Oct. 25, 2009
No. 13/13 Oklahoma State vs. No. 3/3 Texas
Sat., Oct. 31, 2009 :: 7:00 p.m. CT :: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218 cap)
TV: ABC/ESPN2 (Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Holly Rowe)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 91 and XM Channel 243
An Orange Holiday
The Oklahoma State Cowboys return home Halloween night as they host the Texas Longhorns in a critical Big 12 South battle. The game will kick at 7 p.m. with a national television audience on hand. The game will be televised by either ABC or ESPN2 with full national coverage expected on either one, or as a combination of the two. Television plans won't be finalized until Monday.
One of the biggest stories of the 2009 season for OSU has been the upswing in ticket sales during a terrible economy. So far in 2009, OSU has drawn the three biggest crowds in its history and set new records for season ticket sales and student sales. Expect the bar on the single-game mark to be raised again this week with the Longhorns in town. Early sales point to the possibility of a complete sellout of the seating bowl for the first time in the expanded stadium. Advance sales topped 57,000 by Oct. 20. The new capacity of Boone Pickens Stadium is 60,218. That total includes club seats (which are only sold on a season basis) and suite tickets.
Oklahoma State enters the week with a five-game winning streak and an overall record of 6-1. OSU is 3-0 in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are undefeated at 7-0 with a perfect 4-0 Big 12 record. OSU and Texas have already spent two weeks as the only two schools in the Big 12 without a conference loss. The Cowboys are ranked No. 13 in both the AP and coaches polls. Texas checks in at No. 3 in both polls.
Second Straight Showdown
For the second straight season, the Cowboys and Longhorns are doing battle in a potential season-changing game. Last year in Austin, it was top-ranked and undefeated Texas holding off seventh-ranked and undefeated Oklahoma State, 28-24.
A couple of items right off the top...
Sizzling Zac Robinson is the Big 12's top-rated quarterback with a passing efficiency of 158.27.
OSU's offense is sixth nationally in scoring (37.0 ppg) while Texas is second nationally in total defense.
OSU senior offensive lineman Russell Okung is the only offensive player among the 12 semifinalists announced for the Lombardi Award. He is also a member of the mid-season All-America teams selected by The Sporting News and Rivals.com.
Perrish Cox is the national leader with two passes defended per game.
Patrick Lavine is No. 25 nationally with three interceptions.
OSU's offense leads the nation in fewest tackles for loss (2.86 per game).
OSU's offense has allowed four sacks through seven games to rank second nationally in that category.
The Big Five
On Saturday, Oklahoma State will be trying to pick up its fourth win of the decade against a team ranked in the Associated Press top five. In 2001, OSU topped fourth-ranked Oklahoma, 16-13. In 2002, the Cowboys knocked off the No. 3 Sooners, 38-28, and in 2008, OSU upset No. 3 Missouri, 28-23. Incidentally, Oklahoma State has not knocked off two ranked teams in the same season since 1984 when the Cowboys took out No. 12 Arizona State and No. 7 South Carolina. The Cowboys opened 2009 with a win over No. 13 Georgia with No. 3 Texas up next. Oklahoma State will have more opportunities against the top 25 with games still remaining against ranked foe Oklahoma, and future opponent Texas Tech has also spent time in the top 25.
Texas holds a 21-2 series lead against OSU, including wins in the last 11 games. Although the series count is lopsided, the games have been tight and entertaining. Some notes from past meetings:
The first meeting between the schools came back in 1916.
The schools will be meeting in Stillwater for just the eighth time.
The last two games in the series have been decided by a total of seven points.
Five of the 13 games in Big 12 play have been decided by four points or less.
OSU's wins came in 1944 and in 1997.
Texas will be facing an Oklahoma State team ranked in the top 25 for just the third time (and for the second straight year).
A Streak Of Modesty
Oklahoma State enters the Texas contest riding a somewhat modest five-game winning streak. It is OSU's second five-game winning streak in two seasons. In 2008, OSU began the season at 7-0. Oklahoma State's current winning streak is the 10th longest in the country. Texas has won 11 in a row for the third longest winning streak in America.
Last Year In Austin
Oklahoma State spotted the Longhorns a quick 14-0 lead, battled back to within 28-24 early in the fourth quarter, and spent the rest of the game trying to take the final step in the tense loss in front of what was then the largest crowd ever to see a football game in the state of Texas (98,518). Kendall Hunter ran for 161 yards and added 31 more receiving yards in the loss. OSU allowed 504 yards of offense, but twice blanked Texas on red zone opportunities and had another red zone interception wiped out by penalty. Texas stopped two late OSU possessions to preserve the victory in a battle of unbeaten teams. Zac Robinson was 17-of-26 for 199 yards, including a 9-yard TD pass to Bo Bowling.
