Game Notes - OSU vs. Texas Tech

Keith Toston

Keith Toston

Nov. 8, 2009

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No. 17/18 Oklahoma State vs. RV/RV Texas Tech

Sat., Nov. 14, 2009 :: 7 p.m. CT :: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218 cap.)

TV: ABC Sports (Mike Patrick, Craig James and Heather Cox)

Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)


Satellite Radio: XM Channel 231


Back To The South

Oklahoma State continues the stretch run of its 2009 football season Saturday night when its hosts the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a battle of Big 12 South squads. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with ABC on hand to televise the game. The contest will be Oklahoma State's third straight on ABC and fourth this season.


More TV Stuff

The current edition of Oklahoma State football is on track to be the most televised group of Cowboys in program history. When adding in television for Bedlam and a bowl game, the 2009 team should make a school-record 11 TV appearances. OSU's previous high for TV appearances was 10 on two occasions. Of OSU's 2009 TV games through Texas Tech, six would be considered national TV appearances. That number will rise to seven on Nov. 19 when ESPN is in town for the Colorado game. The total for national TV dates figures to climb to as high as nine when including the Bedlam game and postseason.


The Final Four

Oklahoma State has four student-athletes that are on the shortened lists for national honors...

• Lineman Russell Okung is the only semifinalist for the Lombardi Award from the offensive side of the ball.

• Defensive back Perrish Cox is OSU's first semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award since Mark Moore in 1986.

• Quarterback Zac Robinson is a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

• Freshman punter Quinn Sharp is a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, which was won last year by OSU's Matt Fodge.


Fast Facts

A couple of items right off the top...

• OSU leads the nation in fewest sacks allowed. The Cowboys are giving up less than a half-sack per game (0.44).

• OSU is also tied for the national lead in fewest tackles for loss allowed (3.22 per game).

• The Cowboys are ninth nationally in rushing defense, allowing 94 yards per game.

Zac Robinson is the Big 12 Conference's second highest rated passer (146.97)

• The Cowboys have climbed to No. 35 nationally in total defense, allowing 331 yards per game.

• Linebacker Patrick Lavine is No. 15 nationally with four interceptions.

• OSU senior Perrish Cox leads the nation with 1.75 passes defended per game (passes broken up plus interceptions).

• OSU now has two active players with more than 2,000 rushing yards each in Kendall Hunter and Keith Toston. Zac Robinson could hit 2,000 yards before his career is over.

• Last year OSU allowed 5.6 yards per offensive play by the opponent. This season that number has dropped to 4.9.

• OSU has won four straight conference road games for the first time since 1979.

• OSU senior Keith Toston is coming off a 206- yard effort at Iowa State in the best rushing game of the season by a Big 12 runner.

Dan Bailey is perfect in his career on extra points with a school-record 123 in a row.

Dan Bailey has now joined OSU's career top 10 with 207 points.

• OSU is No. 8 in the country in time of possession (32:49).

• Second-ranked Texas and No. 17 Oklahoma State are the only two Big 12 teams in the latest AP poll.


Let's Play Two

Saturday will feature a men's basketball/football doubleheader in Stillwater. Travis Ford's hoops squad will open the 2009-2010 regular season by hosting the University of Seattle at 1:30 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Ford led the Cowboys to a 23-12 record in his first season at OSU, including a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


Don't Forget Thursday

Oklahoma State will close the home portion of its 2009 season on Thursday, Nov. 19, when it hosts the University of Colorado on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. The Cowboys will be playing their first Thursday game since Sept. 8, 2005, when OSU headed to Florida Atlantic and an eventual 23-3 win over the Owls. Oklahoma State last played a Thursday home game on Aug. 31, 1995, when it hosted Nebraska in the head coaching debut of Bob Simmons.


Veterans Day

Oklahoma State will observe Veterans Day at Saturday's football game in part by recognizing the alumni of the university's ROTC program. The Reserve Officer Training Corps has been on the OSU campus for 118 years with alumni of the program participating in every major conflict since World War I.


