Dec. 2, 2013
Television: ABC Sports (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Shannon Spake)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
National Radio: Touchdown Radio
Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 113 | XM Channel 194
The Oklahoma State football team (10-1 overall; 7-1 Big 12) hosts Oklahoma (9-2 overall; 6-2 Big 12) as part of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Bedlam Series at 11 a.m. CT Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium.
On the Air
Saturday's game can be seen live on ABC, with Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Shannon Spake on the call. The game will also be carried live on the Cowboy Radio Network, with Dave Hunziker handling play-by-play, John Holcomb providing analysis and Robert Allen reporting from the sideline. Touchdown Radio will be on hand to broadcast the game to a national radio audience.
In The Polls
Oklahoma State enters Saturday's game ranked No. 6 in this week's Associated Press poll, No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the BCS Standings. Oklahoma is No. 18 by the AP, No. 15 by the coaches and No. 17 in the BCS.
An Oklahoma State Win Would...
Clinch its second Big 12 championship in the last three years.
Make this year's senior class the winningest in school history with 42 wins over the last four years.
Be its second over Oklahoma in the last three years. The Cowboys beat the Sooners, 44-10, in OU's most recent visit to Boone Pickens Stadium in 2011.
Be its 10th straight home win, dating back to last season's loss to Texas. That would tie the school record for longest home winning streak, matching the mark set from Sept. 21, 2002-Oct. 18, 2003.
Improve the Cowboys to 18-1 in their last 19 games in Boone Pickens Stadium, dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
Improve the Cowboys to 10-3 in their last 13 games against ranked opponents.
Cap a 6-0 season at home, marking the 12th perfect home season in school history and the second of the Mike Gundy era (2011).
Be its 51st in the last five seasons.
Be its eighth straight Big 12 win, marking only the second time in school history that OSU has won eight straight conference games. The Cowboys won 10 straight Missouri Valley Conference games from 1929-34.
Improve the Cowboys to 11-1 on the year, marking the third time in the last four seasons that OSU has hit the 11-win mark. Prior to Mike Gundy taking over as head coach in 2005, Oklahoma State had no 11-win seasons and only three 10-win seasons in 102 seasons of football - 1984, 1987 and 1988. Gundy was the starting quarterback on the 1987 and 1988 squads.
Be its eighth conference win of the year, matching the school record set in 2011.
Oklahoma State honors its senior class Saturday. Over the past four years, the group has compiled a 41-9 record, matching the senior class of 2011 as the winningest in school history. The class of 2013 is just one victory away from standing alone on OSU's all-time list for wins over a four-year span. Those who will be recognized:
Calvin Barnett, DT - 2012 First-Team All-Big 12 performer
Clint Chelf, QB - 2012 Heart of Dallas Bowl MVP and central figure in Oklahoma State's offensive turnaround in 2013
Davidell Collins, DL - Played several key snaps each of the past three years.
Zack Craig, S - Special teams standout blocked two punts in a game against Texas Tech in 2012 and returned one for a touchdown. Saw extensive action at safety in 2013
Shamiel Gary, SS - One of the team's leading tacklers each of the past two years
Justin Gilbert, CB - Finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award given to the nation's top defensive back. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Is one kickoff return touchdown away from matching the career NCAA record of seven. Has eight non-offensive touchdowns in his career. Viewed as an elite NFL prospect.
John Goodlett, WR - One-time walk-on who earned a scholarship through hard work, character and performance
Parker Graham, OL - Saturday marks his 30th career start. NFL prospect.
Deion Imade, LB - Special teams standout who played both safety and linebacker during his career
Blake Jackson, WR - Injured most of 2013, but led the 2012 squad with 19.9 yards per reception
Tyler Johnson, DE - Became a significant factor on the OSU defensive line at the end of 2012 and is turning in an All-Big 12-caliber year in 2013
Caleb Lavey, LB - One of the clear leaders of the team. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year candidate
Shaun Lewis, LB - A rock of leadership on the team. Earned a starting spot midway through his freshman year and has started every game since. All-Big 12-level player.
Daytawion Lowe, FS - Strong leader on the team is a first-team All-Big 12-caliber player. Leads all active Cowboys with 259 career tackles
Joe Mitchell, LB - Athletic, productive contributor on special teams and at linebacker throughout his career.
Charlie Moore, WR - Has 11 touchdown catches during the last two years. Produced several memorable moments in big games
Tracy Moore, WR - Leads the team with six touchdown receptions and 595 receiving yards. An important cog in one of America's best offenses since 2010.
Taylor Moss, WR - Valued member of the scout team who lost 2013 to injury
Tyler Patmon, CB - Perhaps the most valuable addition to the team this season. Three-year starter at Kansas who transferred to OSU after earning his degree.
Michael Reichenstein, P - A steady performer as the team's holder on placements the last two seasons
Nick Rockwell, WR - Significant contributor on special teams is known for his outstanding attitude
Anthony Rogers, DT - Showed noticeable improvement during his career and played key snaps on the interior of the defensive line
Connor Sinko, LS - Never had an errant snap on placements in three years
Jeremy Smith, RB - Another key performer in one of the nation's most explosive offenses since 2010. Ranks sixth on OSU's career rushing touchdowns list.