Last week's win in Waco improved OSU to 3-0 in Big 12 play for just the third time in the 14-year history of the conference. The Cowboys were also 3-0 in 1997 and last season when Oklahoma State also began Big 12 play with wins over the trio of Texas A&M, Missouri and Baylor.
Oklahoma State will be trying to improve to 4-0 in conference play for the first time ever. Even though OSU has won or shared 10 conference titles, dating back to Missouri Valley membership, none of those titles came as the result of a 4-0 start.
The Seven-Game Measuring Stick
Oklahoma State's 6-1 record ties the 2009 Cowboy squad for the fourth best start in school history. Last season, OSU tied its best start with a perfect 7-0 beginning. A win against Texas would tie OSU's second-best start after eight games. Four times in this decade OSU has started 6-1 or 7-0.
OSU is 16-5 in its last 21 games, dating back to the 2007 Insight Bowl win over Indiana. It is the best 21-game stretch by the Cowboys since the 2002-2004 seasons when OSU had a 17-4 run under Les Miles.
The Last 11
The win in Waco improved the Cowboys to 8-3 in their last 11 Big 12 games. It ties OSU's best 11-game run in the league since the 2002-2003 conference seasons.
The 9,000-Yard Man
Zac Robinson climbed to No. 8 in Big 12 history by moving past 9,000 yards in career total offense against Missouri. He added to that total in Waco and now has accumulated 9,460 total yards. That total is also an OSU record. Two current conference quarterbacks, Colt McCoy of Texas and Todd Reesing of Kansas, rank ahead of Robinson on the all-time top 10. Both of those quarterbacks have passed the 10,000-yard mark.
Zac Robinson now has 63 career touchdown passes to rank eighth in Big 12 history and top the OSU career chart. He has thrown a touchdown pass in 10 straight games, dating back to last season's visit to Texas Tech.
Zac's New Marks
Other notables for OSU's senior quarterback:
He remains second all-time to Mike Gundy with 7,780 career passing yards. Gundy accumulated 7,997 yards in his career.
He is No. 24 all-time at OSU with 1,690 rushing yards.
He has 22 career rushing touchdowns to rank No. 9 all-time at OSU. The only quarterback ahead of him is Tony Lindsay, who ran for 23 touchdowns from 1997 through the 2000 season.
He is No. 21 all-time at OSU with 132 career points.
His 85 touchdowns responsible for is eighth among active NCAA players.
His career passing efficiency of 154.49 is fourth in the NCAA.
His 7.61 yards per play in his career rank third nationally.
Zac Robinson is coming off a record-breaking performance at Baylor. Against the Bears, the senior signal caller completed 23 of his 27 passes for a completion percentage of 85.2. The old record for completion percentage in a game with more than 20 attempts was 77.1 (27-of-35) set by Mike Gundy against Kansas in 1989.
The New Targets
While playing without consensus All-American Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State has been developing a youthful receiving corps on the fly. Against Baylor, OSU got touchdown receptions from sophomore tight end Will Youman (the first of his career), freshman tight end Cooper Bassett (the first of his career) and sophomore transfer Dameron Fooks (the third of his career). To date:
Fifteen Cowboys have caught passes, including six players who had never caught a pass as a Cowboy.
Sophomore Hubert Anyiam has caught 19 passes over the last two games. He had six catches in the first five games of the season.
True freshman Tracy Moore is averaging 19.3 yards on his five catches.
Sophomore transfer Dameron Fooks has three touchdowns on his eight career catches.
Eleven different Cowboys have a reception of at least 19 yards.
Seven Cowboys have touchdown catches. Five caught scoring passes all of last season.
Don't Forget Okung
Twice in his career, Russell Okung has tossed a shutout against the NCAA's sack leader. Texas A&M's Von Miller entered the OSU 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. Okung is the only offensive player among the 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award. He anchors an offensive line that ranks second nationally with four sacks allowed after seven games and allows an NCAA-low 2.86 tackles for loss per game.
His 109 rushing yards at Baylor was his second 100-yard game in three Big 12 contests.
He has rushed for 326 yards over the last three weeks on 65 carries for 5.01 yards per rush.
He has added 159 receiving yards over the last three weeks.
