Oklahoma State Preps For Bedlam In Norman
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -
As the Oklahoma State football team prepares for tomorrow's big Bedlam game, we take a look at streaks on the line and other trends to look out for this weekend.
Week 14 Talking Points – Offense
• The Oklahoma State offense runs through quarterback Mason Rudolph. When he plays well, the Cowboys usually win the game, and that has been the case for the majority of the season. Rudolph has surpassed 350 yards passing in five games this year, including two of the past three games and a school-record of 540 yards in OSU's win over Pitt. Additionally, Rudolph is the only player in the country this season who has surpassed 3,500 passing yards while throwing less than five interceptions. He ranks fifth nationally with 326.5 passing yards per game.
• Oklahoma State's group of receivers is one of the most impressive in the country. Led by James Washington, who leads the team and ranks 11th nationally with 105.4 receiving yards per game, four different Cowboys have eclipsed 100 yards receiving in a game this season. Washington has done so five times this year, including four times in the last six games, while Jalen McCleskey has three 100-yard games, Chris Lacy has two in each of the past two games and Jhajuan Seales added another. Additionally, 17 different players have caught a pass for OSU this year.
• Chris Lacy's name is the latest to be added to Oklahoma State list of threats at wide receiver. After serving a limited role in his first two seasons, Lacy has made a name for himself this year. He's caught at least one pass in every game he's played this season and has set career highs in single game receiving yards in each of his last two games, totaling 100 in OSU's win over Texas Tech and 109 in OSU's win over TCU. Additionally, Lacy caught two big touchdown passes against West Virginia and the Cowboys' first touchdown against TCU.
• The Cowboys' run game has earned a name for itself. OSU has averaged 6.64 yards per carry (724 yards on 109 carries) in its last three games, which ranks third nationally among Power Five schools during the month of November. It started when OSU put up more yards on Kansas State than any other team has this year with 180 on an average of 6.9 yards per carry. After that, the Cowboys averaged 5.5 yards per carry with 210 rushing yards in their win over Texas Tech and followed it up with a season-high 334 yards in OSU's win at TCU (7.4 yards per carry).
• Running backs Justice Hill and Chris Carson have led the charge in the run game. Carson has rushed for 288 yards on 34 carries in the last three games (8.5 yards per carry) while Hill has rushed for 325 yards on 43 carries during that stretch (7.6 yards per carry). They combined for 300 yards in OSU's last game against TCU as Carson had a career-best 146 yards and Hill added 154. Hill holds the OSU school record for rushing yards in a season by a true freshman (943) and needs less than 20 yards to set the record for season rushing yards by any OSU freshman. Hill's effort against TCU marked his fifth 100-yard game this season. No other freshman in OSU history has more than three.
Week 14 Talking Points – Defense
• The Cowboys' win over TCU in their last game may have been their most dominant defensive performance of the season. The OSU defense held TCU to its lowest scoring output of the season while handing the Frogs their most lopsided home loss of the Gary Patterson era. OSU also picked off two passes, held TCU to 6-of-16 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth down and pitched a shutout outside of a 6-yard touchdown drive following an OSU turnover. The Cowboys also stopped the Frogs twice after they had driven inside the OSU five yard line and held them to one score in three red zone opportunities.
• A big part of OSU's defensive success is due to winning the field position battle. The Cowboys lead the nation in opponent's starting field position, as their average drive has started at their own 24.1-yard line. That been a significant factor in allowing the Cowboys to rank third in the league in scoring defense.
• Forcing turnovers has long been a focal point of defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer's scheme. The Cowboys have sealed multiple games with late turnovers and are now ranked No. 20 in the country and No. 1 in the Big 12 with 23 turnovers gained on the season. They are also No. 12 nationally and No. 2 in the Big 12 in turnover margin at +0.82. The Cowboys have forced at least one turnover in every game this year, including 13 in the last six games. In OSU's win over No. 10 West Virginia, the Cowboys outscored WVU, 17-0, in points off turnovers and won the game by 17 points.
• In eight of OSU's nine wins, the Cowboy defense has held its opponent to less than 50 percent on third down conversions, including twice when they were held to less than 25 percent. The Cowboys are holding opponents to a 38.6 conversion rate on the year to rank fourth in the Big 12, and success in that area has had a strong correlation with OSU's win-loss record.
• Oklahoma State leads the nation with six blocked kicks this season, three of which came as part of the Cowboys' win over Texas. Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor leads the country individually with four blocks, which matches the OSU record that was set in 1971. The latest block came at TCU as Taylor swatted TCU's only PAT goal attempt to swing the momentum back in OSU's favor in the Cowboys' 31-6 win.
• After 11 games, the Cowboys lead the Big 12 in fourth-quarter scoring defense, kickoff coverage (18.27) and punt return defense (1.4) in addition turnovers gained and blocked kicks. They rank in the top three in scoring defense (27.2), interceptions (13), sacks per game (2.55), opponent fourth down percentage (39.1), turnover margin (+0.82), fumbles recovered (10), defensive touchdowns (2) and red zone defense (77.5 percent).
Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Bedlam Game
• Oklahoma State has won its last seven games, good for the fifth-longest active win streak among Power Five schools.
• Oklahoma State has won nine of its last 10 true road games, dating back to 2014.
• OSU is 11-1 in its last 12 games decided by less than 10 points.
• Oklahoma State has trailed at some point in six of its last eight wins.
• Oklahoma State has won 21 of its last 26 games overall, dating back to the end of the 2014 season.
• Oklahoma State has scored at least 20 points in each of its last 27 games - the second-longest active streak in the nation, trailing only Oregon's streak of 41 straight.
• Oklahoma State is outscoring its opponents by a 130-69 margin in the first quarter of games this season.
• Oklahoma State is outscoring its opponents by an 88-46 margin in the fourth quarter of games this season.
• Oklahoma State has piled up at least 600 yards of offense in two of its last three games.
• OSU's defense has forced 13 turnovers in the last six games.
• Oklahoma State's defense has forced at least one turnover every game this season and in 21 of the last 22 games, dating back to last season.
• Dating back to 2005, the Cowboys have won 28 of their last 29 games when not committing a turnover.
• Dating back to the 2008 season, the Cowboys have won 50 of their last 54 games when winning the turnover battle.
• Quarterback Mason Rudolph has thrown 19 touchdown passes against just two interceptions during OSU's current seven-game winning streak.
• Quarterback Mason Rudolph has turned in a pass efficiency rating above 200 in two of his last three games.
• Receiver James Washington has at least one catch in each of his last 30 games.
• Receiver James Washington has gone over 100 yards receiving in three of his last four games and the trio of Jalen McCleskey, Jhajuan Seales and Chris Lacy is averaging 174.0 receiving yards in the last three games.
• Running back Justice Hill has rushed for at least 100 yards in five of the last eight games. He is the only player in Oklahoma State history to rush for 100 yards or more in five games during his freshman season.