Kye Staley, FB - Former top high school player in the state of Oklahoma who overcame what many thought would be a career-ending injury to become an All-Big 12 performer
Steve Sumpter, LB - Transfer from Missouri Southern who cracked into the travel squad in 2013
Andrew Suter, LS - Never had an errant snap on punts in three and a half years. Recovered a fumble in the 2010 Alamo Bowl win over Arizona
Brandon Webb, OL - Earned a spot in the starting lineup midway through 2012 and has started every game since
Notable Streaks Entering the Oklahoma Game
Oklahoma State has scored 20 or more points in 50 consecutive games dating back to the start of the 2010 season. That streak is the longest active streak in the country and the second-longest since Division I split into the FBS/FCS in 1978, trailing only USC's 63 straight games of 20 or more points from Sept. 2, 2002 through Nov. 25, 2006.
OSU has at least one touchdown drive of faster than two minutes in each of its last 33 games and in 49 of its last 50 contests.
Dating back to 2005, the Cowboys have won 19 consecutive games when not committing a turnover.
The Cowboys have forced at least one turnover in 19 straight games.
OSU has either won or tied the turnover battle in 19 of its last 22 games.
Dating back to the 2008 season, the Cowboys have won 34 of their last 35 games when winning the turnover battle.
Linebacker Shaun Lewis has started 43 straight games. Linebacker Caleb Lavey and safety Daytawion Lowe have each started 37 straight games, respectively.
Oklahoma holds an 82-18-7 all-time advantage over Oklahoma State. The Sooners are 38-7-5 all-time in Stillwater.
Last Year's Meeting - Oklahoma 51, Oklahoma State 48, OT
Oklahoma State never trailed until the game-winning touchdown was scored in overtime of its 51-48 loss to No. 14 Oklahoma in Norman. The Cowboys got a four-touchdown performance from Joseph Randle, plus strong showings from quarterback Clint Chelf and receiver Josh Stewart, but were never able to pull away from the Sooners, who rode a 500-yard passing day from quarterback Landry Jones and three different 100-yard receivers in Justin Brown, Jalen Saunders and Kenny Stills en route to recording 44 first downs in the contest. Oklahoma sent the game into overtime after capping a 17-play, 86-yard drive that took 6:14 off the clock with a touchdown with only four seconds left in regulation. Quinn Sharp kicked a field goal in the first half of overtime, but Brennan Clay rumbled for the game-winner just two plays later.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is the older brother of Oklahoma running backs coach Cale Gundy.
Oklahoma State defensive tackle Calvin Barnett and safety Shamiel Gary attended the same high school (Booker T. Washington HS in Tulsa) as Oklahoma linebacker Dominique Alexander.
Oklahoma State receiver David Glidden and Oklahoma offensive lineman Bronson Irwin were teammates at Mustang HS in Mustang, Okla.
Oklahoma State offensive lineman Brandon Webb and receiver John Goodlett were teammates of Oklahoma defensive back Aaron Colvin at Owasso HS in Owasso, Okla.
Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight and Oklahoma State receiver Austin Hays were teammates at Reagan HS in San Antonio.
Oklahoma State receiver Jhajuan Seales and Oklahoma defensive lineman Matthew Romar were teammates at Memorial HS in Port Arthur, Texas.
Oklahoma State linebacker Deion Imade and Oklahoma receiver Grant Bothun both attended Rowlett HS in Rowlett, Texas.
Oklahoma State linebacker Kris Catlin and Oklahoma receiver Dannon Cavil both attended Madison HS in San Antonio.
Oklahoma defensive lineman Chuka Ndulue and Oklahoma State punter/holder Michael Reichenstein were teammates at Jesuit Prep HS in Dallas.
Oklahoma linebackers Frank Shannon and Corey Nelson played for Oklahoma State receiver Ra'Shaad Samples' father, Reginald, at Skyline HS in Dallas.
Oklahoma defensive end Rashod Favors and Oklahoma State receiver Nick Rockwell were teammates at Dunbar HS in Fort Worth, Texas.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State for two years during the Wildcat playing career of Oklahoma State defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements (1994 and 1995). Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was Clements' position coach those same two seasons.
Oklahoma State receivers coach Kasey Dunn served alongside Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and Oklahoma linebackers coach Tim Kish under then-Arizona head coach and current Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops from 2004-06.
Oklahoma State receivers coach Jason Ray and Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery coached together at Wyoming from 2009-10.
Oklahoma State cornerbacks coach Van Malone was a cornerback at Texas while Oklahoma cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright was an assistant coach on the Longhorn staff from 1990-93.
Oklahoma State went 4-0 in the month of November, securing an undefeated November for the first time since the 1945 team went 9-0 and won the Sugar Bowl. The Pokes come off a November that produced wins over No. 3 Baylor, No. 15 Texas Tech in Lubbock, No. 23 Texas in Austin and Kansas. Some notes from Orange November:
Three of OSU's four wins were over ranked teams, with two of those coming on the road.
