Can Mason Rudolph Actually Win the 2017 Heisman?

first_imgLamar Jackson (Louisville): 6-1 odds (Last year’s Heisman winner)3,543 yards passing, 30 TDs, INTs – QBR: 148.821,571 yards rushing, 21 TDsJalen Hurts (Alabama): 9-1 odds2,780 yards passing, 23 TDs, 9 INTs – QBR: 139.12954 yards rushing, 13 TDsJ.T. Barrett (Ohio State): 9-1 odds2,555 yards passing, 24 TDs, 7 INTs – QBR: 135.31845 yards rushing, 9 TDsJake Browning (Washington): 12-1 odds3,430 yards passing, 43 TDs, 9 INTs – QBR: 167.5245 yards rushing, 4 TDsDeondre Francois (Florida State): 14-1 odds3,350 yards, 20 TDs, 7 INTs – QBR: 142.10196 yards rushing, 5 TDsBaker Mayfield (Oklahoma): odds N/A3,965 yards, 40 TDs, 8 INTs – QBR: 196.38 (led NCAA)177 yards rushing, 6 TDsRudolph has a couple of things going for him. First off, he may have the best receiving corps in the nation. The Cowboys have probably 5-6 receivers that could probably be the No. 1 option on several teams.“It’s great,” said Rudolph on the problem of spreading the ball around. “It makes my job a lot easier with what we’ve got. It’s going to be a fun summer and a fun fall camp with so many targets out there. It’s on my shoulders to make sure I distribute the ball to all of them.”The importance of an actual running game cannot be overstated. We’ve seen in the past how defenses can key in on a one-dimensional OSU passing attack. With Justice Hill and an improving offensive line to keep them honest, the offense could open up even more.Numbers are important but they’re only part of the equation. Team success plays a massive role, as well. And if the Cowboys can come close to living up to their expected potential, it will be because of Mason Rudolph.Here’s a look the last four quarterbacks to win the Heisman and their team’s success that helped earn the award.Lamar Jackson (Louisville): 6-1 odds (Last year’s Heisman winner)3,543 yards passing, 30 TDs, INTs – QBR: 148.821,571 yards rushing, 21 TDsRecord: 9-4Rank: No. 21 in Final AP PollMarcus Mariota (2014 Heisman winner)4,454 yards passing, 42 TDs 4 INTs – QBR: 181.75770 yards rushing, 15 TDsRecord: 13-2Ranked: No. 2 in Final AP PollJameis Winston (2013 Heisman winner)4,050 yards passing, 40 TDs, 10 INTs – QBR: 184.80219 yards rushing, 4 TDsRecord: 14-0Ranked: No. 1 in Final AP Poll (National Champion)Johnn Manziel (2012 Heisman winner)3,706 yards passing, 29 TDs, 9 INTs – QBR: 155.301,410 yards rushing, 21 TDsRecord: 11-2Ranked: No. 5 in Final AP PollThe award is given out before bowl season but one thing all these quarterbacks shared was that team success. Aside from Jackson, the last five Heisman winners’ teams have finished in the top 5 nationally. Is Mason Rudolph going to have that on his resume? He’ll likely need it to earn an invite to New York.To get to that point, Rudolph and his Cowboys will likely have to beat Oklahoma twice. With the new format for determining the Big 12’s champion, the top two teams will take part in a rematch at the end of the season. Insert 13th data point. Subtract common sense.Can Rudolph win the Heisman?It will take an historic season from him, which seems reasonable. It will also take Oklahoma State exorcising their Sooner demons. If both can be accomplished and OSU finds itself atop the Big 12, Rudolph will have a chance. Last week, OSU’s athletic department sent out a cryptic tweet with a not so cryptic message. Mason Rudolph is the key. He’s the driving force to Oklahoma State’s offense and its team’s success.And he’s the No. 1 reason for optimism heading into 2017.“I think his success over a three-year period and his numbers kind of speak for themselves,” said Mike Gundy following OSU’s spring game. “He’s winning. He’s a great leader. We’re always a little tentative about that because I don’t want to put pressure on him, but I think it’s fair play that he’s earned that.”Gundy is right. Rudolph is winning; and at a pretty high clip. In his two years and some change, Rudolph is 22-6 as a starter. He’s beaten every Big 12 opponent except for Baylor and will get one more crack at them this fall.He’s the face of a perennial 10-win program but somehow the best-kept secret among Heisman candidates.Is this the year for Rudolph to finally shine?How plausible is Rudolph’s Heisman candidacy?The Heisman trophy is given to “the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity … ” As of late, it’s become a QB-dominated award. The last 20 have gone to 14 quarterbacks, five running backs and one cornerback/punt returner (Charles Woodson). If we go last 15, it’s even more lopsided, with 12 of the winners coming from behind center.So, based on what recent history has told us and in an effort to compare apples to apples, let’s take a look at the seven QBs that currently have better odds (according to Bovada) to win than Rudolph.Baker Mayfield was excluded from Bovada’s odds but is included in this list since he will certainly be near the top once his disciplinary situation is revealed and because I don’t expect him to miss much time, if any.Here are Rudolph’s numbers from last year, followed by the seven other QBs ahead of him in the odds.Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State): 16-1 odds4,091 yards passing, 28 TDs, 4 INTs – QBR: 158.9461 yards rushing, 6 TDsThe FieldSam Darnold (USC): 5-1 odds3,086 yards passing 31 TDs, 9 INTs – QBR: 161.07250 yards rushing, 2 TDs While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Chalk Talk: Three Things to Take Away From the Spring Game