At A Glance

Oklahoma State enters the week 7-2 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play. The Cowboys have won six of their last seven games. Texas Tech is arrives in Stillwater with a 6-3 overall record and a 3-2 mark in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders are coming off an open week following a win over Kansas. Tech averages 40.2 points per game and 474 yards of offense per outing.


The Cowboys' Way

Oklahoma State is 17-6 in its last 23 football games. Five of OSU's six losses during that span have been to teams ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll. Four of the six losses have come to teams ranked third or higher in the AP at the time of the OSU game. OSU also has a win over an AP top three team (Missouri) during that stretch.


The Conference Thumbnail

Last week's win in Ames guaranteed OSU a third straight .500 record in Big 12 play. OSU has only accomplished that feat on one other occasion (2002, 2003, 2004). Since joining the Big Eight Conference in 1960, OSU's longest stretch of successful conference runs came under Pat Jones when OSU was over .500 in five straight Big Eight seasons from 1984 through 1988.


The South Side

Oklahoma State will be trying to improve to 3-1 against the Big 12 South in 2009 when Tech visits Stillwater. OSU hasn't won three games against the Big 12 South since 2003 when the Cowboys were 3-2 against its division.


The Drive For Five

OSU will also be trying to win five games in conference play for the second straight year. Oklahoma State last enjoyed consecutive five-win seasons in Big 12 play in 2002 and 2003. In the previous 13 years of Big 12 play, OSU won five conference games four times, including last season. OSU has never won six games in Big 12 play.


The Seventh Signs

Oklahoma State enters the Texas Tech game with a 7-2 overall record. OSU has won at least seven games in four straight seasons for the first time in school history. OSU is also enjoying its seventh, seven-win season in the same decade for the first time ever. OSU has won 65 games since 2000, make the current decade the second winningest 10-year period in OSU history. The Cowboys won 71 games under Jimmy Johnson and Pat Jones in the 1980s.


Seeking Gr-eightness

Another win by Oklahoma State in 2009 would raise the season total to eight. It would be the 16th time in school history that the Cowboys reached at least eight wins and the first time since 2002 and 2003 that it would have been accomplished in consecutive seasons.


The Bowl Streak

Oklahoma State became bowl eligible with its victory at Baylor and all indications are that the Cowboys are heading for another postseason appearance. It is worth noting that a bowl appearance in 2009 would mark another first for OSU. The Cowboys would be appearing in a bowl game for a school-best fourth consecutive season.


The Series

Texas Tech leads the series with Oklahoma State, 21-12-3. The first meeting between the two teams came back in 1935 and they have met at least twice in every decade since. Over the years, the two teams have played in Stillwater, Lubbock, Oklahoma City, Tokyo and Irving, Tex. The schools have alternated wins and losses since 2002. The home team has won the last seven games in the series. Other series notables:

• The series is even at eight wins each in Stillwater. Tech last won at OSU in 2001.

• In Big 12 play, Tech holds a 9-4 series advantage. The Red Raiders were 6-1 against OSU in the first seven games of Big 12 action before the teams split the last six meetings.

• Oklahoma State has won three straight home games against Tech by a combined total of 13 points.

• OSU is averaging 39 points in its last five home contests against Texas Tech.

Mike Gundy's first career win against the Big 12 came in a 2005 upset over No. 13 Texas Tech in Stillwater (24-17).

• When playing as a member of the AP top 25, OSU is 4-4 against Texas Tech.


Last Year In Lubbock

In 2008, OSU headed to Lubbock with an 8-1 record and a No. 8 national ranking. Waiting for the Cowboys was undefeated and second-ranked Texas Tech in what would be the biggest game in the history of the football series between the two schools. OSU scored early on a Kendall Hunter touchdown run, but the Red Raiders erupted for 28 first-half points and rolled to a 56-20 victory. Hunter ran for 117 yards while Beau Johnson chipped in 34 and 24 yards respectively. Dez Bryant had four catches for 86 yards and Zac Robinson was 16-of-28 passing for 182 yards with one interception.