The Cowboys outscored their four November foes, 181-70, for an average November score of 45-18. Again, three of their four opponents were ranked.
The Cowboys scored touchdowns on 18 of their 19 trips into the red zone and limited their opponents to touchdowns on only six of 17 trips into the red zone.
OSU forced 10 turnovers and committed only three.
Gilbert A Thorpe Award Finalist
Oklahoma State senior cornerback Justin Gilbert is one of three finalists for the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding defensive back in college football. The Thorpe Award will be presented on Dec. 12 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., with Gilbert and co-finalists Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State and Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State in attendance. The winner of the 2013 Thorpe Award will be honored at a banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 4, 2014. Gilbert has six interceptions this season, a mark that leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth nationally. He has two pick-sixes on the year, coming at Iowa State and at Texas. His 11 career interceptions rank him 12th among all active players and his 25 career pass break-ups are the most for any Cowboy. Additionally, he has three non-offensive touchdowns this year; a 31-yard interception return at Iowa State, a 100-yard kickoff return vs. Kansas and a 43-yard interception return at Texas. He has eight non-offensive touchdowns in his career. The list:
93 yd kickoff return vs. Baylor 2010
89 yd kickoff return vs. Oklahoma 2010
96 yd kickoff return at Tulsa 2011
100 yd kickoff return at Texas 2011
96 yd kickoff return vs. West Virginia 2012
31 yd interception return at Iowa State 2013
100 yd kickoff return vs. Kansas 2013
43 yd interception return at Texas 2013
Gilbert Can Set NCAA Career Record
Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert leads all active players with six kickoff return touchdowns in his career. He is the Big 12 all-time leader in that category and is just one kickoff return touchdown shy of the NCAA career record of seven, held jointly by Clemson's C.J. Spiller (2006-09) and Houston's Tyron Carrier (2008-11). Gilbert enters the Oklahoma game leading the Big 12 and ranked 10th nationally by averaging 28.2 yards per kickoff return.
Many Happy Returns Result in Non-Offensive Touchdowns
Oklahoma State has scored a touchdown on a kickoff return (Justin Gilbert vs. Kansas), two punt returns (both by Josh Stewart), two interception returns (both by Gilbert) and two fumble returns (Tyler Johnson at Iowa State and Tyler Patmon vs. Baylor) this season. The Cowboys have scored 25 non-offensive touchdowns since the start of the 2010 season.
Oklahoma State's Non-Offensive Touchdowns Since 2010
2010 - Justin Blackmon 7 yd blocked punt return vs. Washington State
2010 - Josh Cooper 66 yd punt return vs. Troy
2010 - James Thomas 63 yd fumble recovery vs. Texas A&M
2010 - Johnny Thomas 26 yd interception return at Kansas State
2010 - Justin Gilbert 93 yd kickoff return vs. Baylor
2010 - Michael Harrison 5 yd blocked punt return at Kansas
2010 - Shaun Lewis 52 yd interception return vs. Oklahoma
2010 - Justin Gilbert 89 yd kickoff return vs. Oklahoma
2010 - Markelle Martin 61 yd interception return vs. Arizona
2011 - Justin Gilbert 96 yd kickoff return at Tulsa
2011 - Justin Gilbert 100 yd kickoff return at Texas
2011 - Josh Stewart 3 yd fumble recovery at Texas Tech
2011 - Shaun Lewis 70 yd interception return at Iowa State
2011 - Richetti Jones 5 yd fumble recovery vs. Oklahoma
2012 - Desmond Roland 80 yd kickoff return at Kansas State
2012 - Justin Gilbert 96 yd kickoff return vs. West Virginia
2012 - Zack Craig 30 yd blocked punt return vs. Texas Tech
2012 - Daytawion Lowe 37 yd fumble return vs. Purdue
2013 - Josh Stewart, 67 yd punt return vs. Lamar
2013 - Josh Stewart, 95 yd punt return vs. TCU
2013 - Justin Gilbert, 31 yd interception return at Iowa State
2013 - Tyler Johnson, 54 yd fumble recovery at Iowa State
2013 - Justin Gilbert, 100 yd kickoff return vs. Kansas
2013 - Justin Gilbert, 43 yd interception return at Texas
2013 - Tyler Patmon, 78 yd fumble recovery vs. Baylor
OSU is One of Only Two 500-300 Teams
Oklahoma State is one of only two teams in the nation with a game with 500 passing yards and a game with 300 rushing yards this season - and both of OSU's came on the road. The Pokes hit UTSA for 518 passing yards on Sept. 7 and battered Iowa State with 348 rushing yards on Oct. 26. Fresno State is the only other team to pull the 500-300 double.
Awards For Everyone
Nine different OSU players have combined for 12 Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season, setting a league record for most players from a single team to earn Big 12 weekly honors during the course of a season and matching the 2000 Oklahoma team's conference record for most total honorees from one team in a season.