first_imgThe Oklahoma State spring game gave a glimpse of OSU fans what they could see in the upcoming 2017 season. Although the game plans of most spring scrimmages are fairly conservative, only using a handful of base plays, there were still some notable things that one might have noticed during the game. Here are three most noteworthy play observations in the Spring Game.Three Down/Four DownThe OSU defense has committed to using a more varied personnel in 2017. The Cowboys used some three-down fronts last season, and the recent hiring of Brian VanGorder has solidified their commitment to three-down sets. The Cowboys have clearly worked on three-down formations in the offseason. They used a nickel set on multiple occasions with the rush backer on the left side taking place of the end (most defenses will put their best pass rusher on the quarterback’s blind side).They also used a nickel set with two rush backers on each side and three lineman spaced between.This is a good sign for Cowboy fans. Last season, they used three-down sets conservatively, bringing it out in likely pass situations. There was little variety, but it makes sense considering they started using it mid-season. Now, they’ve added variety, and it’s not just for prevent situations anymore. Expect three-down sets to play a bigger role in the Cowboy defense next season.Y AlignmentA number of Cowboy fans thought that the OSU offense would minimize the cowboy back position in 2017 considering how many talented receivers they have. If the Spring Game was any indication, it’s not necessarily that the Cowboys aren’t using the cowboy back anymore.Rather, they’re adding more variation to the back’s alignment. The Orange team, for example, lined cowboy back Keenan Brown all over the field, often playing in the backfield, as a tight end and as a flexed receiver all in the same drive. The Black team did the same with Dawson Bassett on the first couple of drives.The Cowboys showed formations with the tight end flexed in the slot in both two-by-two and trips formations; in the latter, the cowboy back aligned on the line of scrimmage in both the inside slot, known as “trey” alignment, and in the outside slot, known as a “trio” alignment (terminology varies).When used correctly, flexed tight ends can be a headache to cover. If the strong-side linebacker plays the flexed end head up, then he leaves the box susceptible to the run. But if he stays in the box, then he has to leave the end uncovered before the snap which gives the offense an advantage in the passing game.If done correctly, this formational versatility should give opposing defenses headaches throughout the upcoming season, especially considering how quickly the Cowboys operate. Four-receiver sets are effective, but the use of a tight end in this fashion has its advantages as well.QB Run GameThe Cowboys’ run game looked slightly different than last season’s in the spring game. It almost appeared as if they reverted back to their 2015 ways. They put a big focus on the outside zone out of the shotgun, with no use of the pistol (which, as we’ve talked about before, allows backs to utilize their vision better in comparison to the shotgun).They used inside runs with a wing tight end, but there weren’t any available running lanes because of the extra linebacker in the box due to the tight end’s presence. Their only successful play was an inside zone read. Mason Rudolph converted a 4th-and-1 with it in the game’s first drive, and the play was used in the latter half of the game to open up holes up the middle for the running backs.This play is an example of something the Cowboys never do enough of, and that’s to run against a six-man box. Yes, cowboy backs can help in the run game, but they can also help spread a defense out as well. This play also signifies the possibility of using Mason Rudolph in the run game more in 2017. Could we see more plays like this? That’s currently unclear, but the Cowboys consistently used this play throughout all four quarters.The Spring Game in its entirety was fairly lackluster, as OSU fans should come to expect. Gundy isn’t one to show too much before the season starts, and rightfully so. Although the scrimmage itself wasn’t all that special, the game was telling of what we could see in the future. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The Reload: Elite 2019 QB Target Calls OSU Visit ‘The Best’

first_imgChaney also has offers from Baylor, TCU, Wichita State and OSU. If you’re thinking the schools, geographically, are a little weird, it’s because Chaney recently played for Frisco Liberty in Texas before transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada last July.Findlay Prep has been an NBA talent producing factory over the years, with Avery Bradley, Anthony Bennett, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson claiming Findlay as their alma mater since its origination in 2006.Three teammates offered over the weekendTrinity Christian School prospect Joey Baker of Fayetteville, North Carolina, reported a scholarship offer from OSU this week. Baker is a top-25 national prospect in the 2019 recruiting class with close to 20 offers who is considered a North Carolina Tar Heels lean — although his in-state school has yet to pull the trigger on him yet. Baker is an uber-athletic combo forward who can score it and play around the rim.He’s averaging 16 points per game on the Under Armour Circuit and has emerged as his teams go-to scorer for Team Felton. Two of his other Team Felton teammates were also offered over the weekend.Mike Boynton has offered 2020 wing Silas Mason, 2019 guard Joey Baker and 2018 big man Immanuel Bates. All three @TeamFeltonBBall products.— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) May 8, 2017Immanuel Bates is a 6-foot-9 power forward with 15 offers from the likes of UConn, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Cincy and others. Silas Mason, meanwhile, is an up-and-coming 2020 prospect whose first Power 5 offer is from the Cowboys. Watson is a 6-foot-6 small forward who has the frame and the talent to be a legit Division I player, and it seems OSU is looking to get ahead of that train.Here’s a little scouting of Watson from Phenom Hoop Report, who hosted him for an event last April.“Marcus Watson for CP3 was the true heart and soul of this team. He always came through when his number was called on offense, and was a top tier defender at multiple positions. Blessed with great length and size, Watson could play as a big guard, ideal wing, or even as a stretch big in the right circumstances. Range was excellent extending out past the three-point line; showed great intelligence at all times, really a do-it-all type of player.” [Phenom Hoop Report]2018 big man Reggie Chaney offered scholarshipFindlay Prep big man Reggie Chaney is another hoops target to emerge this week on the radar of Mike Boynton and his staff. Chaney is a 6-foot-7 prospect—typically the size you see in a small forward, especially in the Big 12—but he’s classified as both a power forward and center at recruiting service websites. The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap, catching you up to speed on the latest news and rumors regarding Oklahoma State recruiting.Grant Gunnell calls OSU ‘best visit’The premier quarterback in the 2019 class, Grant Gunnell, has already garnered 25 offers from the likes of OSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, LSU and others. And to this point in his recruitment, his unofficial visit to Stillwater is the one that stands out to him thanks to the efforts of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.“They’re the first guys to jump on with me to be the first offer,” Gunnell told Scout of Oklahoma State. “That’s really special to be their first offer. Coach (Mike) Yurich is really awesome. That’s probably the most special visit I took. He put together a video of me in their offense with the same exact plays of me throughout the years. It was probably the best visit.”Gunnell is ranked nationally as the 54th best overall prospect in the 2019 class and the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the country, closing in on 5-star status. He says he’ll likely release a list of his top schools later this spring. Oklahoma State will be on the list but, as he broke down in the Scout story, he’s weighing options between landing with an air raid system or a pro-style system.“They both have their pros and cons,” he said of both systems. “I think it’s just that. You have to look at how the coach fits well with me and how I want to be coached, the head coach stability and stuff like that.”2019 SF Marcus Watson offered scholarshipA quick description for Watson in one word: under-recruited. (or is that two words?) Watson is a small forward from Clemmons, North Carolina. He holds offers from OSU, Iowa, LSU, Georgia and Mercer, despite being ranked as a top 100 prospect in the 2019 class.center_img While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Previewing the Schedule: Retooling Tulsa Offers an Early Test for OSU

