Game Notes - Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

Hubert Anyiam

Hubert Anyiam

Oct. 11, 2009

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No. 16/14 Oklahoma State vs. RV/No. 24 Missouri
Sat., Oct. 17, 2009 :: 8:15 p.m. CT :: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218 cap.)
TV: ESPN2 (Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
Internet: okstate.com
Satellite Radio: XM Channel 231
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Mizzou Is Who
The No. 16 Oklahoma State Cowboys hit the halfway mark of the 2009 season when they return home for the first time since Sept. 26 Saturday night to host Missouri in an 8:15 p.m. start. The game will be televised be ESPN2 with Ron Franklin calling the action and Ed Cunningham providing analysis. Both teams enter the game 4-1 overall. The Cowboys are 1-0 in Big 12 play while the Tigers are 0-1 in league action.

First Take
Some quick items worth noting heading into the sixth week of the OSU season:
• Oklahoma State defensive back Perrish Cox leads the nation in passes defended with 2.25 per game.
• The OSU offense is second nationally in fewest sacks allowed (.40 per game). OSU did not allow a sack at Texas A&M. The Aggies entered the game fourth nationally in quarterback sacks.
• Freshman punter Quinn Sharp is second nationally with an average of 47.7 yards per boot.
• Quarterback Zac Robinson tops the Big 12 in passing efficiency (158.14 rating).
• Kicker Dan Bailey is 110-of-110 on extra point tries in his career.

Homecoming Takes Over
It is Homecoming Week at OSU and the Stillwater campus takes Homecoming very seriously. A series of events are planned throughout the week, culminating with the football game Saturday night. A list of Homecoming activities is available later in this update.

Garth, Barry And Robin
Three OSU grads are being inducted into the OSU Alumni Association Hall of Fame as part of Homecoming Week. Back on campus to be honored are Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura. Brooks is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time and a former OSU athlete, Sanders was the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner and Robin Ventura was college baseball's player of the decade for the 1980s and a member of the all-century team.

Missouri And Homecoming
Oklahoma State is hosting Missouri for Homecoming for the first time since 1990, when the Cowboys posted a 48-28 victory. Overall, Missouri has been the Homecoming opponent just seven times with OSU holding a 5-2 advantage in those games. The Cowboys have won the last four Homecoming games against the Tigers.

Cowboys And The Deuce
Oklahoma State will be making its second straight national television appearance and its first on ESPN2 this season and just the fifth overall on that network. OSU's last appearance on ESPN2 was last year's visit to Columbia when the Cowboys edged No. 3 Missouri, 28-23.

Series Thoughts
Missouri leads the all-time series with the Cowboys, 28-21. The first meeting came back in 1915. The two schools met every year from 1961 through 1997 as Big Eight Conference foes. Missouri leads the series by a 5-2 count during the Big 12 era. The road team has won the last four games in the series (two each in Stillwater and Columbia). In Stillwater, the all-time series is even at 11-11 with Missouri riding a four-game winning streak in its last four visits to Payne County.

Last Year In Columbia
The Cowboys and Tigers clashed in front of the ESPN2 cameras on Oct. 11, 2009, in a battle of unbeaten teams. When the dust had settled, No. 17 OSU had claimed a 28-23 win over the third-ranked Tigers. Missouri had won 18 of its 19 previous home games, including 10 in a row. Missouri became the highest ranked team to fall to Oklahoma State in a road game.

Inside The Numbers
The Tigers outgained OSU by a 454-404 count last year, but OSU intercepted Chase Daniel three times and held the Tigers 19 points below their scoring average. The Cowboy defense limited Derrick Washington to 11 rushing yards on eight attempts. The Cowboys got a 68-yard rushing touchdown from Kendall Hunter and Damian Davis hauled in a pair of Zac Robinson touchdown passes. Hunter ran for 154 yards and Robinson was 19-of-28 for 215 yards with an interception and two TD passes. He also rushed for 34 yards and a score.

Homecoming Numbers
Oklahoma State is 46-34-7 all-time in Homecoming games with wins in 22 of the last 35 in front of the returning alumni. OSU is 4-3 in its last seven Homecoming contests including a two-game winning streak with wins over Kansas State and Baylor.