Oklahoma State Players to Earn Big 12 Weekly Honors in 2013
Sept. 2 - Caleb Lavey, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Sept. 9 - J.W. Walsh, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Sept. 16 - Josh Stewart, Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Oct. 7 - Shaun Lewis, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Oct. 7 - Ben Grogan, Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Oct. 21 - Josh Stewart, Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Oct. 28 - Desmond Roland, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Nov. 4 - Clint Chelf, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Nov. 11 - Justin Gilbert, Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Nov. 18 - Justin Gilbert, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Nov. 25 - Clint Chelf, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week
Nov. 25 - Daytawion Lowe, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Strong on Both Sides of the Ball
Oklahoma State is one of only four teams in the country that rank in the top 15 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The other three are Florida State, Alabama and Missouri.
Spencer A Broyles Award Nominee
Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is a nominee for the 2013 Broyles Award, which is presented to the nation's top assistant coach. He has led perhaps the most impressive defensive turnaround in the nation this season. The Cowboys rank in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense (12th), turnovers gained (eighth), passes intercepted (fourth), red zone defense (fifth), pass efficiency defense (ninth), tackles for loss (11th), third-down conversion percentage defense (14th) and rushing defense (21st) just one year after ranking in the top 25 nationally in only one of those categories (tackles for loss - 25th in 2012). Early in the season, the team had to rely heavily on its defense to win games and Spencer's unit delivered, limiting two of OSU's first three opponents without a touchdown. Spencer's scheme against Baylor helped the Cowboys force three turnovers and limit the top-ranked offense in the nation to 44 points and 231 yards below its season averages as part of OSU's win over the No. 3 Bears.
Turnovers are Back on the Menu
Forcing turnovers has been at the core of Oklahoma State's defensive identity for years. In fact, OSU leads the nation with 159 turnovers forced from 2009 through the present. The Cowboys led the nation in takeaways as part of their Big 12 championship season of 2011, but slipped in that area in 2012. Turnovers are back to being a significant factor for OSU in 2013, as the Cowboys lead the Big 12 and rank second nationally with a +1.5 turnover margin. The Pokes are fourth nationally with 19 passes intercepted and are eighth nationally with 29 turnovers gained. OSU has lost only three fumbles on the year - a mark that leads the nation - and has committed only 13 turnovers this year to lead the league and rank ninth nationally.
Oklahoma State and the Turnover
Why are turnovers such a focal point at Oklahoma State? Because in nine years under Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State is 19-0 when it doesn't commit a turnover in a game and is 47-5 when winning the turnover battle. Dating back to the 2008 season, the Cowboys have won 34 of their last 35 games when winning the turnover battle.
Perspective On Yards Per Play
The NCAA statistical rankings show Oklahoma State as ranking 46th nationally in total defense by yielding 380.4 yards per game this season. When analyzed on a per-play basis to account for the up-tempo offense played by the Cowboys, the OSU defense looks much better, ranking 12th by surrendering only 4.7 yards per play.
Defense Stout Per Possession
The Oklahoma State defense faces a challenge in that it is partnered with an offense that plays at such a high tempo that it ends up spending more time on the field than all but seven teams in the country. As a result, statistics such as total defense, points allowed, rushing yards allowed and passing yards allowed are not true indicators of how the Cowboy defense performs in a given game. When the OSU defense is analyzed on a per-possession basis, it looks much better, averaging a Big 12-best 1.11 points allowed per possession.
Three and Out
Oklahoma State's defense excels at forcing three-and-outs. A three-and-out is defined as a series in which the offense either punts after three plays or commits a turnover before getting a first down. Entering the Oklahoma game, OSU has forced 62 three-and-outs in 168 defensive possessions (.369 pct.) spanning 11 games, for an average of 5.6 three-and-outs forced per game.
Putting Opponents Behind The Chains
Part of Oklahoma State's defensive success stems from solid play on first down. The Cowboys have limited opposing offenses to three yards or less on 204 of 381 first-down plays this year (.535 pct.)
Cowboys on Third Down
Oklahoma State enters the Oklahoma game leading the Big 12 and ranked 14th nationally by limiting opposing offenses to a .327 pct. conversion rate on third down. Part of the reason is that the Cowboys are consistently putting opposing offenses in third and medium and third and long situations. OSU has defended 196 third down plays. Of those 196 plays, only 49 were third and short situations, meaning that 75 percent of OSU's third down plays defended have been third and medium or third and long situations. In their last five games, the Cowboys have limited Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Texas and Baylor to 2-for-45 on third and long situations (seven yards or more).
One area where Oklahoma State's defense has been particularly effective is against the run, where the Cowboys lead the Big 12 and rank 21st nationally by surrendering only 130.0 rushing yards per game. OSU has allowed only eight rushing touchdowns in 11 games this year. That mark ranks ninth in the country. The Cowboy defense allows only 3.4 yards per rushing attempt.
Limiting Explosive Plays
Another defensive trait that has emerged at Oklahoma State over the past few seasons is that the Cowboys have limited explosive plays from scrimmage by opposing offenses. For the purpose of this note, we'll use 20 yard plays from scrimmage as the definition of an explosive play. Through 11 games in 2013, OSU has allowed 37 explosive plays from scrimmage, a mark that ranks 11th in the nation.