first_imgOklahoma State looks primed for an exciting — possibly historic — season with all kinds of talent returning on both sides of the ball. To start off, they’ll face one of the more competitive non-conference schedules they have in recent history, starting with in-state foe Tulsa.ParticularsWhen: September 2 (or August 31) at TBAWhere: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OklahomaLast Meeting: In 2011, Oklahoma State took care of the Golden Hurricane 59-33 in a game that went well into the next morning thanks to some extended weather delays.Oklahoma State is 39-27-5 against the Golden Hurricane all time but has won five straight dating back to 1999 and 15 of the last 20 meetings between their other in-state rival.This year’s season opener is the first of four on the slate against Tulsa. They are not scheduled for 2018 but will have games in 2019, 2020 and 2021.The Golden Hurricane is coming off of its own 10-win season, which culminated with in their 55-10 shellacking of you know who. That certain team who was a awarded a certain victory in Stillwater last year that a certain coach would like to ignore.But the 10-win mark is about as far as the similarities go between these two teams. Oklahoma State returns their ace QB and possibly the most talented receiving corps in college football. Tulsa will be without their three-year starting signal caller and two 1,000-yard wide receivers from last year.OffenseWe know Philip Montgomery can coach offense. The question is whether or not he has a quarterback that can run his high-powered style. Dane Evans departed as the school’s all-time passing leader. In his wake there appears to be a two-man QB competition that has not been decided.Junior Chad President got most of the first-team reps in the spring but it was Luke Skipper that had the statement spring game. The redshirt freshman went 16 of 24 for 173 yards and two scores. Montgomery said he’ll hold off on naming his starter until this fall.DefenseOn defense, Tulsa lost three of its top five tacklers and some serious strength in run defense. They’ll have to replace Trent Martin who led the way with 100 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and a sack. The middle linebacker was a force in passing game too with five pass breakups and two interceptions last season.The cupboard isn’t quite bare on the back end, though. Strong safety Jeremy Brady has exhausted his eligibility but the Hurricane returns some depth in secondary headlined by Kerwin Thomas who contributed for nine pass breakups and an INT, as well as free safety Jordan Mitchell who had nine of his own breakups.ConclusionTulsa, though reloading, will be a good test for Oklahoma State to start the year. Will Mike Gundy and Co. try to play down to the competition and go run-heavy based on the projected strength of Tulsa, or will they try to run over the Golden Hurricane? The Cowboys have had issues with starting slow especially early in the season and against lesser competition.They have too much to lose heading into Rudolph’s last season than to repeat those type of mistakes. We’ll learn more about Oklahoma State than Tulsa in this one. Are the Cowboys ready to take the next step? Blowing the doors off of a rebuilding (reloading?) Tulsa team would be a huge step in the right direction.Key MatchupOklahoma State’s strength is undoubtedly their passing attack. Can the Cowboys get down the field early and often against the strength of Tulsa’s defense — its secondary. They don’t force a ton of turnovers but they’re experienced. And they’re Tulsa’s only shot at slowing down the Cowboys.Summer PredictionOklahoma State should win handily. I’d say in the 38-24 range. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

OSU Raises $94,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer

first_imgProminent Oklahoma State athletics figures gathered at Stillwater Country Club for a golf outing in Stillwater and raised over $94,125 for the American Cancer Society on Monday afternoon.Your generosity has led to a donation of $94,125 to the American Cancer Society – a new record. Thank you, #OKState! #BeatCancer pic.twitter.com/Bd3iFbnHu0— OSUCvC CowboyClassic (@OSUCvCGolf) May 22, 2017The tournament featured OSU coaches Mike Gundy, Mike Boynton and John Smith, as well as alumni like Billy Bajema and Jimmy Graham and Morgan Hoffman.Some short-game work with @CoachGundy & former @CowboyFB TE Billy Bajema. #CowboyClassic pic.twitter.com/FjaIDLnJND— OSUCvC CowboyClassic (@OSUCvCGolf) May 22, 2017 That’s how the @PGATOUR guys do it. ??? @OSUCowboyGolf @KarstenCreek @Morgan_Hoffmann pic.twitter.com/AcGJu4DMg8— OSUCvC CowboyClassic (@OSUCvCGolf) May 22, 2017 Some #OKState celebs in the house as @okstate President @burnshargis & @OSUAthletics AD Mike Holder show their support. #CowboyClassic pic.twitter.com/xfsNHb8AsI— OSUCvC CowboyClassic (@OSUCvCGolf) May 22, 2017 Cowboy basketball is well represented at @OSUCvCGolf with @thacoachmike, Joey Graham & @KeitonPage tearing up Stillwater CC. #okstate pic.twitter.com/E2QRcMyt0R— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) May 22, 2017 Wouldn’t be a golf tournament without @OSUCowboyGolf & @OSUcowgirlgolf! Thank you to @OSUBratton & @CjonzeyOSU! #CowboyClassic pic.twitter.com/ys19rP43ZI— OSUCvC CowboyClassic (@OSUCvCGolf) May 22, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. How awesome is this? @CoachGundy with Luke, who designed the #CowboyClassic golf balls. pic.twitter.com/tPprbOVR15— OSUCvC CowboyClassic (@OSUCvCGolf) May 22, 2017Watch the event’s highlights here:A star-studded #okstate cast turned out to raise money for cancer research while having a good time today. pic.twitter.com/jgRtIOE9yG— Oklahoma State (@OSUAthletics) May 22, 2017last_img read more

New OU Head Coach Lincoln Riley’s Ties with Big 12, Air Raid

first_imgFollowing the University of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops’ announcement to retire, the school has named offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley as the Sooners’ new head coach:SOURCE: Bob Stoops & #OC AD Joe Castiglione have been grooming Lincoln Riley for this situation for over a year. https://t.co/yGy5Dv3i9R— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 7, 2017With the hire, Riley becomes the FBS’ youngest head coach at 33 years old, replacing Memphis’ 35-year-old Mike Norvell.“I’m sincerely honored to be given this opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma,” said Riley in a statement. “I want to thank Coach Stoops for bringing me here two years ago and making me part of the Sooner family. He is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, at any level. I’m absolutely thankful for our friendship and for the mentorship he has provided.”No one knows if Riley will be a successful head coach, but he was as successful of a coordinator as anyone in the country. Riley, an air raid disciple, used his own variation of the air raid to build one of college football’s best offenses at Oklahoma, and interestingly enough, his history has plenty of Big 12 ties.Riley walked on to Texas Tech in 2002 and played quarterback behind current TTU head coach Kliff Kingsbury. His head coach was Mike Leach, who coincidentally brought his air raid offense to Oklahoma in 1999, which was Bob Stoops’ first year as head coach. Now, Riley takes place of Stoops using an offense of his former head coach — the same offense that won Stoops a national championship in his second year.Got all that?Leach hired Riley as a graduate assistant in 2003, and he moved his way up to assistant coach by 2006. Riley served as the receivers coach, and his fellow (inside) receivers coach, Dana Holgorsen, would eventually bring the air raid offense to Oklahoma State in 2010.But wait, I’m not finished.Riley would then accept the offensive coordinator position under Eastern Carolina’s then-head coach Ruffin McNeil, who was Mike Leach’s assistant head coach from 2003-2009. It’s funny how coaching trees can be so cyclical.Riley has worked with the best air raid coaches in football. His success at OU will be judged much later on, but there’s certainly precedent for young Big 12 assistant coaches, specifically air raid ones, finding a head coaching job. Apart from Leach, Holgorsen and Kingsbury, Art Briles, Sonny Dykes, Dino Babers, Kevin Sumlin and Kevin Wilson all found head coaching jobs by way of both the Big 12 and the air raid. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The Reload: Tight End Pledge Praises Gundy, Top CB Target on Commitment Watch