Last Time In Stillwater

Oklahoma State and Texas Tech staged an epic battle on Sept. 14, 2007, in their last game in Stillwater. Zac Robinson picked up his first victory as OSU's starting quarterback in dramatic fashion as his 54-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew with just 1:37 left in the game provided the winning margin in a wild 49-45 Cowboy win. Robinson passed for "just" 211 yards, but he also added 116 rushing yards, including a 48-yard TD run. For the day, he ran for two scores and passed for two scores. Then-true freshman Kendall Hunter ran for 113 yards, including a 46-yard TD run. Robinson and Hunter teamed with Dantrell Savage (25 carries for 130 yards) to form the first trio in OSU history to run for 100 yards each in a game. Tech gained a whopping 718 yards of total offense to offset OSU's 610 total. The Red Raiders ripped OSU for 35 first-half points, but managed just 10 after intermission.


Back On Familiar Turf

Following a season-best 331-yard rushing effort at Iowa State, Oklahoma State is back in familiar territory. The Cowboys now lead the Big 12 in rushing with an average of 196 yards per game. OSU has won the Big 12 rushing title each of the past three years. Should the Cowboys win the title again in '09, the offense can tip its cap to the OSU defense. Iowa State was leading the league in rushing before being limited to 54 yards by the Cowboys last week.


ISU Recap

The Cowboys are coming off an impressive showing at Iowa State. The 34-8 victory saw OSU set a season high in rushing yards (331), yards per rush (7.5), offensive plays (78), first downs (29) and time of possession (39:38). In the process, the Cowboys had scoring drives of 98, 80 and 79 yards. On the flip side, Iowa State had just 145 yards of total offense after three quarters and was limited to 54 rushing yards. The OSU defense tied a season high with three interceptions and for the third straight week held an opponent below 300 yards of offense.


A Top Ten Sighting

Oklahoma State has climbed into the national top 10 in rushing defense, allowing just 94 yards per game. The Cowboys are yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season and only four teams have reached triple digits in rushing. Iowa State entered the OSU game leading the Big 12 and was No. 18 nationally with an average of 200.3 rushing yards per game. The Cyclones managed just 54 against the Cowboys. Texas averaged 164 rushing yards, but was held to 99 by OSU. For the season, opponents are averaging three yards per rush. Last season, OSU yielded 4.3 yards per carry.


Totally Speaking

Oklahoma State enters the Texas Tech game No. 35 nationally in total defense, allowing 331 yards per game. OSU is fourth in the Big 12 in that department. In Big 12 games only, OSU is allowing just 315 yards per game. The Cowboys have held their last three opponents below 300 yards of total offense. During that three-game span against Iowa State, Texas and Baylor, the Cowboy defense faced 32 opponent drives. The possessions resulted in 15 punts and five turnovers. Just seven of the drives lasted for more than 50 yards.


The Last Time...

The last time Oklahoma State held three straight conference opponents below 300 yards of total offense was the 1998 season. That Cowboy team held Kansas to 277 yards, Nebraska to 215 yards and Texas Tech to 205 yards.



Oklahoma State's defense continues to make strides in 2009. Across the board there is tangible evidence to document OSU's improved play. OSU opponents have been forced to punt 50 times this season through nine games. Last year, the OSU defense forced a total of 52 punts in 13 games.


Behind The Line

With three games remaining in the 2009 regular season, the Cowboys have 18 quarterback sacks to rank No. 55 nationally in that category. Last year, OSU recorded 15 sacks in 13 games and ended the season No. 107 in that category. In 2009, OSU is also No. 55 in tackles for loss with 5.78 per game. Last year, OSU was No. 87 in that category with 5.15 TFLs per game.


The First Line Of Defense

Last season, OSU's defensive ends and tackles combined for a total of 9.5 sacks in 13 games. Through nine games of 2009, the defensive linemen have combined for 10.5 sacks, including three by Ugo Chinasa and 2.5 by Richetti Jones.


Lavine And The INT

The Cowboy defense has 11 interceptions in 2009, just one shy of last season's 13-game total. Linebacker Patrick Lavine leads the Cowboys and ranks No. 15 nationally with four. He is tied for the interceptions lead among America's linebackers with Sam Maxwell of Kentucky. Lavine now has seven career interceptions.


