Game Notes - Cowboys Host Texas Tech

Ryan Robinson

Ryan Robinson

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Nov. 11, 2012

No. 23/25 Texas Tech at RV/No. 24 Oklahoma State
Nov. 17, 2012 :: 2:30 p.m. CT :: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218 cap.)

TV: FSN (Ron Thulin, Brian Baldinger and Jim Knox)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
National Radio: None
Internet: okstate.com
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. TBD, XM Ch. TBD
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Home Finale
Oklahoma State will play its final home game of the 2012 season Saturday when it hosts the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 2:30 p.m. in Boone Pickens Stadium. It marks the earliest the Cowboys have closed a home season since 2007 when OSU concluded home play on Nov. 10 against Kansas. OSU will end the regular season with road trips to Oklahoma (Nov. 24) and Baylor (Dec. 1).

Television
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech will battle on FSN with Ron Thulin calling the action. Brian Baldinger will provide analysis and Jim Knox will report from the sidelines.

Poll Watch
Texas Tech comes to Stillwater ranked No. 24 by the Associated Press while OSU is the first team out of the rankings with 79 AP votes. OSU is 11-17 against the Top 25 under Mike Gundy. However, OSU has knocked off a ranked opponent each year of Gundy's tenure. His first win against a ranked opponent came in his first season as head coach when the Cowboys upset No. 13 Texas Tech in Stillwater in 2005.

Senior Day
Oklahoma State's home crowd will bid farewell to 18 seniors on Saturday afternoon in a pregame ceremony on the turf of Boone Pickens Stadium.

Seniors Again Next Year
A pair of Cowboys who will not be going through Senior Day are receiver Tracy Moore and running back Kye Staley. Both of those student-athletes are planning to return next year. Moore suffered an injury at Kansas and qualifies for a redshirt season. Staley has been awarded a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after losing two seasons to injury early in his career.

By The Numbers
If Kye Staley and Tracy Moore return to Oklahoma State next season, it would mean that every touchdown scored by OSU in 2012 will return in 2013 if every student-athlete with remaining eligibility returns as scheduled.

Junior Day
A couple of Cowboy players who are juniors in eligibility but seniors academically will also participate in Senior Night in the form of defensive back Yves Batoba and receiver Colby Ellis. Batoba is graduating in December. He has a double major of sports management and marketing. Ellis will have a degree in May in health education and promotion.

Seniors With Class
Regardless of what the remaining games have in store for the current Cowboys, the 2012 senior class will go down as one of the most successful in school history. Entering the West Virginia game, the seniors have a cumulative record of 38-10. That win total is the second best mark ever at OSU, behind only last year's group, which won 41 games. By winning all of its remaining games, the current class of seniors would eclipse that total to set a new school record.

Senior Lineup
A quick look at each Cowboy senior:
Receiver Isaiah Anderson
Is in his fifth season at OSU ... Senior campaign has been interrupted by injuries ... Has 13 career starts.
Defensive Lineman Cooper Bassett
One of the 2012 team leaders ... Has started games on offense and defense ... Enjoying his best season at OSU.
Cornerback Brodrick Brown
Having a strong second half of 2012 ... All Big 12 as a junior ... Leads OSU with 36 consecutive starts.
Lineman DeJuan Davis
Has worked on both sides of the ball during his career and is a special teams performer in 2012.
Linebacker Alex Elkins
A playmaker on the OSU defense, Elkins enters the Tech game leading the team with 54 tackles.
Center Evan Epstein
A transfer from Air Force, Epstein earned his way to the top of the depth chart as a fifth year senior.
Linebacker Tyler Fields
Has earned playing time as special teamer and is a scout team standout.
Holder Wes Harlan
Has had a flawless career as the OSU holder on field goals and extra points.
Defensive Lineman Maurice Hayes
A defensive tackle who has seen varsity action throughout his two-year career, including in the Fiesta Bowl.
Tight End Justin Horton
Was becoming a big contributor in the receiving game when injury ended his senior season prematurely.
Defensive Lineman Jarid King
Another standout on the scout team, he has also seen some game action during his career.
Defensive Back Andrae May
A Cowboy corner who has played throughout his career and is currently bouncing back from an injury.
Defensive Lineman Nigel Nicholas
Putting the wraps on a very solid career as a Cowboy defensive lineman.
Fullback David Paulsen
Has lined up in various positions on the offensive side and seen steady action throughout his four years on special teams.
Defensive End Ryan Robinson
A two-year player who is in his first season as a starter.
Offensive Lineman Jonathan Rush
Has overcome a couple of major injuries and is in his second year as a starter.
Kicker/Punter Quinn Sharp
Perhaps the nation's best special teams player.
Offensive Lineman Lane Taylor
A four-year starter and an anchor of the Cowboy offense throughout his career.