first_imgAs it stands, however, TCU is considered the favorite here. And that could especially be the case after OSU added 2018 cornerback Gabe Lemons to the fold this week.Three-star tight end pledge rock solid despite interest elsewhereLong-time OSU tight end pledge Nic McTear has seen his recruitment skyrocket after committing to the Cowboys, but he’s rock solid with his commitment.In an interview with Scout.com this week, McTear says it’s the Gundy factor that has kept him committed and solid.“It’s coach (Mike) Gundy,” McTear said. “He keeps it real. He is consistent too. He has been there for like the last 10 years. Every single year they go to a bowl game and they just keep it simple. He is just everything you want in a coach.I feel like I am firm where I am at. I feel like I will go there for sure unless something major happens. Other than that I don’t think I am going to be going anywhere else.”McTear has garnered offers from TCU, LSU, Auburn, Miami and others, but with all that interest he has remained firm in his commitment. The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap catching you up to speed with the latest Oklahoma State recruiting news, with an ear to the ground for what to expect.Junior college defensive tackle standout visitingFour-star junior college defensive tackle Tayland Humphrey will be making an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State this weekend, he announced this week. Humphrey’s ranked as one of the best junior college prospects in the Class of 2018 — regardless of position.AdChoices广告The Hutchison C.C. standout is a 6-6, 350-pound mauler with 25 scholarship offers in hand from Texas A&M, Arkansas, OU, Florida State, Alabama and others. He is originally from Klein Oak, Texas.OSU’s top cornerback target on commitment watchSlidell, Louisiana cornerback Eddie Smith announced Thursday evening that he will be making his college commitment on Friday night. Smith recently visited OSU where he came away singing praises of the school he undoubtedly included in his top 3.“I loved it honestly,” Smith said. “I had no idea the school was that beautiful. I fell in love with the campus.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Punter Zach Sinor Launches His Heisman Campaign

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. I don’t want PFB to take too much credit here, but we’ve been tweeting and talking about this for nearly a year now, and it finally happened. Zach Sinor officially launched his Heisman Trophy campaign this week with Oklahoma State’s blessing. What a world.Mason Rudolph can have his 4,000-yard seasons, James Washington can have his 20-TD outings, I just want to see Sinor next to Nick Chubb and Jalen Hurts in New York come December. Sinor4Heisman4Ever.After being left off the Ray Guy Award list in 2016, @ZachSinor29 is thinking big this year. Real big. #Sinor4Heisman #okstate #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/htS0eZPtVs— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) June 28, 2017AdChoices广告last_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 59 Matt Hockett

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. We’ve made it to No. 59 in our summer-long countdown. Next up, an unheralded but extremely important specialist.How he got to OSUThe all-state punter from Norman High School grew up in Sooner country. In fact, his father holds a long-time administrative position at OU. But that didn’t deter the younger Hockett from accepting a chance to join Oklahoma State as a preferred walk-on. Like many kickers, Hockett was a two-sport prep star in both football and soccer.What he’s done in StillwaterSince arriving on campus, Hockett has served as backup punter to Zach Sinor and got his turn at kickoffs before Matt Ammendola claimed kickoff duties early last season. As a redshirt freshman in 2015, Hockett got spot detail at kickoffs and attempted one field goal and one extra point.AdChoices广告Role in 2017With Ammendola gunning for the place-kicking job vacated by Ben Grogan, Hockett may get another crack at kickoffs. Either way, he could be a rolled ankle away from either punting or kicking in either role. Every team needs a competent backup for their specialists.Noteworthy stats and highlightsAt Norman High School, Hockett was an all-state selection in both soccer and football. He averaged 43.3 yards per punt and 38 of his 45 kickoffs were downed in the opponent’s end zone.last_img read more

Louisiana Safety Israel Mukuamu Names OSU in Final Four Schools

first_imgOSU has survived the cut from 9 schools to 4 for Louisiana safety Israel Mukuamu. The three-star prospect announced his final four schools on Monday which included Florida State, OSU, South Carolina and Indiana.Mukuamu, a Parkway High School recruit, holds nearly 20 offers from the likes of Florida, Ole Miss, Purdue and others. The big-bodied, 6-4 safety is set to make his final decision on July 24 in a commitment ceremony at his old school in South Carolina.AdChoices广告“When I went up there,” Mukuamu said of his recent visit to OSU, “Coach Gundy sat me in his office and told me he that he thinks I’m the guy for the program and that no matter what they’re going to keep a spot for me. They’re just waiting on me. Coach Hammerschmidt actually compares me to the safety there now, Tre Flowers. He said I could potentially come in early, play early and be the next him because he’s looking for another tall DB like him to play that strong safety position.”Mukuamu says he’s looking for a place that features a sports medicine program that fits him, but more importantly, he’s looking for the right fit as a program.“A coaching staff and football team that’s really family-based,” said Mukuamu. “It’s all about family to them. Education and a place I can play early and win championships.”After a late offer and surge in his recruitment, Florida State is the presumed favorite in his recruitment, especially after making consecutive visits to Tallahassee in mid-June. We’ll see if safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt has some tricks up his sleeve to even the game before he makes his final decision. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Previewing the Schedule: How OSU Matches up Against a Rebuilding Pitt Defense