Third And Unruly

The Cowboy defense has won the critical third-down battles over the last four weeks. Missouri, Baylor, Texas and Iowa State offenses combined to go 19-of-57 on third-down attempts (33.3 percent). For the season, OSU's nine opponents are 43-of-124 (34.7 percent) on attempted third-down conversions. The Cowboys rank No. 28 nationally in that category. A year ago Oklahoma State finished 69th, allowing a 40.1 conversion percentage.



Andre Sexton was in the Cowboy starting lineup for the 47th time in OSU career at Iowa State. Sexton now holds the school record in that category. He could end his career with 50 career starts. Russell Okung has the longest streak for consecutive starts with 43 in a row entering the Texas Tech game.


LBs 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 199 career solo tackles and No. 19 in total tackles with 295. At OSU, Sexton is No. 15 all-time in total tackles. Lavine is No. 18 all-time at OSU with 272 tackles.


The Protectors

The Oklahoma State offense line continues to be among the nation's best in the tangible categories of protection. OSU has allowed just four sacks this season, fewest in the country. Oklahoma State also leads the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed (3.22 per game). It continues a trend for the Cowboys under Mike Gundy and offensive line coach Joe Wickline. OSU is looking to finish among the top five nationally in fewest sacks allowed for the second time in three years and among  the nation's top 20 in that category for the fourth straight year.


Records In Progress

Senior quarterback Zac Robinson enters the Texas Tech game holding several OSU records but the three most prestigious are the career marks in total offense, passing yards and touchdown passes. The last of those to fall was passing yards when Robinson moved past Mike Gundy in the road win at Ames.


OSU Career Records

Total Offense (Yards)

1. Zac Robinson (9,821*)

2. Mike Gundy (7,749)


Passing Yards

1. Zac Robinson (8,065)

2. Mike Gundy (7,997)


Touchdown Passes

1. Zac Robinson (65*)

2. Josh Fields (55)

*Eighth in Big 12 history


Zac's Other Marks

Other notables for OSU's senior quarterback:

  He is No. 24 all-time at OSU with 1,756 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 87 touchdowns responsible for are ninth among active NCAA players.

  His career passing efficiency of 153.24 is sixth in the NCAA.

  His 7.51 yards per play in his career are sixth nationally.


Record Breaker

Zac Robinson had 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.


Another One To Watch

Zac Robinson set a school record last year by completing 65.0 percent of his passes to edge out Mike Gundy's mark of 64.8 percent in 1988. Through nine games of his senior season, Robinson is completing 65.4 percent of his passes (149-of-228).


A Surprising Number

Zac Robinson lost perhaps the country's best big-play receiver when Dez Bryant was sidelined. Despite that monumental setback, Robinson continues to lead the Big 12 Conference with an average of eight yards per pass attempt.


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).

  Fifteen Cowboys have caught passes in 2009, including six players who had never caught a pass at OSU.

  True freshman Tracy Moore is averaging 17.7 yards per catch with three TDs on his 10 catches.

  Sophomore transfer Dameron Fooks has three touchdowns on his nine career catches.

  Eleven different Cowboys have a reception of at least 19 yards.

  Eight Cowboys have touchdown catches this season. Five caught scoring passes all of last season.


The Kiddie Corps

Of Oklahoma State's 153 pass receptions this season, 91 have been made by freshmen or sophomores. Those same two classes have accounted for 12 of OSU's 16 touchdown receptions with the other four scores belonging to Dez Bryant.


The New Contender

Toss a new name into the hat when it comes to balloting for the all-Big 12 team. Keith Toston's 206-yard rushing effort at Iowa State has made him a prime contender for postseason honors while also putting him on the brink of becoming the latest entry into OSU's 1,000-yard club.

• Toston has run for 882 yards thus far and averages 98 yards per game to rank second in the league.

• His 206 yards in Ames represent the best game by a Big 12 back this season and ranks as the 20th best game in the country.

