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Stat of the Week: Remember When OSU Used to Pass the Ball?

I member.



Somebody in The Chamber brought this up recently, but how wild is it that Chuba Hubbard’s best rushing game (296 against Kansas State) is superior to Spencer Sanders best passing game (290 against Texas Tech)?

What kind of bizarro world are we living in where OSU can’t buy a 300-yard passing game and has seen 200 yards just twice since the end of September. That 200-yard barometer used to be a half, maybe even a quarter. Now it spans multiple weeks!

I wrote on Monday about pace of play and the style OSU is employing and why employing that style is wise when you have one of the best tailbacks in the history of the sport (#factsonly!) in your backfield.

But did you know how crazy the disparity actually is?

Of the other nine Big 12 teams, only Kansas State has thrown it fewer times than OSU this season. Kansas State! And OSU and Kansas State are essentially tied when it comes to highest percentage of rush plays when compared to overall plays.

Here are the full-season numbers.

Team Rush Plays
Kansas State 63%
Oklahoma State 63%
TCU 57%
Oklahoma 57%
Baylor 54%
Kansas 50%
Texas 49%
Iowa State 46%
Texas Tech 45%
West Virginia 43%

This is Gundy’s dream of course. OSU has rushed it 63 percent of the time overall and 62 percent of the time in Big 12-only games, which is 3 percent more than anyone else and by far the most in the conference (Texas, by the way, has 261 passes and rushes in Big 12 play).

That’s not all, though.

This is shaping up to be the heaviest rushing season in a decade and — quite possibly given the, uh, rumored QB situation moving forward — maybe of the entire Gundy era. Here’s where we stand right now going into the final two games.

Year Rush Pass
2008 64% 36%
2019 63% 37%
2009 62% 38%
2006 62% 38%
2007 61% 39%
2005 57% 43%
2014 56% 44%
2016 51% 49%
2018 51% 49%
2012 51% 49%
2013 51% 49%
2017 50% 50%
2015 47% 53%
2010 46% 54%
2011 40% 60%

• That 2008 team had two future professional wideouts who played 206 NFL games and had a combined 90 TDs, and Gundy looked at the landscape and said, “Nah, I’m good.”

• That 2008 team also had three future professionals in the backfield (Toston, Zac and Hunter).

• That 2008 team was good.

• The outlier here is actually the 2011 team, which rushed it just under 400 times. This year’s team hit the 400-mark two weeks ago. It’s understandable why you would toss it 60 percent of the time with a first-rounder at QB and a top-10 pick at wideout, but that’s a pretty crazy number given Gundy’s desires.

• I think the 2019 team gets to 65 percent over the final three games. With a murky (at best!) situation at QB and Chuba gunning for NYC, Gundy is going to go full Herb Brooks down the stretch with his Canadian thoroughbred, and OSU slinging it all over the yard will continue to be a memory of the past.

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