The Tech Series
Oklahoma State is 15-21-3 all-time against Texas Tech. However, the Cowboys have won the last three meetings and four of the last five between the two schools. Some notes from the series:
• The schools alternated wins and losses from 2002 through 2009 with the home team winning each game. That trend ended when the Cowboys picked up wins in Lubbock in 2010 and 2011 to build their current three-game winning streak in the series.
• Texas Tech's last win in Stillwater came in 2001. The Red Raiders have dropped their last four at OSU.
• A win by OSU would give the Cowboys their first four-game winning streak against Texas Tech since 1942 through 1945.
• The schools first met in 1935. They have played multiple games in every decade since then, but the annual meetings didn't start until the formation of the Big 12 Conference.
• OSU and Tech have met three times on neutral fields. In 1943 they played in Oklahoma City, in 1988 the game was played in Tokyo and in 1996 they met at Texas Stadium in Irving.
• The Tokyo meeting will always be special to OSU fans. Early in the day, Barry Sanders was announced as the school's first Heisman Trophy winner. Hours later he rushed for a school-record 332 yards in a wild 45-42 win over the Red Raiders.
• During the Big 12 era, OSU is 7-9 vs. Tech. The Cowboys dropped six of their first seven games to the Raiders as conference rivals.

The Last Meeting
Oklahoma State was a 66-6 winner over Texas Tech last season in Lubbock as the OSU defense held the nation's No. 11 Red Raider offense off the scoreboard. Tech's points came on a fumble return.
• Oklahoma State sprinted to a 49-0 halftime lead and ended the game with a 637-270 advantage in total offense.
Josh Stewart scored his first two career touchdowns (on a 27-yard pass from Brandon Weeden and on a three-yard fumble return of a kickoff).
• Weeden passed for 423 yards and two OSU receivers reached the 100-yard mark (Josh Cooper had six catches for 106 yards and Justin Blackmon had six for 103).
• The OSU defense never allowed Tech to enter the Red Zone as the Raiders never advanced deeper than the Cowboy 21.
• The defeat was the largest in Texas Tech history.

Connections
• OSU graduate assistant Bryson Oliver is a Tech graduate and a former student assistant with the Red Raiders.
• OSU graduate assistant Ty Linder was a two-year letterwinner at Tech (06-07) as a linebacker and served on the coaching staff in some capacity from 2008 through 2011.
• OSU recruiting coordinator Johnny Barr coached safeties at Texas Tech in 2003 under Mike Leach.
• There are 66 Texans on the OSU roster.

The Texas Tradition
Oklahoma State has won nine of its last 10 games against competition from the state of Texas. The Cowboys are 12-2 in their last 14 conference games against Texas schools. This season that record is 1-1 with a win over TCU and a loss to Texas. In 2010 and 2011 OSU was 4-0 against Texas schools in Big 12 play. It was the first time in the history of the league that the Cowboys had completed the Texas grand slam.

Home Fires
Oklahoma State is 28-6 at home since the beginning of the 2008 season.

The Final Numbers
For the second consecutive season, Oklahoma State has set a new record for season ticket tales. OSU sold 48,876 in 2012.

Big 12 Roll
OSU has been one of the Big 12 Conference's best teams since 2008. Oklahoma State is 4-2 in Big 12 play in 2012.
• OSU has won 15 of its last 20 Big 12 games, 18 of its last 23, 21 of its last 27 and 23 of its last 31.
• OSU head coach Mike Gundy began his career with a 4-12 record vs. the Big 12. Since that time he and the Cowboys have gone 33-14 against the league, raising his overall Big 12 mark to 37-26.