Invaders From The North
Oklahoma State won all three games against members of the Big 12 North last season, and has won four in a row against the division overall. Dating back to 2006, the Cowboys are 7-2 vs. the North with at least one win against every school in the division. Since the creation of the Big 12, OSU is 19-20 vs. the North.

More North Noting
Oklahoma State began Big 12 play in the school of hard knocks against its former Big Eight brothers from the North. OSU was just 5-13 against the North from 1996 through 2001. From 2002 through last season, OSU was 14-7 against the North. OSU went a perfect 3-0 against the North in 2004 and in 2008.

America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration
The biggest week on the academic calendar at Oklahoma State is Homecoming. This year's celebration is themed "Branded For Life" and activities began on Sunday, Oct. 11, and will run all week. Thousands of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma A&M alumni will return to campus this week and participate in numerous events. The headline events include Friday night's "Walk-Around" in which streets around campus are closed to traffic and become packed with pedestrians enjoying the decorations. In recent years, it has been estimated that more than 50,000 people have participated in the Friday night event.

Connections
Oklahoma State has two players on its roster from the state of Missouri. Offensive linemen Andrew Lewis and Parker Graham are the only Cowboys from the Show Me State. Lewis, from Joplin, is a three-year starter in the Cowboy offensive line. Graham, from Webb City, is redshirting his first year on campus. The Tiger coaching staff includes a familiar face to Cowboy fans. Former OSU offensive lineman and football staffer Josh Henson is in his first year of coaching the offensive line at Missouri. Henson was a four-year letterman at OSU (1993-97) and started 40 games. He spent time at Oklahoma State as a graduate assistant and then served as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at OSU before accompanying Les Miles to LSU.

Two To Start
The Cowboys are looking to start Big 12 play at 2-0 for just the fourth time in the 14-year history of the Big 12 Conference. OSU is trying to turn the trick for a second straight year. Opening Big 12 play with a two-game winning streak has been a good omen for the Cowboys with all three 2-0 getaways leading to at least eight wins. OSU has never opened Big 12 play 2-0 in consecutive seasons.
1997: 8-4 season that included OSU's first bowl trip (Alamo) in nine years
2004: 9-4 season that included OSU's first Cotton Bowl appearance since the 1940s
2008: 9-4 season that included a trip to the Holiday Bowl

Road Test
Oklahoma State is coming off a 36-31 win at Texas A&M in its first road test of the season. The Cowboys overcame an eight-point (15-7) first-half deficit to pick up its first win in College Station since 2003. OSU won the game without two first-team All-Americans as running back Kendall Hunter and receiver Dez Bryant sat out the OSU win. Milestones from the win at Texas A&M:
• Oklahoma State has won two straight games over the Aggies for the first time since the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
• OSU won in College Station for just the second time since 1983 and the third time overall.
• Oklahoma State improved to 4-2 in its last six true road games.
• Oklahoma State improved to 5-3 in its last eight Big 12 road games.
• The Cowboys opened Big 12 play with a road win for the first time since 1998 (at Kansas).

Three For Four
The win at Texas A&M was OSU's third straight victory. The Cowboys have now strung together three-game winning streaks four times under Mike Gundy. Four-game winning streaks have been tougher to accomplish. It has happened just once and that came last season when OSU won seven straight to open the 2008 season.

Young's Guns
Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young was a winner in College Station for the third straight year (once each with Kansas, Miami and Oklahoma State). Against the Aggies, Young's group carved out a nice list of accomplishments against an A&M attack that entered the contest second in the nation in total offense.
• The Aggies entered the game averaging 545.25 yards of total offense. Against the Cowboys, Texas A&M was held to 384 yards and just 4.6 yards per snap.
• A&M ran for 109 yards against OSU, 102 yards below its season average.
• Texas A&M averaged 334 passing yards per game, but managed just 273 against the Cowboys.
• The Aggies allowed just 1.5 sacks per game for the season, but was hit for four sacks by OSU.

Sacks Appeal
Oklahoma State's defense picked up four sacks at Texas A&M to go with seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Four OSU players were credited with at least a half-sack in the win. In the process, OSU raised its season total to 11 sacks. The Cowboys had 15 sacks last season in 13 games. The 72 yards that the 2009 opponents have lost in sacks are just 20 shy of last season's total. OSU has seven quarterback sacks in its last two games. Redshirt sophomore Richetti Jones leads the Cowboys with 2.5 sacks.

