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OSU Offensive Positional Power Rankings: Rudolph Looks Like Rudolph in Tech Win



Coming off one of the hardest-to-watch losses in Mason Rudolph’s Oklahoma State career, he got back to playing like a potential Heisman Trophy winner at Texas Tech.

Much like the first three weeks in the Cowboys’ season, no one position group hiccupped on offense. The flow was good. The optics were good. The production was enough in the 41-34 road win Saturday night against the Raiders, and Rudolph conducted it.

With that, let’s try to discern who put on the best show.

5. Receivers

Don’t freak out. They still played well.

OSU put up two 100-yard receivers in James Washington (127) and Marcell Ateman (114), but after them, it was kind of slim pickings.

The other four Cowboy receivers caught a combined eight passes for 88 yards. Tyron Johnson hasn’t been the same since Week 1. Chris Lacy hasn’t been himself since 2016, and the inside receivers have been streaky this year.

But I guess it’s hard to complain when you have a possible Biletnikoff Award winner and this guy.

Stat Washington Ateman McCleskey Stoner Johnson Lacy Total
Targets 12 7 6 1 2 3 31
Catches 9 6 5 1 1 1 23
Yards 127 114 48 21 12 7 329
Average 14.1 19 9.6 21 12 7 14.3
TDs 1 0 1 0 0 0 2
4. Cowboy Backs

Given their impact on the first four games, Week 5 was superb for the Cowboy Backs.

Britton Abbott paved holes for the backs. He and Sione Finefeuiaki helped keep Rudolph upright for the most part. And Keenen Brown showed signs in the passing game.

A guy who seemed to have been relegated to third string duties, Brown lined up out wide for the most part when he played, in front of a potential first round pick. His 37-yard reception was the Cowboys’ longest of the game.

3. Running Backs

Justice Hill might have had the most impressive, quiet, 164-yard performance of the weekend. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry behind a half-whole offensive line, broke a 24-yarder and toted it 30 times. His yardage and carries were career-highs.

The O-line was unbelievably impressive for starting a turf-toed right tackle and backup right guard, not to mention having its four-year center go down. But Hill made some moves that will cement him in Cowboy lore.

Stat Hill King Total
Carries 30 2 32
Yards 164 12 176
Average 5.5 6 5.5
TDs 0 0 0
2. Offensive Line

They might not have had the best performance, but relative to their health, the OSU offensive linemen had the performance of the year.

Three of the five men who started against Tulsa were either out, hurt-but-playing or were injured against the Red Raiders. We could never know whether the stats below are because of the throwers, pass-catchers, ball-runners or man-blockers, but the big guys did well enough for the skill guys to do their things.

Rudolph had to scramble, and Hill had to put on some shakes, but the fact that Zach Crabtree played every snap and Johnny Wilson started at RG and filled Brad Lundblade’s place when he got hurt tells a story these stats don’t.

O-Line Stats vs. Texas Tech
Rushing Yards 221
Rushing TDs 2
Passing Yards 376
Passing TDs 3
Sacks 1
QB Hurries 3
1. Quarterback

Rudolph put on a show that was only temporarily delayed because of the interception on the Cowboys’ second drive.

Unlike against TCU, Rudolph held it together nicely down the stretch. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass in the fourth, but he ran in the clincher and hit some absolute dimes with everything on the line.

On top of all that, Rudolph’s scrambling was worrisome when it was happening but rewarding when it was over. He tossed two scores on the run and tucked in another.

Rudolph Stats vs. Tech
Attempts 38
Completions 27
Yards 376
TDs 3
INTs 1
Rating 175
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