Efficiency Stats Tell A Different Story Than Traditional Stats
In yet another illustration of how traditional measures such as pass defense can be misleading, Oklahoma State ranks ninth out of 10 teams in the Big 12 and is 93rd nationally by allowing 250.4 passing yards per game, but leads the Big 12 and is ninth nationally in pass efficiency defense, limiting opposing passers to a 106.30 efficiency rating. Why such a substantial difference in two statistical areas that should correspond more closely? Because of the fact that the Cowboy offense - and most of the other offenses in the Big 12, for that matter - play at a high tempo and require the defense to defend more plays and more possessions per game.
The Oklahoma State defense is faring much better than last year's unit in terms of scoring defense. Entering the Oklahoma game, the Cowboys are limiting opponents to 18.8 points per game. A year ago, the Pokes allowed 28.2 points per game. The -9.4 points per game difference from 2012 to 2013 is the third-best scoring defense turnaround in school history, trailing the -10.8 points per game difference from 1982 to 1983 and the -10.3 points per game difference from 1996 to 1997.
Locker Room Talks Are Working
Whatever Mike Gundy and his coaching staff are saying to the team in the locker room is working. Coming out of the locker room (the first and third quarters of games), Oklahoma State is outscoring the opposition by a combined margin of 243-67. The Cowboys have outscored their first 11 opponents, 126-44 in the first quarter and 117-23 in the third quarter.
Keeping The Scoreboard Operator Busy
Oklahoma State averages 41.2 points per game - a mark that ranks second in the Big 12 and is 10th nationally. Including this year, the Cowboys have averaged 40 or more points per game in five of the past six seasons.
Balance, Balance, Balance
Perhaps the signature trait of Oklahoma State teams year in and year out under Mike Gundy is offensive balance. There is no better illustration of that than the 2007 season, when the Cowboys rushed for 3,161 yards and passed for 3,161 yards. A look at the balance of this year's team through 11 games:
OSU has 429 rushing attempts and 392 passing attempts.
17 different Oklahoma State players have scored a touchdown this season.
13 different players caught a pass in the Cowboys' wins at UTSA and over Lamar.
Four different Cowboys have rushed for 200 yards or more this year and a fifth player has 188 rushing yards.
For the second straight year, OSU has two different 1,000-yard passers.
Nine different players have caught a touchdown pass this year. Seven of those nine players have more than one receiving touchdown and nobody has more than six touchdown catches.
Oklahoma State has 68 offensive plays that gained 20 yards or more from scrimmage. Those 68 plays were made by 14 different players.
Ball - and Quarterback - Security
Oklahoma State spends a period of each practice on ball security and so far, it seems to be paying dividends, as the Cowboys have committed only 13 turnovers in their 11 games this year. OSU has lost only three fumbles - a mark that leads the nation. Speaking of security, OSU's quarterbacks have enjoyed secure surroundings this season, only being sacked 0.91 times per game - a mark that leads the Big 12 and ranks 10th nationally. This is a regular theme for the Cowboys, who have led the Big 12 and ranked among the top 10 nationally in fewest sacks allowed in each of the past five years despite ranking among the national leaders in passing yardage for most of that time frame.
Plays Coming From Special Teams
Oklahoma State is getting plays some several of its different special teams units. The Cowboys have blocked three kicks this year (a field goal attempt at West Virginia, a PAT attempt at Iowa State and a punt at Texas Tech). OSU's three blocked kicks ranks as the 18th-best total in the country. The Cowboys rank second in the Big 12 and 18th nationally with 24.19 yards per kickoff return, headlined by a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Justin Gilbert against Kansas. The Pokes rank seventh nationally with 14.33 yards per punt return. OSU has returned two punts for touchdowns and two other punts that gave the Cowboys starting field position inside the opponent's 20 yard line - and that doesn't count a blocked punt that was recovered at the 15 yard line against Texas Tech.
Kickoff Coverage an Overlooked Factor in OSU's Success
Oklahoma State has been effective in the kickoff game, as the Cowboys lead the Big 12 and rank 13th nationally in kickoff coverage by allowing only 18.29 yards per kickoff return. Only 19 of OSU's 81 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks, but it should be noted that OSU is actually better off without the touchbacks. The average starting field position for opponents following an OSU kickoff this season is the 24 yard line. To put that into perspective, the average starting field position for opponents following an OSU kickoff last year with all-everything kickoff man Quinn Sharp handling those responsibilities was the 28 yard line.
Speaking of Starting Field Position...
Through 11 games, Oklahoma State is winning the field position battle. The Cowboys have an average starting field position of their own 36 yard line. OSU's opponents have an average starting field position of their own 27 yard line.
Last Time Out - Oklahoma State 49, No. 3 Baylor 17
Playing in front of the first sellout crowd in Boone Pickens Stadium history, Oklahoma State's defense forced three turnovers and held Baylor 44 points and 231 yards below its season averages in recording one of the most lopsided wins ever over a team ranked in the top three of the Associated Press poll. Quarterback Clint Chelf earned national player of the week honors after completing 19-of-25 passes for 370 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He added a 48-yard reception that set up a touchdown and rushed for a score as well.