first_imgTulsa | S. AlabamaIn Week 3, the Cowboys head to the Steel City for the second leg of a home-and-home non-conference series with Pittsburgh. The Cowboys took care of business last year in Stillwater. Now let’s see how they do on the road.ParticularsWhen: Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. CDTWatch: ABC or ESPN2Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Capacity: 68,400)AdChoices广告Last meeting: September 17, 2016 — Oklahoma State won a weather-delayed battle in Stillwater 45-38. Last year’s meeting was the first between the two schools.OffensePitt welcomes a new offensive coordinator for the second-straight year. During the off season, Matt Canada was hired away by Ed Orgeron at LSU. Now it’s up to Shawn Watson, former QB coach and — at one point — acting OC under Charlie Strong at Texas. He has the task of replacing the production of starting quarterback Nathan Peterman and star running back James Conner.One of those needs looks to be filled by a west coast grad-transfer. Former USC starting quarterback Max Browne will play out the final year of his eligibility at Pitt. Browne won the Trojans’ starting job during fall camp 2016 but kept it for exactly three weeks before being supplanted by current Heisman favorite Sam Darnold. Browne was a five-star recruit and the No. 1 pro-style QB in the 2013 class according to 247 Sports.Browne does have some weapons like the nation’s top returning deep-threat, Jester Weah (24.2 yards per catch) and Quadree Henderson who racked up 164 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Stillwater last year.DefenseThe Panthers will be without seven starters from last year’s defense including defensive end Ejuan Price who led the ACC with 23.0 tackles for loss (No. 2 nationally) and led his team with 13.0 sacks in 2016 (two of those were of Mason Rudolph). Nine of the 12 leading tacklers at Pitt last year were seniors. But that 2016 team also ranked 106th in scoring defense, allowing 35.2 points per game and 109th allowing 2.9 points per drive. They were decent against the run and horrible against the pass.The 2016 Panthers ranked 127th out of 128 teams in opponent passing yardage allowed and allowed the most long passing plays from scrimmage in the nation (both plays of 10-plus and 20-plus yards). Its secondary will be without corner Ryan Lewis and safeties Terrish Webb and Reggie Mitchell, all seniors in 2016.Pitt does get some help in the form of junior strong safety and 2015 ACC Rookie of the Year, Jordan Whitehead, who missed the last three games of 2016 due to injury. Can Whitehead and some young corners help the Panther defense take a step forward? They’ll have to to keep up with the Pokes this year.Key MatchupPat Narduzzi, who is just in his third year at Pitt, has yet to assemble the talent to fit the type of defensive scheme he runs. The Panthers like to bring a ton of pressure up front, leaving their cover men on an island. We saw that last year and it produced record-setting performances from both Mason Rudolph and James Washington.Which looks something like this.ConclusionThis will be the stiffest competition the Cowboys will have faced to date and Pitt will be one week removed from their trip to University Park to visit rival Penn State. How much does that take out of the Panthers, and has their offense found its way under newcomer Max Browne? Can they stop anyone?As far as the Cowboys are concerned, they should be able to stretch the field against an unproven and isolated secondary. How does Oklahoma State’s own secondary match up against Pitt’s playmakers? How effective are the Cowboys at slowing down Pitt’s running game? These are questions we will likely get at least a few answers to in the first two weeks against Tulsa and South Alabama.Summer PredictionThe Pokes stay perfect and win one on the road in the neighborhood of 42-28. Pitt has too many question marks and too much to replace to keep up with the loaded Cowboys. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Videos: Mike Gundy Talks Recruiting and Retirement at Big 12 Media Days

first_imgMike Gundy was the last of the Oklahoma State interviews we did this week at Big 12 Media Days, and he was as relaxed and laid back as I’ve ever seen him. Gundy fielded questions for nearly two hours from media members about all manner of things.We got in a little late — because the initial scrum was overwhelming — and Gundy chatted about how much fun he has being the coach of Oklahoma State and what kind of opportunity Bob Stoops retiring presents Oklahoma State. He also talked about his marketing research.AdChoices广告In video No. 2 he talks Barry Melrose, discusses backup QBs and cowboy backs.In the final video Gundy talks Dana Holgorsen, why he won’t coach forever, what makes Kasey Dunn great and comments on the bingo card we made for him. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The Most Dynamic Players at Oklahoma State in 2017, Ranked

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 6. Dillon Stoner: Ask anyone in the Jenks area who the best athlete to come through the area over the last few years is, and 80% will tell you Dillon Stoner. For Jenks, he was a punter, safety, receiver, wildcat quarterback, and kick-holder for extra points. The man does it all — he even took a snap out of the wildcat last season with the game on the line.5. Mason Rudolph: I wouldn’t consider Mason Rudolph to be an athletic freak, but I also would not say that to his face. At 6-foot-5, he towers over defenses and has every throw in the arsenal ready to unload at a moments notice. If he can perfect his short game (which looks worse than mine at times), he’ll grow into a bonafide first-rounder without question.4. J.D. King: Do not sleep on Georgia running backs. Period. J.D. King is a freak show who can lift heavier weight than the entire PFB team combined, and I can guarantee you he doesn’t skip leg day. He’s a fast runner through the gap, and while he isn’t the make-you-miss athlete that Chuba Hubbard is, he can hold his own by taking blows up the middle and pass-blocking like a pro.3. Tyron Johnson: It’s entirely possible we’ve overblown the Tyron Johnson hype, but it’s also entirely possible that everyone — including myself — absolutely can’t wait to see him take the field. The former five-star recruit is bound to breakout in 2017. It’s “bag year” as he calls it.2. James Washington: Washington returns as the NCAA leader in receiving yards and yards per catch, and with games like this against Pitt in 2016, I’d be stunned if he isn’t the odds-on favorite to win the Biletnikoff in 2017.I think everyone feels happy he chose football over tennis.1. Justice Hill: Mr. All-American himself earns the top spot as the most dynamic player for OSU in 2017. The expectation for Hill last season was to fill a role behind Chris Carson, but he supplanted the veteran early in the season, rushed for 1,000-plus yards, and launched himself into our list at No. 1 among OSU’s most dynamic players. When you can squat 565-pounds, I think that’s an automatic qualifier. Each year Mike Gundy and his staff bring in heavily evaluated (but not always highly-rated) prospects who overachieve on the gridiron. Players like James Washington, Jalen McCleskey and Brad Lundblade all come to mind when I think of players who have outperformed their projections and proven to be dynamic players in Stillwater.With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most dynamic players at OSU entering the 2017 season, ranked. Similar to Bruce Feldman’s annual college football freak list, these are the do-it-all athletes OSU can’t do without.10. Zach Sinor: Name another player in the country who can pin punts inside the 10, launch his own Heisman website, and campaign at a national event like Big 12 media days. I’ll wait …….. OK, no one, right? That, my friends, is dynamic! Yes, I’ll admit I’m pandering to the #SinorForHeisman crowd, but I’m of the belief that he’s going to be one of the most crucial players in OSU’s push to win the Big 12 in 2017.AdChoices广告9. Ramon Richards: We’ve come a long ways from Richards’ freshman campaign that was biting on the pump fake after biting on the pump fake. Now, in 2017, he’s moved over to play safety — which could be huge for the senior in a 3-3-5 scheme, as Thomas Fleming analyzed. Regardless of what you think about his footwork or fundamentals, he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. His feel for the game — and now his ability to play multiple positions — makes him one of OSU’s most dynamic athletes. (Not bad for a high school quarterback turned defensive back!)8. Chuba Hubbard: For your troubles, I’ve listed out all the OSU athletes since 2010 who have run faster than Chuba in the 100-meter sprint:Tyreek Hill, 10.19That’s it. Hubbard’s 10.55 100-meter dash earned him fourth overall in 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia in 2015. He can catch passes out of the backfield, he can get up the field through the heart of the defense, and he’s really, really, fast.7. Calvin Bundage: Bundage, a second-year player from Edmond Santa Fe, has all the physical tools to potentially take over as the No. 1 option at star linebacker. He’s a physical freak who has coverage skills like a safety, rushing skills like a defensive end, and punishing power across the middle like an inside linebacker.last_img read more

