OSU’s Quick Starts Encouraging but Don’t Guarantee Future Success

[USATSI]
Written by Kyle Cox

Oklahoma State has enjoyed a fast start to the season, rolling over a couple of lesser opponents, and faces its biggest test this Saturday in a road trip to Pittsburgh.

What we can actually glean from those first two blowout wins is debatable. But if there was one concern I had about this team before the season, it was whether or not it would mess around in these non-conference games and make them more interesting than they needed to be. Entering Week 3, I’d have to give the Cowboys a passing grade in that department.

OSU flexed its offensive muscle early and often making both results seem more like foregone conclusions well before halftime. Let’s take a look these opening quarters and how Oklahoma State’s dominance set it up for the rest of the game.

2017 Numbers
2017 1st Quarter score 1st Quarter Yards Points per drive PPD Allowed
Tulsa 21-0 233-46 5.25 0.0
South Alabama 17-0 201-19 4.25 0.0
Total 38-0 434-65 4.75 0.0

Against Tulsa, the Cowboys scored on its first three possessions going up 21-0 before some people found their seats on that early Thursday night contest. It was a little bit of a slower start against South Alabama with the first two possessions resulting in a punt and a field goal but OSU’s defense was dominant throughout the evening and its offense caught up quickly.

For reference, let’s take a look at how the Cowboys fared last season — when they played five games that were decided by seven points or fewer.

2016 Numbers
2016 1st Quarter Score 1st Quarter Yards Points per drive PPD Allowed
Β All games 136-69 1,927-1,606 3.09 1.47

OSU showed favorable returns for the season in first-quarter scoring, even winning Weeks 1 and 2 at a higher clip (42-0 in first quarters) than this season. But OSU was outscored in the opening period of three-straight games to start conference play — Baylor, Texas and Iowa State. OSU went 2-1 in those games.

Fast starts are important but don’t necessarily guarantee success. The Cowboys went up 14-zip against the Chippewas of middle Michigan last year but some mistakes and sloppy play let the MAC team back in.

The ability to put these non-conference foes away early has allowed for rest for the 1s and 2s and more in-game experience for the 3s and 4s. And it should give this team confidence moving forward. When OSU heads to Pittsburgh, a fast start will by important, especially on the road against a Power 5 team that’s already been tested much more than the Cowboys have this season.

  • Les Miles

    Seems like we forget that there are four quarters to be played in football. I guess the OSU offense forgot about that in the second quarter of the South Bama game. Because it looked like absolute crap.

    • Saucy Takes

      yes it did keep finding those needles in haystack to justify your trolling.

      • Doc Holliday

        There should be no needles in no haystacks against directional Alabama. Yurcich is in way over his head even in his fifth year. 3 and out to start the game against South Alabama? Really….how confident does it make you feel that we have a D2 offensive coordinator and will be going up against the likes of Holgy and Lincoln Riley? I hate the gooners but Yurcich and Gundy are terrified of OU

        • Mark

          Well, it seems the days of me not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

        • Saucy Takes

          gosh taking your starter out mid way through the third qtr in your first two games and average over 50 points a game is so crappy. Should be winning a 100-0 like Alabama and Clemson did in there exhibition games. Oh wait

        • okstate4life

          Careful Doc, the truth hurts. If YOURcich succeeds this year I think it’ll be more to to with the wealth of talent and not so much on his brilliant play calling abilities. In any case he’ll move on more than likely and become someone else’s headache. Maybe then Gundy can find an actual D1 experienced offensive coordinator instead of using the OC version of Tinder.

          • Saucy Takes

            You do realize you are talking about a guy that has had a top 5-15 offense every year except in 2014 when his quarterback went down against FSU. You do realize this wealth of talent we have is a direct correlation to his recruiting. You do realize that several teams recruit more talent than us and can’t compare their offensive production to ours. You are out of touch with reality on this one. Holgy was a top d1 offensive coordinator. I think Yurchich has his number right now

          • Doc Holliday

            You really think Yurcich is a better OC than Holgy?πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I bet you think he’s better than Monken too don’t you? Could you imagine Yurcich trying to call plays against that Elite Stanford D in the fiesta bowl….him and Gundy would be trying to run the ball every play and Yurcich would be dialing up reverses and Jet Sweeps and not getting the ball to Blackmon and instead riding Isaiah Anderson like he’s Percy Harvin.

          • Saucy Takes

            sheep

          • Doc Holliday

            Great comeback

          • okstate4life

            My friend, I think it is you who is out of touch with reality if you think Yurchich is anywhere near the play caller Holgy was. I mean how many times do you need to see a bubble screen or HB up the gut on 3rd and forever only to see it blown up in the backfield before you realize, “hey, this guy doesn’t know what the f&#* he’s doing”. It literally became a game to my friends and I watching the games where we would call out those plays. As far as talent that’s on the field, I’ll give you the QB spots but as for the others, he has little to nothing to do with recruiting for those positions. That’s why there’s position coaches doing that work Saucy. I honestly feel Yurchich would’ve been gone a season or two ago had it not been for the fact that he was Gundy’s choice and his pride has kept him from giving him the boot. Instead we’ve had to tough it out while this bozo’s play calling has went from piss poor to fair. Who knows? Maybe next year if Yurchich is still here he’ll upgrade even further to “okay” play calling. Won’t that be somethin?!?

          • Saucy Takes

            He’s been a part of the most winning time period in OSU history and is responsible for the OSUs best offenses in history yet he’s bad. makes sense lol Like it or not for the record those play makers like Tyron Johnson, Marcell Ateman Tylan Wallace don’t show their face in Stillwater without a guy like Yurchich running the show and calling the plays. He can be frustrating at times but he knows a hell of a lot more than you do or you do obviously considering where you are and where he is

          • Doc Holliday

            Oh my goodness the “OC version of tinder”πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ This may move to the best comment I’ve ever read on here

          • okstate4life

            Haha I do what I can.

          • Paul Bohannon

            Or Brandon Weeden

        • Paul Bohannon

          3-3 to start the game?

        • Paul Bohannon

          The road goes through Stillwater.

    • Sonny

      This coming from the guy who said last week that OSU would lose in Mobile.

      • Saucy Takes

        It’s obvious him and doc have no credibility

        • Nicholas D.

          This all kinda seems like much ado about nothing to me. The only relevant thing is that USA was a cupcake, and OSU rolled. Exactly *how* we rolled may have some meaning, but not enough that you should be super attached to whatever your take may be.

  • Nicholas D.

    Cox, your second paragraph pretty much nails how I have been feeling for two weeks. Well said.

  • Paul Bohannon

    Everything looked good. Pitt is a test, but really should be a mental test. Let’s see how Mason fires up the team. As for the drunk runner that can out run Ohio State but not some fat cop, he will meet his match.

  • OrangeTuono

    I’ve come to enjoy Dump Holliday and Loser Miles trolling.
    I’ll buy you a beer if you’re going to the Pitt game.

  • OrangeTuono

    No mention of the multiple gutsy come-from-behind and back-and-forth lead changing wins from the last several seasons?
    I don’t see anything in this squad that would have me believe that lost any fortitude from the last couple of seasons. Of course no guarantees of future success, the others teams also are pretty good, but combine the agressive jump-on’em-early fast starts with the fortitude we’ve seen the last couple of season and this team should do well.