West Virginia Recap
Oklahoma State is coming off a 55-34 win over West Virginia at Boone Pickens Stadium as the Cowboys used a 14-0 fourth quarter to put away a game in which they never trailed.
• In his first career start, quarterback Clint Chelf passed for four touchdowns and 292 yards as OSU used a third different starting quarterback to win a Big 12 game in 2012.
• Sophomore Josh Stewart had 172 receiving yards for the 20th best game in school history. He also had 13 catches for the second best single-game total in school history (tying his own mark set earlier this season against Iowa State). He had a 46-yard TD run to go with his two touchdown receptions.
• OSU got a 96-yard kickoff return for score by Justin Gilbert. It was the 12th longest kickoff return in school history.
• For all intents and purposes, OSU's defense allowed 10 second-half points. West Virginia scored seven points on a one-yard drive following OSU's lone turnover of the game.
• The Cowboys had 10 tackles for loss, their best team total since recording 11 at Arizona on Sept. 8.
• The OSU special teams were truly special with Gilbert's kickoff return for a score. Also pitching in was Quinn Sharp, who hit both of his field-goal attempts and booted a 74-yard punt. He averaged 43.3 yards on five kicks and backed up West Virginia inside the 20 three times.
• OSU recovered a fumble on a kickoff and a punt (both turnovers led to points), and bottled up the Mountaineers' dangerous return game. WVU's Tavon Austin had two punt returns for a total of 12 yards and two kickoff returns for a total of 20 yards.

Bowl Barrier
The win against West Virginia makes OSU bowl eligible for the seventh straight season, continuing OSU's school record streak.

One More Win...
Another win by Oklahoma State this season would give the Cowboys...
• At least seven wins in a seventh straight season - continuing a school record.
• At least five conference wins for a fifth straight season - also continuing a school record.
• A plus-.500 conference record for a fifth straight season - tying the school record set from 1984 through 1988.
• A 12-1 home record over the last two seasons for the best home mark since 1931 and 1932 when Oklahoma A&M was 11-0-1.

The Turnover Story
Oklahoma State won the turnover battle against West Virginia by a 2-1 count one week after losing the turnover battle, 5-0, at Kansas State. In OSU's three losses, the Cowboys have lost the turnover battle, 10-1. In the Cowboys' six victories, Oklahoma State has lost the cumulative turnover battle by just a 10-9 count.

Nifty at 50
Oklahoma State enters the Texas Tech game third nationally in scoring with 43.9 points per game. However, Saturday's win over West Virginia ended a streak of five straight games below the 40-point mark for OSU. It was the longest scoring "slump" by the Cowboys since 2009. Ironically, during most of the 2012 season, OSU has continued to lead the nation in total offense. The Cowboys head into this week's game fourth in that category with an average of 561 yards per game. In 88 games under Mike Gundy, OSU has...
• Scored at least 30 points in 69 games
• Scored at least 40 points in 39 games
• Scored at least 50 points in 21 games
• Scored at least 60 points in eight games
• Scored at least 70 points twice
• Scored at least 80 points once

Door Number Three
Clint Chelf became the third Cowboy to start and win a Big 12 game this season as injuries have forced the Cowboys into team mode behind center. He responded with a stellar game.
• His lone turnover came on a pass that was deflected off the hands of an OSU wideout.
• Since taking over for Wes Lunt in the Kansas State game, Chelf is 38-of-58 through the air with five touchdowns, two interceptions and 525 yards.
• In Saturday's decisive fourth quarter, he was 5-of-7 with 78 yards.
• Chelf led OSU on three straight scoring drives after the Mountaineers had closed to within 38-34.

Injury Wire
The last time the Cowboys fought the revolving door at quarterback was back in 2005, during Mike Gundy's first year as the OSU head coach. During that season, Donovan Woods started two games at quarterback before being moved to defense, where he became a multi-year starter. Bobby Reid started five games and Al Peña started four games in `05. Peña and Reid both saw action in seven games during the season.

