each OSU team back to 2007.

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Only the 2013 team (a full-strength team with two good options at QB, might I add) and the 2009 team (a not-full-strength team) finished outside the top 15 nationally in points per drive. That’s pretty shocking.

Even worse was the 2013 team’s yards per play average. One of three in the Gundy Era below six yards a pop:

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That’s not good considering the firepower and QBs the Pokes had. I mean Todd Monken rolled to seven yards a play and 3.01 points per drive even with the QB-go-round mess in 2012, vastly superior numbers.

Part of me wonders how much of this was a Joe Randle problem given how deeply he opened up defenses but still, it wasn’t a great first year for the Legoman.

Here’s how OSU stacked up nationally in 2013:

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More ugly.

I will say the offense came on late in the year — it was downright nasty against Baylor — and maybe that was a “well, I guess we gotta bench the guy wearing 31 with the biceps the size of Keiton Page’s legs” issue.

Whatever it was, Yurcich is going to have to figure it out this year. He has all of the weapons you could possibly ask for at receiver, a speed and power combo at running back and his very own Tavon Austin to add to the elixir.

Granted, his QB1 option isn’t the greatest but it’s not like Zac Robinson was Petyon Manning back there and OSU still cranked out the eighth-best points per drive mark in the country in 2008.

Last season OSU was buoyed by a defense that ranked in the top 10 in points per drive surrendered but that core is long gone and the offense is the mature group.

Time for Legoman to shine.

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