Wins at Iowa State, Texas Tech Set a Program First
When Oklahoma State beat Iowa State, 58-27, and No. 15 Texas Tech, 52-34, in consecutive weeks, it marked the first time in the 112-year history of the program that the Cowboys scored 50 points or more in back-to-back road games.
Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf has helped the Cowboys with both his arm and his legs this year, Through 11 games, the senior signal-caller has passed for 1,592 yards and 14 touchdowns and has rushed for 305 yards and six touchdowns. Chelf enters the Oklahoma game ranked third in the Big 12 and 13th nationally with 14.21 yards per pass completion.
Honors Rolled In For Chelf After Baylor Win
Clint Chelf was recognized as the national offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Athlon Sports and CBSSports.com after he excelled in leading the Cowboys to a 49-17 win over No. 3 Baylor. He completed 19-of-25 passes - including each of his first 12 attempts - for a career-high 370 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His QBR of 97.8 was the second-highest of any quarterback in the nation that week. He was also honored as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and as one of eight Manning Award stars of the week as well.
Chelf Earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week vs. Texas Tech
Clint Chelf was singled out as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week after he was responsible for four touchdowns (two passing and two rushing) in the Cowboys' 52-34 win over No. 15 Texas Tech in Lubbock. His 67-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the signature play of the game and was the crushing blow that put the contest out of reach in OSU's favor. Chelf's 67-yard run was the longest for an OSU quarterback since Brent Blackman had a 72-yard run in 1972. Chelf completed 18-of-34 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns and carried six times for 88 yards with two scores in leading the Cowboys to the best road win for any team in the Big 12 this season. His 93.4 adjusted QBR against Texas Tech was the best for any Big 12 quarterback and was the seventh-best mark in the country that week.
Chelf Made Plays To Lift Cowboys Over Longhorns
Clint Chelf accounted for four touchdowns (two rushing and two passing), rushed for a career-high 95 yards and had a QBR of 97.3 (the second-best mark of any quarterback in the country that week) in Oklahoma State's 38-13 road win at No. 23 Texas. Chelf completed 16-of-22 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Background on Chelf
After redshirting as a true freshman in 2009, Clint Chelf was OSU's second-team quarterback behind Brandon Weeden in 2010 and 2011. With Weeden selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Chelf, Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh had an open competition during 2012 spring drills to earn the starting quarterback spot. Lunt was named the starter, but was sidelined with an injury early in the regular season. Walsh then stepped in and also sustained an injury that opened the door for Chelf to take the reins. Chelf's performance during that time was strong enough for him to hold onto the starting job despite the fact that both Lunt and Walsh were healthy in the Cowboys' final two games of 2012. Chelf started the 2013 season opener vs. Mississippi State, but was replaced by Walsh in the first quarter when the coaches were looking to spark the offense. Walsh then held on to the starting spot for five games before Chelf was inserted during the TCU game when the coaches were again looking for a spark. Chelf has started every game since and the Cowboys have flourished in the Big 12 standings and in the polls.
Dual Threat, Part Two
J.W. Walsh can swing a game in OSU's favor with his passing or with his rushing. In week one against Mississippi State, the sophomore rushed for 125 yards and engineered three touchdown drives in leading Oklahoma State to a 21-7 win over the Bulldogs in Houston. In week two, Walsh set a school record for completion percentage (min. 20 attempts) and accounted for five touchdowns - four passing and one rushing - as part of OSU's 56-35 win at UTSA. Walsh had more touchdown passes (four) than incomplete passes (three) against UTSA and was honored as Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. He is the only Big 12 quarterback with a 300-yard passing game and a 100-yard rushing game on his 2013 season résumé. Walsh was OSU's leading rusher in three games this year.
Comparing Walsh To Other Sophomore Quarterbacks
J.W. Walsh is among the elite sophomore signal-callers in the nation. He is one of only five sophomore quarterbacks with 20 or more passing touchdowns and 10 or more rushing touchdowns in his career, joining Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, UCLA's Brett Hundley and BYU's Taysom Hill.
More on Walsh's Record Showing vs. UTSA
J.W. Walsh connected on 24-of-27 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns against UTSA and etched his name in the OSU record book in the process. His 88.9 completion percentage set a new school record for single-game completion percentage, minimum 20 pass attempts. He added a rushing touchdown as well. Walsh's 239.20 pass efficiency mark in the contest was good for the fourth-best single-game performance in school history. He started the game by completing 10 consecutive passes, then had two incompletions, then completed 10 consecutive passes again. By the time his day was done at the 9:47 mark of the third quarter, OSU held a 42-7 lead.
Roland Explodes on the Scene, Earns Big 12 Player of the Week Honor
Making the first start of his career, Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries to lead the Cowboys to a 58-27 win over Iowa State in Ames. He was honored as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for his outburst. Roland's 219 rushing yards were the second-most for a Big 12 player in a game this year and his four touchdowns were the most. His 219 rushing yards were the most for an Oklahoma State back in a road game against a Big 12 opponent since Vernand Morency rushed for 269 yards at Kansas in 2003.