The Stewart File
Regardless of the quarterback behind center, Josh Stewart continues to be the receiver of choice for OSU. He is coming off a career game against West Virginia. His 13 catches are tied for the second most in game in school history. His 172 receiving yards set a new career high and is the 20th best single-game total in school history and he added a 46-yard rushing touchdown for a score to go with his two touchdown catches.
• Stewart already has the ninth best single-season receptions total in school history with 69. His numbers are tracking toward a 100-catch season.
• He enters the Texas Tech game eighth in the country with 7.7 catches per game.
• Over the last four games, he has 40 catches covering 473 yards.
• Saturday's game was his third this season with more than 100 receiving yards.
• He leads OSU in catches (69) and receiving yards (838) and is tied for the lead in TD catches with five.
• His season numbers could be much higher. In the season-opening 84-0 win over Savannah State, Stewart had just one catch covering six yards.
• Stewart has a reception of at least 25 yards in seven games.
• He is No. 20 nationally with 93.1 receiving yards per game.

Sophomore Slump Buster
Josh Stewart's 838 receiving yards rank fourth all-time among OSU's sophomore pass catchers. He trails only Justin Blackmon's school and NCAA record of 1,782 yards in 2010, Dez Bryant's 1,480 yards in 2008 and Rashaun Woods' 1,023 yards in 2001.

Hays Making Plays
In February, one of the last high school seniors added to the Cowboy recruiting class was Austin Hays. The freshman from San Antonio Reagan High School didn't grab the headlines, but he has become one of the most productive freshmen in the Cowboy class.
• In his college debut, Hays had eight receptions for 77 yards with a touchdown against Savannah State, but injury and illness forced him to miss the next three games.
• He returned to catch one pass for nine yards in the rain at Kansas and one for nine yards at home against Iowa State.
• His lone reception against TCU went for 41 yards and set up a score.
• His best game to date has been at Kansas State. He caught a 54-yard TD pass from Wes Lunt in a true-freshman-to-true-freshman connection and he ended the day with four catches for 81 yards.
• He caught just three passes for 49 yards against West Virginia, but his 36-yard grab in the fourth quarter helped key a scoring drive that gave OSU a two-touchdown lead.
• He leads the Cowboy freshmen with 18 catches covering 266 yards (14.8 yards per catch) and the two scores, despite playing in just six games.
• Hays and quarterback Wes Lunt are the only two true freshmen to start a game for the Cowboys in 2012. Hays has now started three straight games.

Jackson's Big Hits
Junior college transfer Blake Jackson has turned into a big-play machine for the youthful Cowboy offense as he averages 21.1 yards per reception for the second best average in the country.
• Through nine games, Jackson has 25 catches, but they cover 580 yards.
• Against TCU, he caught three passes covering 94 yards, including a 46-yard reception.
• The 94-yard outing vs. TCU came on the heels of a game against Iowa State in which he had four catches for 96 yards.
• His lone catch against Texas went for 26 yards.
• He had a 33-yard catch against Louisiana in a game in which he had nine receptions for a career-best 112 yards.
• His coming-out party came at Arizona when he had seven catches for 105 yards.
• Jackson has had a catch of at least 26 yards in five games.
• Jackson's lone reception against West Virginia went for a 48-yard touchdown.
• Like Josh Stewart, his season numbers could be better. He did not have a catch in the season-opening 84-0 win over Savannah State.

Moore of Everything
Junior receiver Charlie Moore's season numbers may not be too dazzling by Cowboy standards with 29 catches covering 481 yards, but his continued development remains one of the bright storylines of the season.
• Through the first five games of 2012, Moore had yet to reach a cumulative total of 100 receiving yards for the year. But over the last six games, he has 441 receiving yards with five touchdowns.
• He has cracked the 100-yard mark twice in the last four games with a season-high 135 vs. Kansas State.
• His 72-yard TD against Kansas, followed by his 74-yard TD grab against Iowa State, made him the first Cowboy player ever with at least a 72-yard catch in consecutive games. Those two receptions are the longest of the year by the Cowboys.

The Moore Streak
Charlie Moore has a touchdown catch in each of the last five games. It is the longest such streak by a Cowboy since Justin Blackmon had a TD grab in 10 regular-season games of 2011. Moore's five TD catches this season are tied with Josh Stewart for the team lead.

What Might Have Been
Oklahoma State entered the season with two proven starters at receiver in Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson. However, injuries have limited the playing time of both seniors. Another senior, tight end Justin Horton, has been lost to a season-ending injury. As a result, OSU's 2012 receiving corps has been nearly a total rebuild from 2011. Moore has played in just four games and has 259 of OSU's 3,139 receiving yards. Anderson has 10 catches covering 123 yards.

