Dallas Colleges: Oklahoma State
Getting back to the ground game
In the first six games, rushing attempts accounted for fewer than 45 percent of the Cowboys’ total plays; since then, Oklahoma State has called a run on nearly 60 percent of its plays. The ground game has been more explosive over the last four games, totaling 10 rushes of at least 20 yards, which is six more 20-yard runs than it had in the first six games.
The key to Oklahoma State’s success on the ground has been improved play in the trenches. It has averaged 2.3 yards before contact per rush in its first six games and was first contacted behind the line of scrimmage on more than a quarter of its carries. In the last four games, the Cowboys have totaled at least 130 yards before contact in three of four contests, and are averaging 3.3 yards before contact per rush.
Chelf has set career highs in rushing yards in three of four games since taking over as starter, averaging 72 yards per game and 10.7 yards per rush on designed runs. His signature play was a 67-yard touchdown run up the middle in Oklahoma State’s win over Texas Tech.
As noted in the graphic above, in the last four games, Oklahoma State is averaging 12 more points per game than in its first six games. Yet at the same time, the Cowboys are averaging 27.4 fewer yards per game in the last four games than they did in their first six games.
More efficient in the red zone
One reason for Oklahoma State’s increased efficiency on offense is that the team is doing a better job of getting into the end zone when inside the 20-yard line.
Oklahoma State has scored a touchdown on 90.5 percent of its red zone opportunities in the last four games, the sixth-best rate in the FBS since the start of Week 9. From Weeks 1-8, the Cowboys scored a touchdown on 64.5 percent of their red-zone opportunities, 51st among FBS teams.
Protecting the ball
Another reason for Oklahoma State’s improved offensive output is better ball protection. The Cowboys have turned the ball over on 6.5 percent of their drives in the last four games, down from 10.6 percent in the first six games. They are one of nine teams in the FBS without a lost fumble since the start of Week 9.
Oklahoma State’s recent success in the running game will be tested this weekend against Baylor. The Bears have added 63.5 expected points on opponents’ rushes, the second-best rushing defense EPA in the FBS. Rushing defense EPA is a measure of the contribution that it makes to its team’s net scoring margin when opponents run the ball.
From 2008 to 2011, the Big 12 produced at least one quarterback taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. In fact, in those four drafts the Big 12 has had five first-round quarterbacks selected and one in the third round. The 2012 crop of Big 12 quarterbacks -- Collin Klein, Landry Jones, Geno Smith, Nick Florence, heck even Seth Doege -- may not be locks to be first-round picks, but they were prolific in college.
Heading into 2013 it is not that the Big 12’s brightly burning quarterback flame has been extinguished so much as it has been reduced to the size of a pocket lighter. There still might be some talent. But the Big 12, long a passing league, has been left with a collection of quarterbacks who have yet to fully prove their ability or even make it to their senior years. (Well, TCU’s Casey Pachall has but not without a significant interruption that very well could have him sitting on the bench watching Trevone Boykin in 2013.)
With all that in mind here are the top five quarterbacks to who could reignite the flame and carry the torch into 2013.
David Ash, Texas. Yeah, we get it. Flame. Ash. Ha, ha. But on the serious side of things Ash is poised to have a breakout year for Texas. He has started 18 games in his career and finally, after yo-yoing back and forth with Case McCoy, has the full support of the coaching staff. Ash finished 21st nationally in passing efficiency last season and was the highest-rated underclassman in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh. (Walsh, who is in a quarterback battle, finished fourth in passing efficiency.)
With Texas making the move to a tempo/spread offense, Ash will have more of an opportunity to pile up stats. He is also leading an offense that has nine starters returning.
Wes Lunt or J.W, Walsh, Oklahoma State: Lunt won the starting job last season and proved to be the right selection until he was hurt. Walsh proved to be a very solid starter until he was hurt. Even Clint Chelf proved to be a solid starter and finished with 15 touchdowns versus six interceptions.
Coach Mike Gundy will likely go with either Lunt or Walsh. Walsh brings more of a dual threat to the backfield. Lunt has a bigger arm but he had seven touchdowns and six interceptions in his five starts. Whoever fits into the Oklahoma State system will undoubtedly be one of the top passers in the Big 12 because the offense is constructed to pile up stats.
Bryce Petty, Baylor: OK, he drew a Tim Tebow comparison. Yes, already. Yes, it is only spring. No, they have not started to chisel away at the statue for the Baylor campus just yet. But the materials might have been ordered.
“Bryce is a freak of nature,” running back Lache Seastrunk told the San Antonio Express-News. “His frame, his build and how he throws the ball looks just like Tebow. And when he gets the ball (and runs), he's not going to try to surprise you. He's going to go right at you like a true running back.’’
Petty has only made it into 11 games over the past two seasons, completing 10 of 14 passes for 140 yards. But given what Art Briles has been able to do with quarterbacks there is little doubt his numbers will explode this season. He probably will not be able to keep with the stats posted by RG3 and Florence. But Briles is optimistic about what Petty brings to the game.