Barber: My 5 Questions for Fall Camp

first_imgKyle Porter and Boone are in Stillwater asking coach Mike Gundy, his coordinators and assistants questions at the annual golf outing Thursday while I’m stuck in Dallas.There are plenty of problems, good and bad, the Cowboys are facing running into fall camp starting Sunday. Here are what I think the five most important ones are:1. How Long Until We Know the No. 2 Cornerback?When I asked Gundy about the corner situation at Big 12 Media Days, he threw out Adrian Baker’s name, which we already assumed, but that was it.Legitimately, eight players could start at any point this season. Like getting full on crackers, that’s hardly OK for a position like receiver, where potentially five guys are on the field at a time. It’s more like trying to get full on cotton candy when you’re talking about a two-man position like corner.AdChoices广告And on those lines, even if they get their No. 2 guy, who is No. 3 and No. 4?2. Which Receiver(s) Will be Left Behind?Among Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy, Dillon Stoner, Tylan Wallace and Tyron Johnson, at least one of those will not get 25 catches this season.Maybe the obvious answers are Stoner and Wallace, the youngest of the bunch, but maybe not. Both of them play inside, and someone has to back up Jalen McCleskey.Unless Mason Rudolph starts throwing two balls per play, I can’t see how everyone’s quotas are going to be reached.3. What is Going to Happen to the ‘Others’ on Offense?With so much talk and intrigue with going five-wide, the cowboy backs and backup running backs could get lost in the sauce.(Poor, poor) Jeff Carr could extremely easily be relegated to backup return man. We might also be at this time next year saying how we should have included Keenan Brown in all of this.But the fact is that with such a striking embarrassment of depth at receiver, it will be so easy to forget about them and leave them off the field.4. How Fluid Will this Defense Look?The way I see it, only half of the defensive personnel is locked into position.Ramon Richards could drop into the box almost like a nickel cornerback. Kenneth Edison-McGruder could fall back in coverage. Almost all of the defensive ends could slide a gap or two toward the center. And a handful of the linebackers could fare well in man coverage.With the 3-3-5 scheme that we suspect will be the base defense, flexibility will be key (and valuable) except for guys like Tre Flowers, Chad Whitener and the defensive tackles.5. Can They Stay Healthy?I asked Rudolph how the offense would change if Justice Hill got injured, like he did this offseason, and he wasn’t having it.“Well, we’ve got Justice,” he said.Yes, for now and hopefully for the whole season, but it seems like this offense (and therefore this entire team) is one injury away to either of the guys in the backfield from complete meltdown.They have been reliable and dependable to this point during the season, but it does make you wonder about a team that has the eighth best odds to make the College Football Playoff. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

League Wide: Cool It With the Playoff Woes

first_imgLet’s take a look at some news from around the league over the last week or two.Take A Chill PillCommissioner Bob Bowlsby says to not worry about the Big 12 not being a playoff fixture over its first three years.“That’s a really short window,” Bowlsby said. “It get a little tiresome, because I know we play at a very high level, and I know that, top to bottom, we’re the best in the country in terms of balance. And I know that the method by which we conduct our championships and conduct our regular season is the most difficult.” [ESPN]AdChoices广告To Bowlsby’s point, the Big 12 is really close to three for three (getting in):And the Big 12 hasn’t played well in big non-conference games. Last season, OU probably would have made the playoff had it beaten either Houston or Ohio State; instead, the Sooners lost both. In 2014, Baylor probably would have made the playoff had it played a representative non-conference schedule; instead, the Bears played SMU, Northwestern State of Louisiana and Buffalo, and the playoff committee elevated Ohio State past Baylor. [NewsOK]Which leads us to the last piece, just win.We’ve debated for years the Big 12’s value. That debate needs to end. Ask not what your conference can do for you, ask what you can do for your conference. And the answer is, OU can beat Ohio State. West Virginia can beat Virginia Tech. OSU can beat Pittsburgh. TCU can beat Arkansas. Texas can beat Southern Cal (well, you know what I mean). And if a team makes the playoff, win once it gets there. [NewsOK]Buy Low on BillPick the K-State Wildcats to finish in the middle of the pack at your own peril.His Wildcats have returned a full-time starting quarterback six times in the past 20 years. In those six seasons, his teams have won 11 games five times and nine on one occasion. He won 11 games with Michael Bishop in 1998, 11 in 2000 with Jonathan Beasley, 11 in 2002 and ’03 with Ell Roberson and 11 in 2012 with Collin Klein. The latter two included Big 12 titles and BCS bowl bids, too. In 2014, Snyder won nine games with Jake Waters. Add it up and you’ll find that Snyder’s teams have gone 64-17 since 1998 when returning a full-time starting quarterback. [SportsOnEarth]Given health concerns and age, you could see the Wildcats striving to send a legend out on top.”You could make a great case for Bill Snyder being 1 of the 10 best college coaches of all-time” – @JBradEdwards— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 24, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Keeping Up with the JonesBerry Tramel made the trip to West Virginia and was surprised by what he found.What is the most fascinating or interesting information you learned about West Virginia’s athletics department during your recent visit?How West Virginia is really not in the arms race. The Mountaineers have solid facilities and are constantly upgrading, but they’re not trying to build the palaces you see in Lubbock and Stillwater and Waco and Norman and Fort Worth and Austin. WVU is not recruiting against Texas A&M and Alabama. WVU is largely recruiting against Pitt and Maryland and the like. [NewsOK]West Virginia’s isolation must really put them in a different place from a recruiting perspective. Looking at their classes, Ohio River Valley and Florida are honey holes they dip into and the expectations must be different for the football-rich Texas players the rest live off of.In defense of the Mountaineers, they are trying.The new video board is coming along nicely at Milan Puskar Stadium. (P.S. Only 6️⃣6️⃣ days until @WVUfootball is back!) pic.twitter.com/BBq2bbFFjt— Anjelica Trinone (@AnjelicaTrinone) June 29, 2017 Quick HittersFox analyst Joel Klatt says Texas killed the Big 12OSU at Tech and Bedlam made this list for the Ultimate Big 12 Road TripBig 12 players want to expand and add Houston (per a survey at media days)An unnamed Texas Tech football player allegedly beat up handful of people at a barBarry, Kevin Williams and Leslie O’Neal made this Big 12’s best in the NFL teamKU will be younger in the frontcourt with a grad transfer leavingFrank Mason shared Big 12 male athlete of the year with a Texas swimmer.Tech joins the arms race with this pretty fly indoor facility.New Carpet – (Indoor) Sports Performance Center, Texas Tech Football ? pic.twitter.com/vXUIJxuxJb— Dal Watson (@DalDubya) July 24, 2017 Kool KliffFacing one of college football’s hottest seats, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was cool at Media Days.Never mind the questions about Kingsbury’s job status at Texas Tech, or the 16-21 record the past three seasons, or a defense that has been dreadful even graded on the Big 12 curve.Kingsbury still looked the part of the next-generation coach, one just as comfortable on TMZ as ESPN.Three days’ worth of stubble? Yep.A funky gray suit and brownish tie combo that few coaches could pull off? You bet.A relaxed attitude? Definitely. [SportsDay]Kingsbury is probably under more pressure (to save his job) than any Big 12 coach. He cites a third-year defensive coordinator and convincing his team to be confident as his motives in being cool. But have we ever really seen a hot seat coach behaving neurotically?He is comfortable talking about some things.Texas Tech HC Kliff Kingsbury’s still got it ? @TTUKingsbury @TexasTechFB pic.twitter.com/B1ELOTD1Qf— The Will Cain Show (@WillCainShow) July 20, 2017last_img read more