Century Mark Times Four
For the first time in school history, OSU has had four different players record 100-yard receiving games in the same season with Charlie Moore, Josh Stewart, Blake Jackson and Tracy Moore all accomplishing the feat. In fact, Jackson and Charlie Moore have reached the 100-yard mark twice in 2012 while Stewart has done it three times.

An All-America Start
As the Cowboys' 2012 season enters its stretch run, junior running back Joseph Randle has ascended into All-America territory. A look at Randle through nine games:
• He is the Big 12's leading rusher and No. 17 in the country, averaging 112 yards per game.
• He is averaging 5.14 yards per carry in 2012 and has reached the 100-yard rushing mark in six of the season's nine games. His six 100-yard rushing games lead the Big 12.
• He is 11th among all active players with 35 career rushing touchdowns.
• Randle has 35 career rushing touchdowns in 35 college games. The numbers are more impressive when considering he began his career as a backup to All-American Kendall Hunter.
• He is third in the Big 12 Conference in all-purpose yards (131 ypg), despite not participating in the punt return or kick return game.
• Against TCU, Randle carried the ball 32 times. It was the first time a Cowboy back had 30 rushes in a game since Keith Toston against Colorado in 2009.

The Two-Timers
Joseph Randle reached rare Cowboy air against West Virginia. His 74 rushing yards raised his season total to 1,008. He becomes just the sixth Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in more than one season. Randle ran for 1,668 yards as a sophomore.
• Two-time All-American and 1977 Heisman Trophy runner-up Terry Miller leads all Cowboys with three 1,000-yard seasons.
• The Cowboys with two 1,000-yard seasons include Thurman Thomas, David Thompson, Tatum Bell, Kendall Hunter and now Randle.
• OSU has now had a 1,000-yard rusher for a sixth straight season and nine in the last 11 seasons.

A Look Around
• Oklahoma State has reached the 600-yard mark four times in nine games, despite playing (and starting) three quarterbacks, including two freshmen.
• OSU set a school record with 742 yards of total offense vs. Louisiana.
• OSU opened the season with three straight games of more than 600 yards of offense for the first time in school history.
• By the end of the third period, OSU had accumulated more total yards against Iowa State than the Cyclones had allowed in any GAME all season.
• Oklahoma State gained 504 yards on a Kansas State team that was allowing just 340 yards and OSU's 30 points against Kansas State are the most allowed by the Wildcats this season.
• Oklahoma State is No. 4 nationally in passing offense, averaging 348.8 yards per game and No. 22 in rushing offense (212.3 yards per game).

Did You Know?
With 75 percent of the 2012 season in the books, Oklahoma State's current offense could finish the season as the most productive (yardage wise) in school history. The current Cowboys average 561.1 yards of offense per game. The school record for total offense per game was set last year with 545.8 yards per game.

The New Trend
Oklahoma State is trying to finish a third straight season with a total offense average in excess of more than 500 yards per game. Prior to 2010, that feat had only been accomplished once in school history. In 1988, with Mike Gundy at quarterback and Barry Sanders on his way to the Heisman, OSU averaged 515.2 yards of offense per game.

Top OSU Offenses
Season -- YPG
1. 2012 - 561.1
2. 2011 - 545.8
3. 1988 - 515.2

Seconding the Motion
Oklahoma State's defense continues to be strong down the stretch of games. OSU has outscored its last four opponents after halftime, 78-30.

The Fourth Quarter
Over the last four games, OSU has allowed a total of six points in the fourth quarter and has outscored the opposition during that time, 44-6. The lone points allowed came on a pair of Kansas State field goals. On those two drives, Kansas State covered just 27 yards of offense due to kick and punt returns that set it up deep in OSU territory. OSU has not allowed a touchdown in the fourth quarter since the Kansas game.

Inside the Defensive Numbers
A closer looks at Oklahoma State's defensive numbers:
• OSU has allowed scores on just 17 of the last 70 possessions. Those numbers include a one-yard scoring drive by West Virginia, and three scoring drives by Kansas State of less than 35 yards.
• Over the last five games, OSU's opposition has converted just 32 times on 99 third and fourth-down conversion tries.
• OSU ranks second in the Big 12, behind only TCU, in opponent third-down conversion percentage (32.89 percent).

