Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 18, 2013

Oklahoma State slows it down when necessary

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s offense slowed its typically up-tempo offense in its last game, but coach Mike Gundy was made clear that the game circumstances dictated the change.

After squeaking out a 33-29 victory over Kansas State on Oct. 5, the No. 21 Cowboys (4-1, 1-1 Big 12), coming off a bye week, intend to have their offense back up to speed when they host conference rival TCU on Saturday.

“We lost three receivers for the last game so it limited our ability to play fast,” Gundy said. “There are times in a game where we can move really quick, then based on matchups and what we think gives us the best chance to score points, it varies some from week to week.”

Oklahoma State benefited from K-State turnovers that led to favorable field position. Three field goals capped off possessions that did not even feature a first down and the Cowboys 330 yards of total offense marked their fewest of the season.

It will be a challenge to improve that number against TCU (3-3, 1-2), which owns the Big 12’s second-ranked defense. The Horned Frogs have not allowed more than 20 points in a game since their season opener, a 37-27 loss to LSU.

“TCU is a team that I don’t think their record exemplifies the type of team they are,” Gundy said. “They are playing real well on defense. We definitely have our work cut out for us. We need to have a good week of practice and our plans haven’t changed. We need to be as sound as possible in the kicking game and limit big plays on defense so we can take care of the ball on offense.

“Up to this point, they are as good of a defense and as physical a defense as anyone we have seen on tape up to this point.”

Utilizing their quick-paced offense to keep defenses off balance has been the Cowboys’ trademark, as they attempt to tire out opponents and catch the defense in compromising matchups.

“We try to be as fast as we can in order to try to wear (an opponent’s) defense out and trying to disrupt their communication,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “We have to make sure we’re getting quality reps on every snap. We want to be sound on our assignments and make sure we know where we’re going and know the adjustments we have to make based on the defense.

“At times, we need to take our foot off the gas in regards to tempo to do that. We’re working hard on it, and our guys know it’s part of our identity, so we don’t want to lose that. We want to continue to progress and be fast on offense. That’s what we do best and we’re trying to get back to that.”

And as Gundy alluded to, Oklahoma State will likely need its kicking game to be in order. Freshman kicker Ben Grogan seems to have finally found his stride, as he connected on four of five field goal attempts against Kansas State, with the fifth one getting blocked.

That was after he converted just one of four field goal tries through the season’s first four contests, including two crucial misses in the Cowboys’ 30-21 loss at West Virginia on Sept. 28.

“He continued to work hard and kicked well in practices,” said Gundy, whose confidence in Grogan never wavered. “He seems to be stable mentally. At times with a freshman at any position, especially one who is out there on his own as a field goal kicker, you might worry about that but he has handled himself very well up to this point.”

Overall, the Cowboys are convinced that if their offense performs to its capabilities on Saturday, they will emerge victorious, regardless of how good or physical TCU’s defense is.

“They play relentless football. Whoever has the ball, they get after them. They play sound ball, and I think it makes them pretty good,” said running back Jeremy Smith, whose seven rushing touchdowns ranks tied for second in the Big 12. “But each week, it’s about how we prepare for the game. Not taking anything away from them, but if we go out there and take care of business, anything is possible.”

Text Only
Sports
  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks