Game Notes - Oklahoma State at Missouri

Josh Cooper

Josh Cooper

Oct. 16, 2011

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No. 6/6 Oklahoma State at Missouri
Oct. 22, 2011 :: 11:11 a.m. CT :: Faurot Field (71,004 capacity)

TV: FX (Announcers TBA)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 91 and XM CH. 91
Yes...Another Road Game
For the fourth time in five games Oklahoma State will be on the road as the Cowboys visit Columbia, Mo., and the Missouri Tigers for a Saturday morning kickoff. Oklahoma State is 6-0 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 Conference play while Missouri is 3-3 and 1-2. Oklahoma State is in the midst of a stretch in which the Cowboys will have played one home (Kansas) between Sept. 8 and Oct. 29.

Television Info
Oklahoma State at Missouri will be televised by FX. It will mark OSU's first-ever appearance on the cable network. Kickoff is set for 11:11 a.m.

BCS Beginnings
On Sunday, Oklahoma State checked in at No. 4 in the initial Bowl Championship Series standings of the season. It is the highest Oklahoma State has ever climbed in the BCS, trumping the No. 6 spot OSU occupied on Oct. 20, 2008.

Road Tested
Oklahoma State heads to Missouri as one of America's most successful road teams. The Cowboys have won their last eight road games for the second longest streak in school history. The Cowboys have also won a school record six straight conference road games, dating back to the 2009 season finale. OSU's current road streak is the second longest in the NCAA. The longest road winning streak in OSU history is 11 games in 1943-44-45.

Longest Active Road Win Streaks
1. Virginia Tech - 11
2. Oklahoma State -8
2. Oregon - 8

Another Road Mark
Oklahoma State's win at No. 22 Texas was OSU's second this season on the road against a member of the AP top 25. On Sept. 24, the Cowboys were 30-29 winners at No. 8 Texas A&M. OSU and LSU are the only two schools in the country with two road wins over ranked opponents this season.

Series Stuff
Oklahoma State trails the Missouri series by a 28-22 count.
• Oklahoma State and Missouri first met in 1915 and the Tigers won the first five meetings from 1915 through 1951. Since '51, Missouri holds a 23-22 series advantage.
• OSU has won the last two meetings and three of the last four games. Oklahoma State has also won its last two games in Columbia.
Mike Gundy is 2-1 against the Tigers as OSU's head coach after going 4-0 against Missouri as Oklahoma State's starting quarterback.
• OSU is 10-17 all-time in Columbia but the record is a little deceiving. The Cowboys were just 2-12 at Missouri through the 1977 season. Since then, the Cowboys have gone 8-5 at Missouri.
• During the Big 12 era, Missouri leads the series 5-3, but the series has gotten closer since the Tigers won the first four Big 12 contests.

• Oklahoma State alum and letter winner (1993-97) Josh Henson is in his third year as the offensive line coach at Missouri. The Tuttle, Okla., native is a former OSU captain and also served on the OSU staff as recruiting coordinator for Les Miles. He spent 10 years in Stillwater. He departed OSU with Miles for LSU after the 2004 season.
• Missouri safeties coach Barry Odom is a native of Maysville, Okla., and a graduate of Ada High School.
• The lone Missourian on the OSU roster is offensive lineman Parker Graham from Webb City.
• The voice of OSU football, Dave Hunziker, is a Missouri grad and a former host of the Tigers' radio pregame show.

Last Meeting
The last meeting between the Cowboys and Tigers took place on Oct. 17, 2009, and OSU came away with a 33-17 victory in Boone Pickens Stadium. Cowboy receiver Hubert Anyiam set a career high with 119 receiving yards and the 16th-ranked Cowboys shut out Missouri in the second half.
• The only points after the break were three Dan Bailey field goals.
• Anyiam had just eight career catches entering the Missouri game, but ended the evening with 10 catches for the 119 yards with an 8-yard TD grab.
• The Cowboys picked off Blaine Gabbert three times with safety Lucien Antoine returning one INT 26 yards for a touchdown.
• OSU was held to 351 yards of total offense.
• Keith Toston led OSU in rushing with 87 yards on 24 carries.

Last Time In Columbia
OSU's last trip to Columbia (2008) featured a huge game and an eventual important victory in the development of Cowboy program under Mike Gundy. Despite being ranked No. 17 by AP, OSU entered the contest as a decided underdog as third-ranked Missouri appeared poised to ascend to the top of the national polls with a victory. But the Cowboys got 154 rushing yards from Kendall Hunter and Zac Robinson passed for 215 yards and two scores and ran for another in OSU's 28-23 win.
• Missouri became the highest ranked team to fall to a visiting OSU squad.
• The Cowboys picked off Chase Daniel three times, with the final INT (by Patrick Lavine) clinching the game in the last 90 seconds.
• OSU trailed 10-7 at the half until a 68-yard TD run by Kendall Hunter just 57 seconds into the third period started an entertaining second half.
• Robinson hooked up Damian Davis on TD passes covering 40 and 31 yards.
• The win was the first for a Mike Gundy-coached team over an AP top 10 foe. OSU would face four opponents in the AP top four that season.

Tigers and Top 25 Cowboys
Oklahoma State is 8-2 against Missouri when the Cowboys are ranked in the Associated Press top 25. This week's game marks the third straight time the Cowboys have faced Missouri when OSU was ranked and the fourth time it has happened since 2004.

Texas Recap
Oklahoma State is coming off of a 38-26 win at Texas as sophomore running back Jeremy Smith had two big TD runs and rushed for 140 yards on just seven carries. His scores came on runs for 30 and 74 yards. OSU forced three Texas turnovers and recorded 13 tackles for loss, including five quarterback sacks. Other notes from the Texas game:
• OSU had a season-low two penalties for just 20 yards.
• Texas averaged just 4.2 yards per snap compared to OSU's 6.2.
• OSU gave up a kickoff return for a score but also got a 100-yard TD on a kickoff return by Justin Gilbert.
• Defensive end Jamie Blatnick set a career high with nine tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage.
• Sophomore Caleb Lavey picked off a pass for the first time in his career.
• Two Cowboys, Nigel Nicholas and Blatnick, had four tackles for loss. They are the first Cowboys to record four TFLs in one game since Nate Peterson had five at Baylor in 2007.

What Beating Texas Does For You
Oklahoma State's win over Texas was significant on several fronts:
• OSU became the first school to win at Texas in consecutive seasons since 1910 and 1911.
• OSU beat Texas in consecutive games for the first time ever.
• OSU won its seventh straight game against the Texas entries in the Big 12 Conference.
• OSU defeated a ranked team on the road for the second time in two road games.
• The loss by Texas was the first for Longhorn head coach Mack Brown in 14 games the week after the Red River Rivalry.
• The 38 points by OSU were the most scored by the Cowboys in Austin.

Mr. Smith Goes Cross Country
Sophomore running back Jeremy Smith continued an impressive streak in impressive fashion at Texas. On a fourth and one, he ran 30 yards for a touchdown on OSU's last possession of the first half, and Smith delivered another haymaker in the third period with a 74-yard touchdown run. Smith now has the three longest runs of the season for the Cowboys. He may have entered the Texas game with the reputation of a short yardage specialist, but he ended the Texas game with 140 rushing yards and the two touchdowns on just seven carries. Smith's 74-yard TD run was the longest by a Cowboy since Mike Hamilton went 83 yards for a touchdown against Texas Tech in 2005. Smith's run tied for the 24th longest run in school history.

The Smith Streak
Jeremy Smith has now rushed for a touchdown in 10 straight games. It is the longest streak by a Cowboy since Barry Sanders ran for a score in 15 straight games in 1987 and 1988. Smith shares second place on that list with Heisman Trophy runner-up Terry Miller.

The Perfect 10
Oklahoma State finds itself as one of 10 undefeated teams remaining at the FBS level as it heads to Missouri. The other nine unbeatens are Alabama, Boise State, Clemson, Houston, Kansas State, LSU, Oklahoma, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Starting Streaks
Oklahoma State heads to Missouri 6-0 for the fifth time in school history. The Cowboys will be trying to open a season with seven straight wins for just the third time ever (and the second time in four years). OSU is 6-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time ever.

Conference Getaways
Oklahoma State has opened league play with three straight wins for just the eighth time ever. A win at Missouri would give OSU just the second 4-0 conference start in school history and the first since 1940.

Speaking of the Big 12
Oklahoma State is now 15-4 in Big 12 play since the beginning of the 2009 season. That record is the best in the conference during that time frame.

Turnover Tradition
Every year under Bill Young the OSU defense has improved its takeaway number. In 2010, OSU ended the year with 34 takeaways to rank fifth in the country. Over the last four games, the defense has forced 17 turnovers, highlighted by 11 interceptions. OSU enters the Missouri game third nationally with 20 turnovers forced through six games and OSU is also fourth nationally with 12 INTs. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in both categories.

Advantage Cowboys
Oklahoma State has turned around its turnover story since the beginning of the season. The Cowboys were on the negative side of the ledger after two weeks with four turnovers committed and just three gained. However, over the last four games OSU has won the turnover battle 17-4. The only two turnovers over the last three games came at Texas A&M when an apparent touchdown was fumbled through the end zone for a safety and at Texas when an OSU blocker touched a punted ball, resulting in a fumble. The Kansas game was the first turnover-free game of the season for the Cowboys. Over the last four contests (Tulsa, Texas A&M, Kansas and Texas), OSU has scored 59 points after gaining a turnover.

Defensive Footnotes
Oklahoma State's defensive statistics reveal a unit that is a victim of the Cowboys' success. Statistically speaking, the Cowboys only rank 100th in total defense and No. 68 in scoring defense. However, when games are being decided, OSU's defense has been a much more effective unit.
• OSU allowed just 101 yards in the first half against Louisiana while sprinting to a 34-10 lead. The Cajuns ended the game with 320 yards of offense after OSU began substituting liberally.
• OSU jetted to a 21-0 halftime lead against Arizona and cruised to the win. The Wildcats had just 168 yards during the decisive first half. Arizona ended the game with 439 yards.
• OSU jumped to a 31-6 halftime lead at Tulsa and yielded just 130 yards during the process. OSU went deep into its bench during the second half and TU finished with 482 yards.
• OSU limited Texas A&M to just 170 yards after halftime when OSU was outscoring the Aggies by a 27-9 count in the comeback win.
• Kansas had just 186 halftime yards against OSU and trailed 56-7. The Jayhawks finished with 478 total yards.
• The Cowboys gave up 26 points at Texas, but two came on a safety, seven came on a kickoff return and seven more came on a 15-yard drive following a turnover.

Texas Turf Wars
At Texas, the OSU defense registered 13 tackles for losses, forced three turnovers, had five quarterback sacks, broke up four passes and was credited with 11 quarterback hurries. The 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage were the most by the Cowboys since 2005 when OSU had 13 against Florida Atlantic.

NCAA Chart Watch
Some national numbers to mull over as OSU heads to Texas:
• Oklahoma State is second in the country in scoring at 49.17 points per game - exactly one point per game behind Wisconsin.
• Oklahoma State is second to Houston in total offense with 551.2 yards per game.
• The Cowboys are second nationally in passing offense at 395.6 yards per game
• OSU is third nationally with 28.2 first downs per game.
• The Cowboys are sixth nationally in fumbles lost with two (that includes Saturday's misplay on the punt return team).

Building a Tradition
Under Mike Gundy, OSU continues to grow as a program. Since the opening of the 2008 season, the Cowboys are 35-10. That win total is the best ever for OSU over a three-year-plus period and the Cowboys are No. 9 nationally in wins during that time.

Gundy in Perspective
Head coach Mike Gundy is in his seventh season as head coach at his alma mater with a blossoming resume in Stillwater. He is 53-29 and clearly building a sustained period of success at OSU.
• OSU was 12-15 under Gundy after 27 games, but has gone 41-14 since, including a 35-10 record over the last 45 games, 26-6 over the last 32 and 17-2 over the last 19.
• Gundy's 53 wins at OSU rank third all-time behind only Jim Lookabaugh (58-41-6) and Gundy's college coach, Pat Jones (62-60-3).
• Gundy's .646 winning percentage is second best at OSU. That OSU chart is topped by Hall-of-Famer Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf (.735).
• Perhaps the most impressive part of Gundy's tenure at OSU is that he has built the program with three different offensive coordinators and three different defensive coordinators. Three of his former assistants have left Oklahoma State to become head coaches (Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, Larry Fedora at Southern Miss and Tim Beckman at Toledo).
• Under Gundy, OSU has gone to five straight bowl games (an OSU first) and won at least seven games in six straight seasons (another school first) and at least nine games in three straight seasons (yet another first).
• Under Gundy, OSU has reached the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for a school-best fourth straight season.