TFL
Oklahoma State's 10 tackles for loss against West Virginia lifted OSU to No. 34 nationally in that category with 6.56 per game. That total is third in the Big 12 behind Texas and West Virginia.

The Circle of Trust
Oklahoma State has been a warm and nurturing place for quarterbacks. The Cowboy quarterbacks have been among the best-protected in the country during the Mike Gundy years at OSU. Despite three new starters on the offensive line in 2012, that trend is continuing.

Two Minute Warnings
Oklahoma State has had a scoring drive of less than two minutes in 36 straight games. In fact, OSU has 33 scoring drives of less than two minutes just nine games in 2012. The Cowboys also have 23 scoring drives of five plays or less.

Sharp Performances
Over the last four seasons, Oklahoma State has had a Ray Guy Award winner (Matt Fodge in 2008) and a Lou Groza Award winner (Dan Bailey in 2010). Current Cowboy punter/kicker/kickoff specialist Quinn Sharp is worthy of mention with those Cowboys.
• He is the reigning Big 12 special teams player of the year.
• He has already earned first-team All-America honors as both a punter and a kicker (in two different seasons).
• A year ago, Sharp was third nationally with a punting average of 46.3 yards and he was seventh nationally in field goal percentage (22-of-25).

Hard to Find
Quinn Sharp is averaging 45.6 yards per punt. That number would rank No. 7 in the country if he had enough punts to appear in the NCAA statistics.

The Net is the Thing
Punting averages are great, but net punting is the bottom line in football. OSU enters the West Virginia game fifth in the country in that category with an average net of 41.6 yards. OSU has allowed just 83 punt return yards all season and has just two touchbacks.

The NCAA's Best
For his career, Quinn Sharp averages 45.75 yards per punt. That number tops all active NCAA players.

Sharp at a Glance
• He is a touchback machine on kickoffs. He already has 57 this season after leading the nation in that category each of the last three years.
• Sharp is No. 5 nationally in scoring with 11.9 points per game.
• Sharp's career field-goal percentage of 84.0 is third in the country.
• Sharp is No. 9 all-time at OSU with 252 career points.
• Sharp has 66 career punts in excess of 50 yards, 17 that traveled 60 yards or further and four longer than 70 yards, including a 74-yarder vs. West Virginia.
• Sharp leads the country with 2.22 made field-goals per game in 2012.
• He has converted all 20 of his career field-goal attempts inside 30 yards.
• Sharp has made 20 field goals this season. He had 22 in 13 games in 2011.
• Sharp has connected on 14 straight field-goal attempts, dating back to a missed 52-yarder in the thunderstorm at Kansas.

The Other Side Of Special Teams
Oklahoma State has a great specials teams tradition with a long history of standout punters, placekickers and return men. Justin Gilbert's name is firmly implanted as part of that tradition. His 96-yard kick return for a touchdown against West Virginia was the fifth of his career. It's a new school record (breaking the old mark of Perrish Cox) and is tied for the most ever by a Big 12 return man with Brandon Banks of Kansas State.
• Gilbert's five career kickoff returns for scores rank second among active players.
• For his career he is averaging 27.81 yards per return.
• He has 2,030 career return yards to rank second only Cox and his 2,804.

Gilbert And His Friend
Justin Gilbert's 96-yard TD return against West Virginia came on the heels of Desmond Roland's 80-yard kickoff return for a score at Kansas State. It's the first time in history that OSU has returned a kickoff for a touchdown in consecutive games.

Starting With Starts
Against West Virginia, offensive lineman Brandon Webb and quarterback Clint Chelf became the 16th and 17th OSU players this season to make their first career start.

Taylor-Made
For the second time in his career, guard Lane Taylor is the foundation of a completely rebuilt offensive line. Taylor became one of the big stories in 2009 when he came from off of the depth chart to earn a starting spot at guard. In 2010, he was the only returning offensive line starter for a young Cowboy team that went on to finish 11-2 and earn a co-championship in the Big 12 South. And in 2012, he is once again the only O-Line starter returning from the previous season.

The Young Influence
Oklahoma State has been one of the best teams in the country at forcing turnovers since the arrival of Bill Young as defensive coordinator in 2009. OSU is off to a slow start in the turnover department in 2012, but the Cowboys are second in the country in forced turnovers since 2009.