Rollin' with Roland
Desmond Roland turned in a workmanlike performance in the Cowboys' win at No. 15 Texas Tech, carrying 31 times for 96 yards and three touchdowns against the Red Raiders. It marked the first time this season that an OSU back carried the ball 30 or more times in a game. Since taking over as the starter, Roland has scored nine touchdowns - eight rushing and one receiving. He has 10 rushing touchdowns on the year, a mark that ranks fifth in the Big 12.
Smith Knows His Way To The End Zone
Running back Jeremy Smith continues to display a trait he's shown throughout his career - the ability to find the end zone. Smith's nine rushing touchdowns this year rank sixth in the Big 12. He rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys' season opening win against Mississippi State, then tacked on three more rushing touchdowns against Lamar and another against Kansas State. Smith ranks sixth on Oklahoma State's career rushing touchdowns list with 34. He is three away from tying two-time consensus All-American Kendall Hunter for fifth.
Receivers' Calling Card is Balance
Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore are the leaders of the Oklahoma State receiving corps, but make no mistake; balance is OSU's best weapon when it comes to the passing game. Case in point - 13 different Cowboys caught passes in games against both UTSA and Lamar. Redshirt freshman Jhajuan Seales (32 catches for 493 yards and two touchdowns) is emerging as a viable weapon on the outside and Charlie Moore has been dependable, making 30 receptions on 45 targets this year and taking five of those in for touchdowns.
Small Stewart Has Big Impact
Standing 5-10 and weighing 185 pounds, Oklahoma State receiver Josh Stewart is not the biggest receiver in the nation, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for with quickness, elusiveness, route-running and good hands. For the second straight year, the junior from Denton, Texas leads OSU in receptions. He is second on the team in receiving yards. Stewart passed former OSU All-American and current Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant on OSU's career receptions list in the Cowboys' win over TCU and he became only the seventh 2,000-yard receiver in school history as part of the Cowboys' win at No. 15 Texas Tech. He trails only Rashaun Woods, Justin Blackmon and Hart Lee Dykes on OSU's career receptions list.
Stewart as a Punt Returner
Josh Stewart leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth nationally with 18.2 yards per punt return and has returns of 95 yards, 67 yards, 46 yards, 41 yards, 36 yards and 29 yards through 11 games in 2013.
Stewart Sets School, Big 12 Record to Earn Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Josh Stewart recorded the longest punt return in Oklahoma State and Big 12 history with a 95-yarder in the Cowboys' 24-10 win over TCU. That is the longest punt return for any player in the country this season. He added a 29-yard punt return later in the contest, but his 95-yarder was the one that gave the Cowboys the jolt they needed early in the game. That score was Stewart's second punt-return touchdown of the season (he had a 67-yarder against Lamar), tying him with Barry Sanders (1987), Darrent Williams (2003) and Dez Bryant (2008) atop the school list for most punt return touchdowns in a season.
Special On Special Teams
Josh Stewart is one of four members of the 2013 Cowboys with either a kickoff return touchdown or a punt return touchdown in his career, joining Justin Gilbert (six career kickoff return touchdowns), Desmond Roland (one career kickoff return touchdown) and Zack Craig (one career punt return touchdown). No team in America has more players with a special teams touchdown.
Stewart Earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Oklahoma State receiver Josh Stewart earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors after his performance against Lamar. Stewart scored on a 67-yard punt return and took a second punt back 41 yards to set up an OSU touchdown in lifting the Cowboys to a 59-3 win over the Cardinals. Stewart finished with 114 punt return yards for the eighth-highest single-game total in OSU history. His 67-yarder marked OSU's first punt return for a touchdown since Josh Cooper had a 66-yarder against Troy on Sept. 11, 2010.
Moore of a Good Thing
Senior Tracy Moore joined the OSU career top 10 in both receptions and receiving yards this season. He enters the Oklahoma game ranked eighth in school history with 135 receptions and ninth in school history with 1,921 receiving yards. He needs just 79 more receiving yards to become the eighth 2,000-yard receiver in school history. Moore has at least one touchdown reception in each of OSU's last five games and leads the squad with six touchdown grabs on the year.
The Defensive Line As a Group
The play of the defensive line is among the biggest contributing factors in Oklahoma State's defensive resurgence. Time and time again, the Cowboys are winning the battle in the trenches, thanks largely to Calvin Barnett, James Castleman, Tyler Johnson and Jimmy Bean. With the defensive line setting the tone, the Cowboy defense averages 7.7 tackles for loss per game this year (a mark that ranks 11th nationally) and has 23 sacks in 11 contests - 17.5 of which belong to defensive linemen. Additionally, defensive tackle James Castleman blocked a field goal attempt at West Virginia and a point-after attempt at Iowa State.
Barnett a Presence in the Middle
Senior defensive tackle Calvin Barnett commands attention and is frequently double-teamed by opposing offensive linemen, but has still managed 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries this year. Though his stats may not reveal it, his ability to open up lanes for the other members of the Cowboy front seven has been a substantial factor in OSU's defensive resurgence this year.