Home in the Polls
Oklahoma State has been in the top 10 each week of the 2011 season. At no time in its history has Oklahoma State been more visible in the national polls than during the Mike Gundy era.
• The Missouri game will mark OSU's 16th straight as a member of the Associated Press top 25.
• Including this week, OSU has been ranked by the AP 38 times in its last 42 games, including 24 games as a member of the top 15.
• Oklahoma State began the 2009 season No. 9 in the AP for its highest preseason ranking ever. OSU tied that preseason ranking in 2011. They are the only two preseason top 10 appearances in school history.
• In 2010, the Cowboys finished No. 10 in the USA Today poll, marking the first time that OSU closed a season in the top 10 of a major poll since 1984 when OSU was seventh in the final AP vote.
• The highest the Cowboys have been ranked under Gundy came in the second week of 2009 when OSU reached No. 5 in the AP. OSU tied that high-water mark in 2011, checking in at No. 5, after the win at Texas A&M, but dropped to No. 6 during its open week.
• Under Gundy, OSU is 27-10 as a member of the top 25.
• Under Gundy, OSU has spent 16 weeks (including weeks in which OSU was idle) in the top 10. Prior to Gundy, OSU had spent just 25 weeks in the top 10 of the AP poll in its history. The Cowboys hold an all-time record of 23-9 when ranked in the top 10.
• Under Mike Gundy, OSU has cracked the Associated Press top 10 in four straight seasons, which had never happened at Oklahoma State.
• The Missouri game will be OSU's sixth straight as a member of the AP top 10 - a first for OSU.
Mike Gundy has beaten at least one ranked team every year as head coach.

Streaking in Stillwater
OSU will carry several team and individual streaks into the Missouri game:
Brandon Weeden has tossed at least one touchdown pass in 19 straight games.
Josh Cooper has at least one catch in 23 straight games.
• Safety Markelle Martin has started 30 straight games to lead the team.
• Sophomore running back Jeremy Smith has rushed for a touchdown in 10 straight games.
• OSU has completed a pass of at least 31 yards in 14 straight games.

Back in Blackmon
To say that Justin Blackmon continues to be a problem for opposing defenses is an understatement. He continued to add to his NCAA record against Arizona with his 14th straight game with at least 100 receiving yards with his 128-yard, two-TD effort against Arizona. That streak ended with his seven-catch, 57-yard, one-TD night against Tulsa. A quick look at Blackmon over the last 18 games of his career (since the beginning of the 2010 season):
• He has 27 receiving TDs over the last 18 games, along with a special teams touchdown and a rushing TD.
• He has a reception of at least 20 yards in 18 straight games.
• Fourteen of his 26 TD catches have covered at least 20 yards.
• On eight occasions he has reached double figures in catches.
• In seven of the 18 games he has reached at least 140 yards in receiving.
• He has 155 catches over the last 18 games.

Blackmon in 2011
Oklahoma State has played six games in 2011 and in four of those games OSU has been on cruise control. In fact Justin Blackmon played less than two full quarters against Kansas. He still enters the Missouri game sixth nationally with 8.8 catches per game and he is averaging 101.3 receiving yards per game.

Three On The Charts
Hubert Anyiam became the 23rd Cowboy in school history to reach 1,000 career receiving yards when he cracked four figures with his 47 yards at Texas. OSU now has three active members of that 1,000-yard club and that trio of Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper and Hubert Anyiam are three of the 22 most productive receivers in school history.

Weeden Watching
Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden is the reigning first-team All-Big 12 quarterback and his play this season has propelled him into the national conversation. After he rallied OSU from a 20-3 halftime deficit at Texas A&M to a 30-29 victory, Weeden was named the Walter Camp national offensive player of the week. He is 17-2 as a starter, including 8-0 away from Boone Pickens Stadium. Some Weeden numbers:
• He is third nationally with 31.5 completions per game.
• He is sixth nationally in passing yards per game (349.7).
• He is sixth nationally with 2,098 passing yards.

INT Turnaround
Brandon Weeden started the season by throwing six interceptions in the first three games. Weeden has now thrown 151 passes since his last interception and during that same span he has thrown 10 touchdown passes.

Weeden Streaks
• He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 19 straight games (all 19 of his career starts).
• He has at least two TD passes in 16 of his 19 starts.
• Three times in his career he has tossed at least five touchdown passes
• He cracked the 6,000-yard mark in career passing against A&M and now has 6,631 for his career.

The OSU Top 10
If the U.S. Government were to get involved, they might designate Brandon Weeden as a monopoly. The Edmond senior now has six of the top 10 passing games in school history and he has set the single-game high twice in the last 12 months. He has also moved up to third all-time at OSU in career passing yards.