Against Missouri and Texas A&M, he had pass receptions of 40, 34 and 24 yards. His 199 receiving yards already assure him of the best receiving season of his career.
Keith Toston has now rushed for 2,113 yards in his career to rank No. 13 at OSU. He has scored 152 career points to rank No. 18 in that category. He enters the Texas game with a career average of 5.92 yards per carry.
Two For 2,000
Keith Toston (2,113 career rushing yards) joins Kendall Hunter (2,355 career rushing yards) as Cowboy running backs to have eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark. Toston and Hunter are the first-ever duo in Oklahoma State history to have played together with over 2,000 rushing yards apiece in tow. For good measure, quarterback Zac Robinson has rushed for 1,690 yards.
The Oklahoma State offense continues to show improvement. The Cowboys are coming off a sharp performance at Baylor. Among the highlights:
The Cowboys scored points in every quarter.
OSU recorded its second straight turnover-free game.
The Cowboys set a season low with five penalties for 53 yards.
OSU has set a season high in time of possession in each of the last two weeks. Oklahoma State held the ball 34:31 in the win over Missouri and then held the ball for 38:35 at Baylor.
Oklahoma State first-year defensive coordinator Bill Young continues to have an impact on his alma mater. OSU has allowed just seven points over the last six quarters of play. One week after holding Missouri to 80 second-half yards (on 28 snaps), the Cowboys limited Baylor to 284 total yards, including 176 yards in the decisive first three quarters.
Oklahoma State has allowed just 24 points over the last two weeks. It's the fewest points allowed by OSU in consecutive Big 12 games since October of 2004 when Oklahoma State picked up wins over Iowa State (36-7) and Colorado (42-14).
Third And Unruly
The Cowboy defense has won the critical third-down battles over the last two weeks. Missouri and Baylor offenses combined to go 8-of-28 on third-down attempts. For the season, OSU's seven opponents are 32-of-98 (33 percent) on attempted third-down conversions.
The Most Important Category
While the yards and points have gotten tougher to come by for the opposition, so has hanging onto the ball. The Cowboys have a 5-0 turnover advantage in the last two games and a 6-1 advantage in the three Big 12 games to date.
Oklahoma State has upped its season sack total to 13, just two shy of last year's 13-game total. Senior linebacker Donald Booker, who became the starter when Orie Lemon was lost to injury during preseason drills, leads OSU with four quarterback sacks. No Cowboy accumulated more than three sacks all of last season.
Some other numbers turned in by the Cowboy defense through seven games...
OSU has intercepted a pass in six of the team's seven games this season with linebacker Patrick Lavine picking off three passes. He now has six interceptions in his career.
OSU is yet to allow a 100-yard rusher in 2009.
The Cowboys allowed 5.6 yards per play last season. The 2009 Cowboys are currently allowing 4.9 yards per snap.
Continuing The Climb
Under Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State has been on a steady climb up the Big 12 South ladder. Gundy's first team finished with a 1-7 Big 12 record in 2005. Since that time, the Cowboys have improved to 3-5 in 2006, 4-4 in 2007 and 5-3 in 2008. Last year's five-win total was OSU's best conference showing since the 2003 team also went 5-3.
Oklahoma State enters the Texas game ranked No. 13 in the AP and coaches poll. OSU has now appeared in the AP poll for 21 straight weeks. It is the Cowboys' longest stint in the balloting since the 1987 and 1988 seasons when OSU was ranked for 26 straight weeks.
21 And Counting
Oklahoma State appeared in its 21st consecutive AP football poll this week. It is OSU's third longest run in the AP poll in school history and the longest since 1988.
Facts and figures regarding the Cowboys and the Associated Press poll:
The Cowboys were ranked in the AP's preseason poll for the first time since 2003 when Les Miles' eventual Cotton Bowl team was No. 24.
OSU's debut position of No. 9 was an all-time best for the school in the preseason polls, besting the 1985 team, which was ranked No. 16.
When OSU reached No. 5 in the polls (Sept. 8) it was the school's highest ranking since 1985.
Under Mike Gundy, the Cowboys are 11-5 when playing as a member of the AP top 25. Four of the five losses have come against ranked opponents and three of the five losses came to teams ranked higher than OSU. Last year, OSU's three regular-season losses were against teams ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in the AP poll at the time of the OSU game.
The More Orange The Better
It seems each week provides a new milestone at the ticket office for Oklahoma State. Through the first half of the season Oklahoma State has...
Set a new school record with 45,652 season tickets purchased.
