Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Football | Conservative Play Calling Dooms Cowboys in Ft. Worth

Zachary Low

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The Oklahoma State defense played one of their best games of the season against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs on Saturday afternoon, but the Cowboy offense could not convert the success into points. Despite winning the turnover battle 5-to-1, Oklahoma State was able to turn that success into just 10 points, and TCU was able to get a 29-22 victory.

Don’t Blame the Defense

29 points allowed is far from the best showing by the Cowboy defense so far this season, but you can’t blame them for this loss. Not only did they force 5 turnovers, but one of them was a scoop-and-score that put Oklahoma State on the scoreboard first.

Quarterback Max Duggan fueled the Horned Frogs to the win, not so much with his arm, but with his feet. Duggan racked up 104 yards and 2 touchdowns on 19 carries, and his threat as a runner opened up the passing game a bit.

Still, the Cowboy defense barely got a breather at times because the offense couldn’t get anything done. It’s absurd to force 5 turnovers and still lose a game, and this defense deserves all the credit for Oklahoma State even being in this game.

Offense Has No Chance at Success

The offense, specifically quarterback Spencer Sanders, will get the blame for today’s loss, but that’s not entirely fair. Sanders did not play well, completing just 16-of-34 passes for one touchdown and one interception. He did run for 30 yards on 11 attempts, but he was unable to score.

The real issue with the offense is play calling. I’m not sure if offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn is actually making the calls, or if Mike Gundy is telling him what to do, but this has been the problem for a while now. It makes zero sense to make cowardly calls and play so conservatively that opposing defenses feel zero pressure. You can’t expect your offense to score if you don’t even give them a chance to make plays good enough for first downs.

There’s no way that Mike Gundy gets fired, and that’s not even necessarily what I want. What I DO want is for him to feel some heat and light a fire under his own seat so that maybe he’ll grow a pair and allow his offense to come into a game with an aggressive strategy, not a passive one.

What’s Next?

The Cowboys are officially out of contention for a spot in the Big 12 Championship, and if they continue playing like this, I wouldn’t want to see them there anyway. Still, there’s one more regular season game left, and then their bowl game will be decided.

Next Saturday, Oklahoma State will travel to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears, who have had a pretty rough season. That one should be an easy win for the Pokes, something they have not had in quite some time, but finishing the season with a 6-3 record should put them in a decent enough bowl game to make things interesting.

Kickoff against Baylor on Saturday, December 12th is set for 6 PM CT and will be televised on ESPNU.

Be sure to follow @HeartlandPokes for updates and discussion about Oklahoma State athletics.

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