Sharp Performance
The right leg of Quinn Sharp has become so valuable to the Cowboys, it might deserve its own seat on team charters. In his first season of handling all of the Cowboy kicking chores, Sharp has been among the nation's best at just about everything.
• He hasn't punted enough times to qualify for the NCAA statistical rankings, but his average of 48.4 yards would lead the nation.
• Sharp has 11 punts this season in excess of 50 yards and has at least a 52-yard punt in every game and a 60-yarder each of the last two games.
• He has been nearly automatic in field goals, connecting on 10 of his 11 attempts.
• He leads the nation with 28 touchbacks on kickoffs. He has led the country in that category each of the past two seasons.
• Sharp is No. 9 nationally in scoring with 11.2 points per game and set a school record by going 10-for-10 on extra point tries against Kansas.

Gilbert Makes His Mark
Justin Gilbert had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Saturday's win at Texas. Just 18 games into his career he has established himself as one of the NCAA's special teams stars.
• Gilbert's four career returns for scores ties the OSU record previously held by Perrish Cox.
• Those four touchdown returns rank second among all active NCAA players.
• He is No. 9 nationally with an average of 29.7 yards per return in 2011.
• Gilbert's career average of 27.8 yards per return is fourth among all active NCAA players.
• Gilbert joins Fozzy Whitaker of Texas and Taveon Rogers of New Mexico State as the only players in the country with two kickoff returns for scores this season.

What Brown Can Do
Brodrick Brown continues to display an all-conference level of play through six weeks. The player who turned in the 2010 defensive play of the year with his leaping re-routing of a Landry Jones pass to OSU teammate Shaun Lewis in Bedlam, is No. 6 nationally and leads the Big 12 with 10 passes defended this season, and he is 13th nationally (tied with teammate James Thomas) and second in the league with his three interceptions. He picked off a pass against Kansas and at Texas A&M he broke up a pass on the Aggies' final snap of the game that linebacker James Thomas intercepted for the game-clincher.

Blatnick The Bully
Senior defensive end Jamie Blatnick might be playing the best football of his Cowboy career. At Texas he set a career high with nine tackles and had four tackles for loss, two sacks and a pass-break up. That performance came on the heels of his Kansas game in which he had four tackles, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. Some Jamie Blatnick facts worth noting:
• He has five quarterback sacks this season to rank No. 13 in the country and second in the Big 12.
• Blatnick is third in the Big 12 with 7.5 tackles for loss.
• Blatnick's best sack total came last season when he had 5.5 in 12 games.
• He has 13 career sacks, which means he will reach at least No. 12 on OSU's career list with his next one.

The Wilson Award
Senior Wilson Youman absolutely has to be one of the busiest players in college football. This season he has seen action on offense, defense and special teams. The senior played on offense as a tight end, on defense as a defensive end and on the special teams kicking units. Since arriving on campus, Youman has bounced between offense and defense, but 2011 is the first time he has seen game action on both sides of the ball in the same game. He has two pass receptions for six yards and against Texas he picked up his first sack of the season.

Three Diplomas
Three members of the Cowboy roster, quarterback Brandon Weeden (business), center Grant Garner (business management), and defensive end Jamie Blatnick (health promotions) have already earned their degrees at Oklahoma State.

Uniform Note
Oklahoma State will sport a new look in 2011 - actually 48 new looks. OSU has partnered with Nike this season to play in Nike Pro Combat uniforms. OSU will have its choice of 48 different combinations with helmets of white, black and gray, jerseys of black, gray and orange (for home games), and pants that are black, white, orange or gray. A player panel has made the game selections for the entire season.

Grab Bag
• In the red zone this season, OSU has 14 rushing touchdowns and 14 passing touchdowns.
• OSU has drawn three of the seven largest home crowds in school history in 2011.
• Eleven Cowboys have scored this season.
• Eleven Cowboys have a sack this season
• Six Cowboys have picked off a pass this season.
James Thomas had one career interception in three years before picking off three in the first six games of '11.
• Junior DT Nigel Nicholas has 6.5 tackles for loss this season. No OSU tackle had more than 4.0 TFLs all of last season.
• Sophomore safety Daytawion Lowe is tied for the Big 12 lead and is 10th nationally with three forced fumbles.
• Sophomore linebacker Caleb Lavey has set a career high in tackles twice in the last three games (10 at A&M, 12 at Texas).

Quick Recap
Oklahoma State is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history. In 2010, the Cowboys, despite being picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 South, set a school record for wins with their 11-2 record. They won 10 regular-season games for the first time ever, tied for the Big 12 South title for the first time and went undefeated on the road for the first time since 1945. OSU finished in the top 10 of the national polls (No. 10 in USA Today) for the first time since 1984.



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