Man On Fire
Senior defensive end Tyler Johnson has been as active as anyone on the OSU defense, recording 43 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, two quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles (a mark that ranks 22nd nationally). His 54-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second half of OSU's 58-27 win over Iowa State in Ames was one of the team's signature moments of the season to date.
Lavey Producing At A High Level
Linebacker Caleb Lavey has been a force in the middle of the Oklahoma State defense. The senior from Celina, Texas leads the team with 82 tackles and 12.0 tackles for loss. He is seventh in the Big 12 and 44th nationally with 5.2 solo tackles per game. Lavey's four interceptions leads all Big 12 linebackers and is third among linebackers nationally. His 1.09 tackles for loss per game ranks second among all Big 12 linebackers.
Lavey Earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week vs. Mississippi State
Oklahoma State senior linebacker Caleb Lavey earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after the Cowboys' season-opening win over Mississippi State. Lavey recorded a team-best 11 tackles in that contest and added two tackles for loss and a half-sack. It was the first such honor of Lavey's career.
Shaun Lewis has been an important player on Oklahoma State's defense since he stepped on campus in 2010. The senior from Missouri City, Texas has started each of OSU's last 43 games and his 238 career tackles trail only Daytawion Lowe's 253 among active Cowboys. Lewis's 184 career solo tackles ranks him 17th nationally among all active players. He is praised time and time again by his position coach and OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer for his intelligence, leadership and savvy. Lewis has been a playmaker on the Cowboy defense all year, racking up 61 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions, two fumbles forced, two fumbles recovered, three pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.
Lewis Earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week vs. Kansas State
For the second time in his career, Shaun Lewis earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in Oklahoma State's win over Kansas State. In addition to snuffing out K-State's comeback hopes with an interception late in the fourth quarter, Lewis forced a fumble that was scooped up by the Cowboys, recovered a different fumble, led the team with eight tackles and bagged a tackle for loss in OSU's dramatic 33-29 win.
Gilbert Keyed Win At Texas, Earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Justin Gilbert intercepted two passes and returned one 43 yards for a touchdown to lead OSU's 38-13 win over No. 23 Texas in Austin. He also had nine tackles and a pass breakup in the win and was recognized as Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.
Gilbert Was Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Kansas
Justin Gilbert earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he returned the opening kickoff of the game 100 yards for a touchdown in the Cowboys' 42-6 win over Kansas. Gilbert's score - the sixth kickoff return touchdown of his career - gave him sole possession of the conference's career record, makes him the active leader among all NCAA players and leaves him just one kickoff return touchdown shy of tying the NCAA record of seven, held jointly by Clemson's C.J. Spiller (2006-09) and Houston's Tyron Carrier (2008-11).
Not Your Everyday Transfer
The Cowboy secondary received a boost in the preseason with the addition of Tyler Patmon, a three-year starter at Kansas who graduated early and enrolled at OSU for graduate school. Patmon has been an immediate factor for the Cowboys, breaking up eight passes on the year and recording his first interception in an OSU uniform at West Virginia. Patmon picked up a fumble against Baylor and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown in OSU's 49-17 rout of the No. 3 Bears. He started against Kansas State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Texas and Baylor.
Free safety Daytawion Lowe joins Calvin Barnett, Caleb Lavey, Shaun Lewis and Justin Gilbert in being part of the leadership of the Cowboy defense. Lowe has been a consistent performer throughout his time in Stillwater and is OSU's active career leader in tackles with 253. Lowe's 196 career solo tackles ranks him 11th nationally among all active players. His interception against Kansas State was the final dagger applied in the Cowboys' dramatic win over the Wildcats earlier this year.
Strong safety Shamiel Gary had to win a position battle that lasted through spring, summer and fall camp to keep the starting job that he held last year. His performance through 11 games this year has backed up the coaching staff's decision to keep him in the starting role, as he has broken up a team-best nine passes, highlighted by a three-PBU performance against TCU. Entering the Oklahoma game, Gary is 11th in the Big 12 with 0.9 passes defended per game this season. Gary, who played the first two seasons of his career at Wyoming, has averaged 4.11 solo tackles per game during his career, a mark that ranks him just outside of the top 30 nationally among all active players.
Grogan Earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week
Freshman kicker Ben Grogan earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance against Kansas State. Grogan kicked four field goals in the victory - a feat made even more impressive by the fact that the game featured eight lead changes and every kick he attempted had significant implications on the outcome of the contest. Grogan's four field goals made and 15 points scored by kicking were both OSU freshman records.
Through 11 games this year, 13 players have made the first starts of their respective careers for Oklahoma State - defensive ends Jimmy Bean and Tyler Johnson, linebacker Ryan Simmons, cornerback Tyler Patmon, safety Lyndell Johnson, running back Desmond Roland, offensive linemen Travis Cross, Chris Grisbhy, Brandon Garrett and Paul Lewis, tight end Zac Veatch and receivers Jhajuan Seales and David Glidden. All told, 23 players have seen the first game action of their OSU careers this year, highlighted by five true freshmen - receiver Marcell Ateman, kicker Ben Grogan, safeties Deric Robertson and Jordan Sterns and running back Rennie Childs.