OSU’s Offense Needs to Improve in Red Zone Scoring

first_img20134.8610-3 Texas552193.98 YearRZ PassingRZ Pass TDsRZ INTsRZ Rushing TDsRZ TripsTotal RZ TDs 20094.439-4 Kansas321324.12 Iowa State411864.54 20164.5210-3 The 2010-2013 squads were very good which shouldn’t be a surprise because those teams had better offensive lines and, consequently, better running games. The outlier was that forgettable 2014 offense whose inconsistency along the offensive line was only outweighed by its inconsistency at quarterback. Zac Veatch started at guard.Aside from 2014, last year was the worst since 2009 in PPR. That decline can be partially attributed to the lack of a J.W. Walsh who was an ultra-efficient 10-of-22 (77.3 percent) with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in the red zone. He also added 13 rushing touchdowns inside the 20.Walsh called his own number 55 times (passing or running it himself) in the red zone in 2015 and came out with 21 touchdowns to show for it. Last year, Rudolph’s numbers were 68 snaps (excluding hand-offs) for 18 touchdowns and an interception. Nothing against QB1. That’s just not his game. The fact that he got close to Walsh’s numbers is actually kind of remarkable.Now that’s not to say this current version of the offense can’t be effective. It’s just a matter of playing to your potential and your personnel. Here’s the balance of red-zone scores the last two seasons. Oklahoma State may have the best offense in the Big 12. There’s a case to be made for best in the country.Let’s take inventory. You’ve go a senior Heisman candidate under center, a Biletnikoff favorite to one side and a bevy of skilled receivers to the other. An improved offensive line with returning starters and a big-time grad transfer to clear the way for a record-setting Freshman All-American running back who led all rookies in rushing yards last year.But in order to replicate (or exceed) the results of that landmark 2011 season, the offense will have to be elite. When asked about what he and the offense can do to get there, Mason Rudolph didn’t mince words.AdChoices广告“You can always be better in the red zone and the score zone,” said Rudolph. “There’s a lot of times last year, fade balls and incompletions there and different schemes. Decision-making is so key down there.“The ability to extend the play and get a couple of those scramble drill points down there in the score zone is key, and that’s something we’ve worked on.”Rudolph hit the nail right on the head. It’s an understated issue with an otherwise efficient offense. And it’s one that the Cowboys would like to improve on during fall camp.Last year, we talked about a stat I call points per red-zone attempt or “PPR.” It dives deeper into red-zone effectiveness than simple red-zone efficiency — the percentage of red-zone attempts that end in scores. “PPR” takes into account red-zone touchdowns over red-zone field goals. Simply put, six points are better than three. We take total points scored in the red zone and divide them by number of red-zone attempts.Here’s a look at each Big 12 team last season. 20154.7510-3 Baylor602434.05 20104.8711-2 Oklahoma592794.73 20084.749-4 Rudolph is never going to be J.W. Walsh — and that’s quite alright. There are other ways to be efficient in enemy territory. And fortunately for Rudolph his biggest boost in this department is 6-foot-4 and has been on a one-year hiatus.In 2015, Marcell Ateman caught five passes in the red zone and four of them ended with six points. Chris Lacy also fits that role going a perfect 3-for-3 in the red zone last season. Jalen McCleskey, James Washington, Tyron Johnson. We know all the playmaking receivers at Rudolph’s disposal.Add in cowboy backs Britton Abbott and Sione Finefeuiaki who could play the punch-it-in fullback role and Keenen Brown who is another option in the passing game and Rudolph has no shortage of weapons once he sniffs the goal line.There’s not one simple answer and not one simple change. Maybe it comes from a natural progression in the offense. Either way, Oklahoma State needs to be better when it gets within striking distance and that could make all the difference in 2017. 201628/50 – 56%141296943 West Virginia572374.12 YearPPRRecord 20124.798-5 Oklahoma State693124.52 TeamRed-Zone TripsRed-Zone PointsPPR Kansas State623004.84 201540/70 – 57.1%200206040 TCU602434.05 20144.217-6 Texas Tech633094.90 As we see here, Oklahoma State was right in the middle of the pack in 2016. Tech, unsurprisingly, was very good thanks to its offensive system and Pat Mahomes. Kansas was right behind Oklahoma State but only made 32 trips into the red zone all season (yikes) to OSU’s league-leading 69.To put it into perspective, here’s a look at some prior years’ numbers for Oklahoma State. 20114.6112-1 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Five Big Name Recruits Who Visited OSU This Weekend

