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OSU Offensive Positional Power Rankings: Guess Who’s Back on Top



The Oklahoma State offense looked more pass-heavy in Week 2 against South Alabama. The Cowboys flew out of Mobile, Alabama, 2-0, as expected, with a 44-7 win, but some position groups on offense didn’t perform like they did against Tulsa while others might have improved from the opener.

Here is a look at where the offensive position groups rank after Friday’s victory.

5. Cowboy Back (Previously: 5)

Britton Abbott and the others were used on less than 40 percent of OSU’s plays during its first three drives.

That was surprising, given they were in on more than half of the total plays in Week 1. Game plans change, of course, but the Cowboy Backs’ usage and effectiveness was down this week. They were used exclusively in blocking schemes, which they were fine at, but they didn’t add another dimension to the passing game.

In fact, none of the Cowboy Backs were targeted Friday.

4. Offensive Line (Previously: 4)

There are two ways to view the Cowboys’ offensive line play Friday, run or pass.

The O-line was less than spectacular at creating space for the OSU running backs to get through. As I’ll get to, it was tough, tough sledding all night for the Cowboy run game, but Mason Rudolph got excellent pass protection in return.

Even when Rudolph tried to escape the pocket, he almost always had an extra second to stand in. The only real trouble came in the second half on two consecutive plays when Rudolph was pressured, then sacked. Outside of that, he was clean and upright.

O-Line Stats Vs. USA
Rushing Yards 163
Rushing TDs 1
Passing Yards 342
Passing TDs 3
Sacks 1
QB Hurries 2
 3. Running Back (Previously: 1)

The only redeeming factor was what Justice Hill did catching the ball out of the backfield, adding 46 yards on four catches.

After what seemed like a season-changing performance against Tulsa, the OSU backs looked more like 2014, when they averaged 3.5 yards per carry. To be fair, J.D. King looked fine. My problem was that offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich didn’t use him enough. He averaged more than five yards more than Hill.

You gotta go with the hot hand, even if the cold one is a returning All-American.

Stat Justice Hill JD King LD Brown Total
Carries 11 8 10 29
Yards 27 64 38 129
Average 2.5 8 3.8 4.45
TDs 0 0 0 0
2. Quarterback (Previously: 2)

I was talking with my dad Monday night. I consider him a casually passionate fan of OSU football, and even he noticed it Friday.

“That dude’s a pro,” he told me.

He sure looked like one. We talk so much about Gundy being a CEO of the program. Rudolph is without a doubt the CEO of that offense. Yurcich is great. He manages the game well, calls the right plays, recognizes patterns and knows when to take shots. But Rudolph runs the OSU offense like he has been quarterbacking an NFL franchise for a decade.

Friday, he submitted another bid to the Heisman Trophy committee and did it like a businessman.

Stat Mason Rudolph Keondre Wudtee Total
Attempts 25 1 26
Completions 38 3 41
Yards 335 7 342
TDs 3 0 3
1. Receiver (Previously: 3)

You know you’re in for it when an offense can get away with targeting James Washington only twice, by choice.

In a word, Week 2’s performance and output from the receivers was balanced. Five guys finished with more than 40 yards, and five caught at least four passes. It doesn’t matter if the Stillwater freshman team is out there, having that dynamic of an offense makes it awfully difficult to cover.

Week 1’s under-performers looked much sharper, including Chris Lacy and Jalen McCleskey.

Stat Ateman Lacy Johnson McCleskey Washington Stoner Total
Targets 7 7 6 5 3 5 33
Catches 5 4 4 4 2 2 21
Yards 51 54 46 19 98 24 292
TDs 2 0 0 0 1 0 3
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