Big 12 Backfields
The four sacks at Texas A&M were the most by the Cowboys against a Big 12 foe since a Nov. 17, 2007, visit to Waco when Oklahoma State got to the Baylor quarterbacks five times.

The DL
The Cowboy defensive line is coming off a strong game in College Station and it was a team effort for the first wave of the Cowboy defense.
• Senior Derek Burton set a career high with six tackles.
• Sophomore Jamie Blatnick had four tackles to set a career high, including a half-sack.
• Senior Swanson Miller recorded three tackles, one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two pass knockdowns.
• Senior Jermiah Price had three tackles to go with a pass break-up.
• Sophomore Richetti Jones' two tackles included 1.5 sacks.

The Double Standard
Senior linebacker Donald Booker, who became a starter when Orie Lemon was lost to injury during the preseason, continues to lead the Cowboy defense. He had 11 tackles, a sack and a pass break-up at Texas A&M. He has two of OSU's four double-figure tackle games this season as his 11 in College Station trumped his 10 stops vs. Rice. Lucien Antoine had 10 tackles at A&M and linebacker Patrick Lavine had 11 tackles against Georgia in the season opener.

The Zac Attack
With two of the three "Triplets" sidelined, quarterback Zac Robinson took center stage against the Aggies and keyed an impressive second half of offensive football in the win. Robinson ended the game by going 14-of-25 through the air for 279 yards and two touchdowns. He tossed one interception, but countered it with a rushing touchdown. In the second half, Robinson was 8-of-11 passing for 156 yards. As previously mentioned, Robinson now leads the Big 12 and ranks No. 11 nationally in passing efficiency. He is currently No. 6 in the NCAA in career passing efficiency (155.68).

Second Chances
The Cowboy offense may have sputtered a bit in the first half at A&M, but OSU's new-look attack responded in the second half.
• The Cowboys' last four possessions resulted in three touchdowns with the final possession milking the last 3:35 off the game clock. The three touchdown drives covered 63, 48 and 93 yards.
• The final two possessions included a 16-play, 93-yard march for a score and another eight-play drive to end the game that included two first downs to clinch the victory.
• The 16-play drive was the longest for OSU since a visit to Troy in 2007.
• OSU now has 13 scoring drives that have covered five plays or less.
• OSU was 5-of-8 on third-down conversions in the second half.

Seniority
The weight of OSU's rushing game has fallen on the shoulders of senior Keith Toston and the Texan responded in a big way at Texas A&M. He rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries against the Aggies. It was his best rushing performance since his career high of 148 yards last season vs. Missouri State and it was the fourth 100-yard game of his career. He set a career high with 26 attempts. He also led OSU with 74 receiving yards, including the two longest receptions of his career (40 and 34 yards).

Toston's Place
Keith Toston has now rushed for 1,917 in his career to rank No. 19 at OSU. He has scored 140 career points (including a two-point conversion at Kyle Field) to rank No. 20 all-time at OSU.

And Now For Something Completely Different
With Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter unavailable, OSU turned to some new faces for offensive help. At A&M, Zac Robinson completed passes to seven receivers. Despite 279 passing yards, no OSU receiver had more than 74 receiving yards.
Hubert Anyiam had the best day of his career with 58 receiving yards, including the first score of his career on a 27-yarder. He also had a 13-yard run.
Tracy Moore's 51-yard TD reception is OSU's longest scoring play of the season.
• Dameron Fooks' three receptions included first-down grabs on third-and-nine and third-and-12.
Justin Blackmon had a career-long 32-yard catch to set up a touchdown.
• Anyiam, Moore, Blackmon and Fooks entered the season with a combined total of three receptions (all by Anyiam). In 2009, they have caught 20 passes, including five touchdowns.

Don't Forget Okung
For the second time in his career, Russell Okung has tossed a shutout against the NCAA's sack leader. Last Saturday, A&M's Von Miller entered the game as America's top pass rusher with nine sacks. Against Okung, he did not record a sack and had five tackles. In the 2007 Insight Bowl, Okung held Indiana's Greg Middleton, another NCAA sack leader, without a tackle.

 

 

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