first_imgOklahoma State hosted a number of top-flight talents on campus both for unofficial visits and for the final mini-camp of the summer over the weekend.We gave a general overview of the names to expect both on Saturday and Sunday, but let’s face it: You want to know who the big dogs on campus were.Here are the five biggest names who made their way to Stillwater this weekend.Isaiah Spiller — Running backKlein Collins tailback Isaiah Spiller visited OSU on Saturday before making his way to Norman for the Sooners’ blowout barbecue event, and he might have been the biggest name in the 2019 class on campus.Spiller has already been offered by OSU, so his visit was little more than a trip for him to view the facilities and meet with coaches. He’s the son of former Texas A&M tight end Fred Spiller, but it’s no less important that he made the haul to Stillwater.In addition to OSU, Texas A&M, Oregon, Oregon, TCU, Baylor, Houston and others have already extended offers.Dax Hill — SafetyDax, the younger brother of Justice Hill, has also been on OSU’s radar for quite some time. The Booker T. Washington product wowed with his Odell Beckham like talents and validated his evaluation as one of the elite players in the 2019 class.“I had a real good day and I wasn’t trying to do too much, but just show the coaches what I could do,” Hill told gopokes.com. “They really haven’t seen my play, so I wanted to show what I could do and I had a good day.” being back on campus made me realize how bad i really want it— ??CJ Moore?? (@daddydimes35) July 31, 2017At 6-foot-5, Moore — a four-star talent —  figures to be a potential plug-and-play replacement for Marcell Ateman when he arrives on campus in 2018. Although Brown is considered a bluechipper, he’s already set a commitment date for Nov. 2 — potentially hinting that he’s already got a good idea of who he wants to play for. The Crimson Tide are the leaders in the clubhouse.Branson Bragg — Offensive linemanCenters are recruits too! And Bragg is what many believe to be the best center prospect in this region.The 2019 recruit was offered by OSU during the spring game visit in April, and he made a return trip that could be a good sign for the Pokes’ chances.Bragg also has offers from Texas and OU, and he too made a trip to the Sooners barbecue event on Saturday.CJ Moore — ReceiverTulsa Union standout receiver CJ Moore, an OSU pledge, made a trip on Sunday to Stillwater. And regardless of his commitment status, it’s always good bringing him in given his status as a national recruit.Moore is locked in with his OSU pledge after picking the Pokes over Ohio State, among others, and he seemed to come away motivated after his trip to campus. Although 247 favors OSU in his recruitment, I get the sense that he’s wide open at this juncture. But OSU certainly has a strong case, and both Dax and Justice are very tight.? pic.twitter.com/WgICMkz0dz— Daxton Hill (@daxhill5) July 30, 2017Bobby Brown — Defensive tackleArlington Lamar defensive tackle Bobby Brown is rated as a top-150 player in the 2018 class, and OSU jumped aboard with an offer during his visit.Brown is now up to 20 offers from the likes of OU, Alabama, Texas A&M and a slew of others. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Boone: Ranking My Top Five Uniform Combinations from 2016

first_imgBefore we begin the 2017 football season with new uniform combinations, what better time than the present to take a stroll down memory lane and reflect on the best uniform combinations from 2016?Like Cox and Barber have done before me, I’ve got my list ready to roll. And thanks to some assists from our Chief Uniform Officer and social media savant Justin Southwell (who told me any list was good so long as the orange-white-gray Kansas game combo was left off), I’m feeling confident in my top five list from the 2016 season.Let’s do it!5. Texas: Black (Marshal Badge)/Black/BlackAdChoices广告The reverse stormtrooper look slayed me when the Pokes rolled this one out for Texas. The black-black-black is killer (and I imagine it’s killer to wear in 80-plus degree weather), and it’s good on so many levels. The badge, the facemask, all of it.The chrome facemask (and the fact that it didn’t include the giant Pete) gave this one a slight edge over the true all-white stormtrooper look from the Baylor game.USATSI4. West Virginia: Black (Old School Brand)/Orange/WhiteThis wasn’t the most flashy combo — the matte black doesn’t exactly jump off the screen — but this was a solid top-to-bottom pairing with the bright orange top and classic white pants.Like Cox noted, the fact that they wore matching throwback socks to go with this get-up makes it 10x better. The socks perfectly complement the orange uni and make it pop. A solid homecoming combination if there were one!USATSI3. Central Michigan: Black (Pete)/Black/GrayI tried to work this one out for … obvious reasons. But I just couldn’t.I apologize to the traditionals who remind me gray is not a school color, but the gray pants were a perfectly subtle complement to the black helmet and black top. Throw in the chrome facemask with it all and it’s why it lands at No. 3 on my list.USATSI While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 2. Pittsburgh: White (Marshal Badge)/Orange/WhiteGive me the badge!The white-orange-white is an OSU classic I can’t resist, and with the white lid and marshall badge it puts it near the top of the list for me for last season. Matching socks would have probably put this one at the top for me like my dude Hayden Barber ranked it.  This is just such a clean look.USATSI1. Oklahoma: Black (Paisley Marshal Badge)/White/BlackThe paisley helmet with orange facemask for the Alamo Bowl didn’t do much for me, but the same helmet with black facemask crushed when OSU rocked it for Bedlam.The paisley badge-white-black combo didn’t produce the best on-field results, obviously, but this was hands-down the best top-to-bottom combo for 2016 in my opinion. It’s traditional with just enough flash to really jump off the field.Look at it!USATSIlast_img read more

Photos: Fan Appreciation Day in Stillwater

first_imgA big shout out to our photographer Jackson Lavarnway who pulled double duty on Saturday shooting the morning practice as well as the fan appreciation day in the afternoon with player availability after that. It was a fun (but long) day, and he did an awesome job. He’ll be shooting games for us all season.Here is a look at some of his work (you can follow him on Twitter at @TheLavarnway).AdChoices广告 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Watch: This OSU Hype Video Will Send Chills Down Your Spine

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Expectations for the 2017 season are arguably the highest they’ve ever been in the program’s history.With Mason Rudolph and James Washington leading the charge, it’s Big 12 title or bust for the Cowboys, who ended the 2016 season with a shellacking of Colorado in the Alamo Bowl.If you aren’t already fired up about what this season might bring, this hype video should be exactly what you need to help bridge the 21 days between now and the start of football season.Oklahoma State Football Hype Video 2017-2018 pic.twitter.com/E9awQcrxN7— Old Row Sports (@OldRowSports) August 11, 2017AdChoices广告last_img read more