"He has everything you're looking for -- size, strength, passion, energy, a great arm and great intelligence,’’ Briles told the Express-News.
Michael Brewer, Texas Tech: Brewer knows the spread and ran it successfully in high school under current Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. He comes from a family that has a strong football background with his grandfather and dad played quarterback at Texas. Plus he is working with a coach, Kliff Kingsbury, who turned Johnny Manziel into Johnny Football in one season. While Tech doesn’t have near the talent that Texas A&M and Manziel had in 2012 -- the Red Raiders also lost receiver Darrin Moore -- it will have some of the same looks that tend to confuse plodding defenses.
Casey Pachall, TCU: Pachall is not guaranteed the starting spot. After he was removed from the program due to a drug and alcohol problem in 2012, Boykin was able to steer TCU to upset wins over Baylor, West Virginia and Texas. He also kept the Horned Frogs close against Oklahoma and Michigan State. But Pachall, who rejoined the team in January, was prolific in his time under center for TCU. In the first four games of 2012 he passed for 948 yards, 10 touchdowns and an interception. He threw for 2,921 yards, 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011.
Others to watch:
Blake Bell, Oklahoma. He has only thrown 20 career passes but has been around the offense for several years.
Paul Millard, West Virginia. WVU coach Dana Holgorsen has not had to break in a new quarterback since his first year at Houston in 2008. So this could get interesting.
Jake Heaps, Kansas. Last year’s heralded transfer, Dayne Crist, was a bust. Heaps was able to sit and learn for a year. It could help him understand the genius that is Charlie Weis.
Jake Walters, Kansas State. He was the top player in junior college in 2012 but might split time with sophomore Daniel Sams.
David Ablauf, associate director of media and public relations for Michigan, says there were a number of reasons for last year’s increase. Having one additional home game accounted for about $6 million in additional revenue. Also, ticket packs were sold for the first time, and Michigan had its first night game at Michigan Stadium. During that game, the team wore throwback uniforms, which, combined with the unique bowl uniforms they wore in the Sugar Bowl, resulted in higher licensing royalties when fans purchased the new looks.
Perhaps most glaringly absent from the top 10 most profitable programs is Penn State, which held the second spot just a year ago and third the previous year. After a tumultuous year off the field, Penn State fell to 11th place with $66.2 million in revenue, a $6.5 million reduction. However, it’s important to note that Penn State hosted an additional home game in 2010. Based on data provided to the NCAA, Penn State averaged $4.5 million in ticket revenue per home game in 2010, which could explain a large portion of the revenue decrease last year.
Even with the reduction, Penn State posted the eighth-highest revenue for football last year.
Revenue among FBS football programs ranged from a high of $103.8 million at Texas to a low of $3.6 million at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The average FBS football program brought in $25 million, with a median of $19.9 million.
It should come as no surprise that the top revenue producers also led the FBS in average attendance in 2011. The top 10 programs in attendance also fell within the top 25 in revenue.
The largest revenue producer in a non-automatic BCS-qualifying conference was TCU, which joined an automatic-qualifying conference this season. Independents Notre Dame and BYU both finished above the median, No. 7 and No. 52.
Texas didn’t top every list. The highest expenses for a football program went to the University of Alabama, which has the nation’s highest-paid head coach, Nick Saban. For the 2011-12 season, Saban took home a $4.8 million paycheck. Total expenses for the football program ran to $36.9 million.
Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Oklahoma State rounded out the top five in terms of expenditures on football. The FBS average was $14.6 million, with a median of $14 million. TCU was again the highest-ranked program from a non-automatic qualifying conference, coming in sixth.
Every football team that played in a BCS bowl for the 2011-12 season fell within the top half of all FBS programs for football expenditures. Six of the 10 fell within the top 20.
ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben says Baylor QB Nick Florence of South Garland, Oklahoma State WR Josh Stewart of Denton Guyer and Texas RB Joe Bergeron of North Mesquite are three players to watch in the Big 12 this year.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kim English scored 27 points and led a 26-5 first-half run, and No. 5 Missouri swamped short-handed Oklahoma State, 88-70, on Thursday night in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
Marcus Denmon added 24 points, and Phil Pressey had 12 assists, one short of Missouri's school record. The Tigers also outrebounded the Cowboys 40-20.
The Tigers (28-4), who set a school record with 27 regular-season victories, played much of the game as though they have something to prove while heading out the door for the Southeastern Conference- a move that has earned the animosity of many soon-to-be former Big 12 peers.
In the semifinals Friday, they will play the winner of the Texas-Iowa State game with many fans hoping for a championship game showdown Saturday with archrival and third-ranked Kansas.
English had 21 of his points in the rapid-fire first half, which ended with Missouri on top 49-24. Denmon, a two-time All-Big 12 guard, had 17 in the second half.
