STILLWATER — Over the past few years, the one thing that Oklahoma State football wasn’t short of was points. So when the Cowboys score a mere 20 points against the Big 12 Conference’s cellar dweller team — the University of Kansas — many wonder what caused the poor offensive showing.
Whether it was the rainy conditions, the absence of backup running backs Jeremy Smith and Desmond Roland or the mid-game injuries sustained by OSU receivers, one thing is for certain — the offense wasn’t the same as it has been in recent years.
“There was really never a flow. It was choppy,” OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken said Monday. “I do think there’s times when you re-assess what you’re doing weekly as every team does. Not to go away from your core, but what you can do for the players you have that gives you a chance to win and move the ball.”
Hindering the offense was OSU’s inability to get much going in the ground game. The Cowboys, who rank ninth in the nation in rushing offense, were held to just 116 yards on the ground. Joseph Randle, who is 11th in the nation in rushing with 122.8 yards per game, was slowed to just 80 yards on 29 carries — an average of 2.8 yards per rush.
“We didn’t run the way we like to run it, so we have to come up with a different way to get us in space,” Monken said. “It handcuffs us a little bit, but it’s one of those things where we have to be able to run the ball and be able to run the play action so J.W. Walsh can be successful. It didn’t help that we didn’t have Jeremy Smith or Desmond Roland. I think all players are better when they have someone to spell them a little bit.”