• His 69-yard run in the fourth quarter against ISU is the fourth longest run from scrimmage by a Big 12 player in '09 and the longest run in conference play.


It's Worth Noting

Keith Toston's numbers are more impressive when considering he had just 21 carries for 121 yards with a touchdown after the first two games of 2009 while serving at Kendall Hunter's backup. Over the last seven games he has 134 carries for 761 yards and eight touchdowns for an average of 108.7 yards per game.


History In The Making

Despite OSU's deep tradition at running back, only twice in its history has the school produced a 1,000-yard rusher in three straight seasons. Never before have three different running backs reached 1,000 yards in three straight seasons. Keith Toston is just 118 yards away from making that happen. In 2007, OSU got 1,272 yards from all-Big 12 running back Dantrell Savage. In 2008, the Cowboys got 1,555 yards from all-Big 12 and All-America running back Kendall Hunter. The last time OSU had three straight 1,000-yard runners was in 2002-03-04. Tatum Bell reached the mark the first two years, followed by Vernand Morency in 2004.


Tracking Toston

Keith Toston entered the season with 1,507 career rushing yards on 246 career carries. He also entered the season with 246 career receiving yards. He has 209 receiving yards through the nine games of 2009. He has rushed for more than 100 yards three times in five games.  For his career:

• Toston has now rushed for 2,389 yards to rank No. 11 all-time at OSU. He is 14 yards behind Kendall Hunter.

• Toston has now scored 164 points to rank 16th in school history.


Two For 2,000

Keith Toston (2,389 career rushing yards) joins Kendall Hunter (2,403 career rushing yards) as current 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 1,756 yards.


Hunter Season

At Iowa State, junior Kendall Hunter saw his first extensive action since the Houston game. The 2008 first-team All-American ran for 47 yards on nine carries. He also had a 12-yard reception and definitely provided a spark for the OSU offense. The effort put Hunter over the 2,400-yard mark in career rushing (2,403), for the 10th best total in OSU history. 


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.


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.


The Rankings

Oklahoma State enters the Texas Tech game ranked No. 17 in the AP poll. OSU has now appeared in the AP poll for 23 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. It is OSU's third longest stay in the polls in school history.


Consecutive Weeks

29 - Sept. 11, 1984 through Dec. 10, 1985

26 - Oct. 6, 1987 through Jan. 3, 1989

23 - Sept. 28, 2008 - current


Polling Numbers

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 12-6 when playing as a member of the AP top 25. Five of the six losses have come against ranked opponents and four 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 added to the single-game record again against Texas with 58,516 on hand.


Sweet 17

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.


The New Mark

The Big 12 Conference has a new record holder for career kickoff return yardage. With his efforts against Texas, Perrish Cox upped his record total to 2,629 yards. Cox currently....

  Is tied for second among active NCAA players with his yardage total.

  Is third in the NCAA with four career kickoff returns for touchdowns

  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 571 career punt return yards


Sharp Start

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. Nine games into his career, Sharp has answered lots of questions.

• He enters the Tech game seventh nationally with a punting average of 44.9 yards.

• He has 12 punts in excess of 50 yards, including a pair of 61-yarders (vs. Georgia and Rice).

• Of his 36 punts, 15 have been downed inside the opponent's 20 (with only two touchbacks).

• Oklahoma State is No. 14 nationally in net punting with a 38.6-yard average.

• He has been named a mid-season All-American by

• While handling Cowboy kickoff duties, Sharp has recorded 30 touchbacks on 59 tries. OSU had 13 touchbacks all of last season on 96 kickoffs.

• Sharp leads the country in touchbacks on kickoffs.


The Rushing Race

Three current Cowboys, Kendall Hunter, Zac Robinson and Kendall Hunter, are all moving up OSU's career rushing charts. Entering the Iowa State game, Kendall Hunter is No. 10 all-time at OSU with 2,403 rushing yards. Checking in at No. 11 all-time is Keith Toston with 2,389 yards while No. 24 is Zac Robinson with 1,756 rushing yards.


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.






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