We missed a few weeks, but it’s time for a 3K weave once again as we touch on — you guessed it — QB play, OL play, why OSU is struggling on defense and the current talent level in Stillwater.
Porter: How much are we overrating OSU’s recent struggles as being a QB problem rather than spreading blame around elsewhere?
Boone: I think like 90 percent of the blame falls elsewhere. Cornelius isn’t perfect, obviously, but neither was Rudolph. Heck, even Weeden misfired. Neither of those guys would have put up very good numbers behind this OL, and neither would be racking W’s with the problems in the secondary, either.
Cox: I’m not. I think I agree with the point you made that he’s not elite and that another QB might make the difference. But the other side of the 2014-Daxx Garman argument is that if Rudolph was in by Week 6, he might not have lasted behind that OL.
There is plenty of blame to go around.
Porter: 90 percent seems high to me, but I feel a little bit that way as well. The thing I keep coming back to, though, is that elite QB play covers over a multitude of sins. OSU is getting average to above average QB play right now, but it’s certainly not elite.
I also think that the QB is the thread that most affects the rest of the team. He’s a great pitcher or a go-to wing. He gets the ball on every single play, and it just seems like this team lacks a swagger or a panache that others haven’t.
Boone: I think elite QB play masks a lot of issues, but I only lean 90 percent because I legit just don’t feel like Corndaddy is getting a fair shake. It’s like me taking a timed math exam with Lil Wayne performing a rap concert in the same room. Or something like that.
Porter: You’ve always been out on Corn!
Cox: I might put it at 50/50 based on, as you noted, the QB’s effects on the whole team. 50 QB/50 everything else.
Boone: I’m officially in on the Harvester. I re-watched the Iowa State and Kansas games over the weekend and I have some fire takes that end in questioning whether Rudolph should’ve been Corn’s backup. I’m not going there … but he makes some throws that wow you. Problem is, he has no time. And sometimes when he does, he hangs on too long.
Porter: Did somebody take over your account?
Boone: I didn’t go there! But honestly I think he’s kinda good.
Cox: I was on the TC bandwagon in the offseason. But he’s been more inconsistent over a half season than maybe I expected based on his
Porter: You’ve been bedowngrading him for the last month! What changed??
Boone: I just said — I re-watched the last two games! Iowa State in particular was jarring. They had a defensive player in the backfield on what felt like 80 percent of OSU’s plays.
Cox: It’s completely unscientific (and probably wrong) but there was an “it” factor when Rudolph came in. He didn’t make every NFL throw, but he made a lot of the timely plays that OSU needed. It’s still a smaller sample size but Rudolph drove the Cardiac Cowboys narrative. Cornelius has driven it out of our memory.
Porter: Is the cement dry on your Spencer statue or can you still amend it to say 2019-2022 instead of 2018-2022?
Cox: It’s dry. He’s gonna play.
Boone: Hahahaha! I still to think the QB position is a rising tide and I think if I was Gundy, I’d try Dru or Spencer (or both) just to see if it changed anything at all. But I also get that a) Spencer might actually get crushed and break all his bones and b) Dru might not be that much better/more knowledgeable
Cox: If he doesn’t get a legit shot in up to four games (and OSU doesn’t win out), Mike Gundy needs to explain something.
Porter: I don’t think he’s going to play. I do think it’s going to be humorous.
Cox: At all?
Porter: Gundy will grow the mullet over his eyes by Thanksgiving and call it his hater blocker.
Boone: Nah, I disagree. I think Gundy knows something we don’t … which is that Sanders hasn’t come on as strong as everyone hyped him up to.
Porter: Why is OSU leading planet earth in sacks but can’t stop the two worst offenses in the Big 12?
Boone: Young secondary. They’re relying really, really heavily on Jarrick Bernard + Kolby Peel. It’s going to pay off over the next three seasons, but they’re getting baptized by fire a la Ramon Richards 2014.
Cox: Because it is 126th in 20-plus yard passing plays allowed.
Boone: Why can’t OSU have nice things? Like Justin Gilbert, Emmanuel Ogbah, Jordan Brailford and Markelle Martin all on the same team?
Cox: Because they aren’t Texas. Or don’t recruit to that level in the Big 12. How many OSU fan favorites would have been just guys at Bama?
Porter: So four NFL guys on defense in the same class? Seems reasonable.
Cox: Rat poison = Garbage
Porter: Did you guys agree with me giving Gundy a “C” as a grade at the halfway point?
Cox: Yes, I do agree. With the job flirtations and raises and (smoothie-straw chewing) also comes the accountability. His teams has been really bad in Payne County over the last year-plus.
Porter: I don’t get the home losses thing. They’ve been horrendous.
Cox: So bad.
Porter: Last one, how worried are we about OSU’s talent level? I think we all agree (?) that they’ve been buoyed by great QBs in five of the last nine years — which I know is part of having a high level of talent — but boy it seems to be a prerequisite not just for being great but also maybe for being just above average.
Boone: Talent level is a concern, just because OSU isn’t — and hasn’t in quite some time — recruited at a level in which you expect an upper echelon team in the conference would recruit. But I’m not sure after half the season that it’s my biggest concern. Youth on defense, whatever is happening on the offensive line and special teams gaffes just maybe gives us more reason/excuse to point at recruiting and say, “fix it!” I think Gundy has earned a slightly longer leash than that …
Cox: Worried? Yes. Surprised? Maybe we shouldn’t be. OSU hits on a retired baseball player and an under-recruited wideout and they are world-beaters for two years. It pulls Rudolph and a similarly-overlooked receiver and has a fantastic offense for three. I’ve always wondered how good those 2015-17 teams could have been with even average, but consistent, OL depth and play.
That is, unfortunately, what we get with OSU and it goes back to recruiting.