Set a new school record with more than, 11,400 student season tickets purchased.
Set a new single-game attendance record vs. Georgia with 53,012 fans in attendance.
Set another new single-game attendance record with 56,901 fans on hand for the Grambling State game.
OSU should set another single-game high when the Longhorns hit town.
In a strange year of scrapes, bruises and assorted speed bumps, Oklahoma State has used 17 different players in its starting lineup on offense. The latest to join the group was sophomore receiver Hubert Anyiam against Grambling State. On the flip side, only 13 players have been utilized as starters on defense.
Sexton Moves Up
Four-year starters Andre Sexton and Patrick Lavine continue to climb the OSU and NCAA career record charts. Sexton is fourth in the NCAA with 189 career solo tackles. He is No. 18 in total tackles with 283. At OSU, Sexton is No. 16 all-time in total tackles. Lavine has 259 tackles to rank No. 22 all-time at OSU.
The New Mark
The Big 12 Conference has a new record holder for career kickoff return yardage. With his efforts against Baylor, Perrish Cox upped his record total to 2,593 yards. Cox currently....
Is tied for second in the NCAA with four career kickoff returns for touchdowns
Is second in the NCAA with 2,593 kickoff returns yards in his career
Has 10 career kickoff returns of more than 50 yards, including a 74-yarder vs. Georgia this season
Is No. 11 in the NCAA with 563 career punt return yards
One of the 2009 question marks entering the season was redshirt freshman punter Quinn Sharp stepping in to replace OSU's 2008 Ray Guy Award winner Matt Fodge. Seven games into his career, Sharp has answered lots of questions.
He enters the Texas game seventh nationally with a punting average of 45.3 yards.
He has 11 punts in excess of 50 yards, including a pair of 61-yarders (vs. Georgia and Rice).
Of his 30 punts, 12 have been downed inside the opponent's 20 (with only two touchbacks).
Oklahoma State is No. 15 nationally in net punting with a 38.5-yard average.
He has been named a mid-season All-American by Rivals.com
While handling Cowboy kickoff duties, Sharp has recorded 24 touchbacks on 49 tries. OSU had 13 touchbacks all of last season on 96 kickoffs.
Bailey Stays Hot
OSU placekicker Dan Bailey is on a roll. Entering the Texas game, he has converted on six straight field goal attempts, including a career-best 51-yarder vs. Missouri. He has also converted on a school-record 117 straight extra point attempts. He has never missed a point-after in his career.
The Rushing Race
Three current Cowboys, Kendall Hunter, Zac Robinson and Kendall Hunter, are all moving up OSU's career rushing charts. Entering the Texas game, Kendall Hunter is No. 10 all-time at OSU with 2,355 rushing yards. Checking in at No. 13 all-time is Keith Toston with 2,113 yards while No. 24 is Zac Robinson with 1,690 rushing yards.
Upping The Total
The Cowboy roster now features a trio of offensive linemen with a combined 112 career starts. Russell Okung (41), Brady Bond (38) and Andrew Lewis (33) are the graybeards. On the flip side, guard Noah Franklin has made seven career starts and guard Lane Taylor has made five. Linebacker Andre Sexton has started 44 games to lead all Cowboys.
Senior Signal Caller
There are bushels of records that Zac Robinson has in his sites and this is due in part to a simple fact. He enters his senior season as a starter. Robinson is the first OSU quarterback to enter his senior season as a starter since Tony Lindsay in 2000. Robinson is 18-9 as OSU's starting quarterback.
The Dez Effect
Below is a quick look at the career of 2008 consensus All-America selection Dez Bryant and his impact on the OSU and NCAA stat lists midway through the 2009 season.
He has nine 100-yard receiving games in his career, including six of the top 21 games in OSU history.
He is No. 12 all-time at OSU with 194 career points.
He is fourth all-time at OSU with 2,425 receiving yards.
He is fourth all-time at OSU with 147 career receptions.
He is third all-time at OSU with 29 touchdown receptions, and just one catch shy of second.
He is tied with Darrent Williams and Barry Sanders with three career punt returns for touchdowns.
He is tied for the national lead with 29 career touchdown receptions, despite playing in just three games so far this season.
He is fifth in career yards per catch at 16.5
He leads the nation with 86.6 receiving yards per career game played
He is third in the nation with three career punt returns for scores
He is No. 14 in the nation with 2,425 career receiving yards
He is No. 17 in the nation with 548 punt return yards in his career
He is No. 12 in the nation with 32 career touchdowns