Keiton Page had 22 points for Oklahoma State, and Brian Williams had 21.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Keiton Page scored 20 points, Brian Williams added 19 and seventh-seeded Oklahoma State knocked off No. 10 seed Texas Tech, 76-60, Wednesday night to open the Big 12 tournament.
Cezar Guerrero scored all 16 of his points in the second half for Oklahoma State (15-17), which advanced to play second-seeded No. 5 Missouri in the quarterfinals Thursday night. Markel Brown finished with 12 points as the Cowboys went 16 of 16 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Tolbert had 16 points and six rebounds for Texas Tech, which matched a school record for the most losses in a single season. The 1990-91 team coached by Gerald Myers also went 8-23.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Steven Pledger scored 17 points, Romero Osby added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Oklahoma snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Oklahoma State 77-64 on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma (14-13, 4-11 Big 12) extended its home winning streak against Oklahoma State (13-15, 6-9) to eight games, rolling to an 18-point halftime lead and holding off a second-half rally by the Cowboys.
Oklahoma led 30-12 at halftime after Oklahoma State set a school record for fewest points in a half against a Big 12 foe. The Cowboys came roaring back and had two chances to tie the game before the Sooners pulled away again.
Keiton Page led Oklahoma State with 29 points, going 9 of 17 from 3-point range.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger talks about motivating his team despite a big lead at the half.
Oklahoma snapped its six-game losing streak with a 77-64 win over Oklahoma State at Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday night.
The Sooners’ second half struggles continued against the Cowboys as OSU started the second half by going on a 24-11 run to eventually cut OU’s lead to 42-39. But the Sooners responded with an 8-0 run of their own and pulled away in the final ten minutes to cruise to the win.
Player of the Game: Romero Osby. When OSU made its run early in the second half, it was Osby who became more aggressive and scored two layups to spark the 8-0 run. Osby finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Unsung Hero: Tyler Neal. The sophomore provided a great spark off the bench for the Sooners finishing with 9 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes.
Key Stat: 7. The Sooners finished the game with seven blocks which helped limit the Cowboys to eight points in the paint.
Key Stat II: 15. The Sooners outrebounded Oklahoma 46 to 31 -- a difference of 15 -- in the game as OU dominated inside throughout the night.
Up Next For Oklahoma: at Baylor at 12:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.
Sept. 1: vs. Savannah State
Sept. 9: at Arizona
Sept. 15: vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Sept. 29: vs. Texas
Oct. 13: at Kansas
Oct. 20: vs. Iowa State
Oct. 27: vs. TCU
Nov. 3: at Kansas State
Nov. 10: vs. West Virginia
Nov. 17: vs. Texas Tech
Nov. 24: at Oklahoma
Dec. 1: at Baylor
How will the Cowboys do coming off a Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl victory?
The game -- the first of a doubleheader -- is scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. and will be telecast on ESPNU.
SMU (7-4), making its first appearance at the AAC, will be battling Oklahoma State for the first time since 2005. Three of the Mustangs' four losses have been by a combined nine points.
"With young players, sometimes they get ahead of themselves and think they are better than they are and then you take a step back," said SMU coach Matt Doherty, whose roster includes eight freshmen and two sophomores. "Hopefully we've taken some steps backwards and have gotten better. This will be a great test for us."
The Cowboys (6-5) aren't much older. OSU’s roster features six freshmen and one sophomore. Former Dallas Lincoln All-American Le'Bryan Nash, a 6-7, 230-pound freshman forward, leads OSU with 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
"We have put our team in a very difficult situation as far as the schedule (is concerned)," OSU coach Travis Ford said. "We haven't played at home very often and we've played against teams much more experienced than us, but we're hoping at the end of the day it will help us get better down the road."
Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster.com or at the American Airlines Center box office. Lower arena seats are priced at $29, $59 and $99. A portion of each ticket benefits Buckets and Boots, a Texas-based charity that supports volunteer firefighting efforts.
The Cowboys will head to the Fiesta Bowl and play Stanford. Alabama gets a rematch with No. 1 and SEC champion LSU. The Tigers won the first meeting between the club earlier this season. Alabama was No. 2 in both polls used for the BCS formula -- Harris Poll and Coaches' Poll.
The standings were officially released on ESPN tonight.
In an attempt to lay out the case, OSU sent emails out late last night comparing its schedule to Alabama's and Stanford's. The point they are trying to hammer home involves quality wins. In short:
OSU beat five teams that are currently in the BCS top-25 (OU, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas and Missouri) and six bowl-eligible teams with winning records. Alabama has wins over two teams currently ranked in the BCS top-25 (Arkansas, Penn State) and three bowl-eligible teams with winning records.
But is that what voters will use? Or will they argue Alabama's only loss was in overtime at home against the No. 1 team in the country while OSU lost on the road to Iowa State, nearly a four-TD underdog? Or will some voters give OSU the nod to avoid a rematch game? We'll see later tonight.
Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who starred at Oklahoma State, shares his reaction to the news that women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna died in a plane crash.
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