Turnovers Forced (2009-Present)
1. Oregon - 120
2. Oklahoma State - 119
3. Boise State - 117

Winning Ways
Oklahoma State has been one of America's most successful college football programs since the beginning of the 2008 season.
• Since 2008, OSU has 47 wins, tied for ninth in the country.
• Since 2009, OSU is ninth with a record of 38-10.
• Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Cowboys are eighth with a record of 29-6.
• Since the start of 2011, OSU is 18-4 for the 10th best record in the country.

Gundy in Perspective
Head coach Mike Gundy is in his eighth season as head coach at his alma mater. He is 65-33 and is the reigning national coach of the year (Paul "Bear" Bryant and Eddie Robinson awards) and he was named as the 2010 Big 12 coach of the year.
• OSU was 12-15 under Gundy after 27 games, but has gone 53-18 since then, including a 38-10 record since 2009 and 29-6 since the opening of 2010.
• Gundy is now the winningest coach in school history with 65 wins.
• 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 now North Carolina, and Tim Beckman at Toledo and now Illinois).
• Under Gundy, OSU has gone to six 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 four straight seasons (yet another first).
• The 23 wins during 2010 and 2011 are most ever by OSU in a two-year stretch.
• Under Gundy, OSU has reached the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for a school-best four straight seasons.
• Last season, OSU reached its highest ranking ever when it checked in at No. 2 in both major polls. The Cowboys eventually finished third in the final AP poll, USA Today poll and in the final BCS standings.

Quarterbacking 101
The Cowboy freshman quarterbacks, Wes Lunt (true freshman) and J.W. Walsh (a redshirt freshman), have been impressive as they have both lost parts of their seasons to injury but have still led a young Cowboy team to a 5-3 record.
• Both quarterbacks have rallied OSU from deficits to win a game. Lunt rallied the troops from 14-0 down in the TCU win and OSU trailed Iowa State twice in the first half before Walsh led the Pokes to a 31-10 victory. Walsh also led OSU to two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to overcome a deficit against Texas, only to see the Longhorns score the winning points with 29 seconds remaining in the game.
• Walsh has two 300-yard passing games and a 415-yard effort (vs. Iowa State), while Lunt has two 300-plus outings and set a school freshman record with his 436-yard effort at Arizona in his first career road start.
• As a team, Oklahoma State is No. 22 nationally in passing efficiency (153.56), despite starting three different quarterbacks.

The Throne Room
For the first time since 1977, Oklahoma State is defending a conference title. The Cowboys claimed the Big 12 championship last year with an 8-1 conference record. The 12-1 season included a Fiesta Bowl victory over No. 4 Stanford. OSU concluded the year with its highest finish ever in the Associated Press, coaches' poll, and BCS Standings (third in all three). Oklahoma State just missed an appearance in the national championship game as Alabama edged out OSU for the second spot in BCS national championship game by the closest margin (between second and third) in the history of the process.

Seniors Among Seniors
Four members of the OSU roster are playing with a college degree in hand. Center Evan Epstein has a degree in business management. Receiver Isaiah Anderson has earned his degree in education, defensive lineman Cooper Bassett has a degree in health promotion and holder Wes Harlan has a degree in business marketing.

A Second Ever
Oklahoma State had some historical numbers at Arizona. The game was the just the second in school history in which the Cowboys had a 400-yard passer (Lunt passed for 436 yards), a 100-yard rusher (Joseph Randle rushed for 123 yards) and two 100-yard receivers (106 for Tracy Moore and 105 for Blake Jackson). The only other time that OSU had four players reach triple digits in those categories was in last seasons' 66-6 win at Texas Tech. In that contest, Brandon Weeden passed for 423 yards, Hershel Sims rushed for 109 yards, Justin Blackmon had 103 receiving yards and Josh Cooper had 106 receiving yards.

Gundy's Tenure
Mike Gundy is just the fifth coach in Oklahoma State history to reach his eighth season as the Cowboy head coach and the first to do it since Pat Jones coached his 11th and final season in 1994. Only Gundy, Jones and Cliff Speegle have coached at least eight years at the school in the post-World War II era. Gundy's tenure is now the fifth longest in the new Big 12.

 

 

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