Oklahoma State Football: Texas Post-Game Report Card

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Sep 26, 2015; Austin, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback J.W. Walsh (4) carries the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Oklahoma State beat Texas 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports


First Half: B

Second Half: F+

Due to the unique nature of this game, the offensive performance truly deserves to be divided into two halves, because they might as well of been two different games.

The Cowboys started fast enough, driving 69 yards in 2:27, capping it off with a ridiculous sequence that saw Mason Rudolph do a flawless Ben Roethlisberger impersonation, eluding several defenders in the pocket, spinning around, and finding Brandon Sheperd in the corner of the end zone for a 17 yard touchdown with a defender right in his face.

Oklahoma State did the same thing on their next possession, marching right down the field and capping it off with yet another successful J.W. Walsh goal line run. Rudolph’s total passing yardage in the first two possessions? 119 yards on 7-of-8 passing. The Cowboys’ rushing yardage? 11 yards off of six rushes, two of which were from Rudolph and Walsh.

The passing game seemed to be working just a little better.

On the Cowboys’ third possession, Rudolph completed two passes for 22 yards after two rushing attempts netted six yards and a holding penalty.

And then the phantom fumble happened.

Rudolph recovered well enough from that, leading the team on a 63-yard field goal drive. The next possession was killed by an intentional grounding penalty. Overall, the Cowboys scored on three out of four drives that *didn’t* end with an unlucky turnover, and very well could have scored again if not for derailing a drive with a grounding penalty. They made it look pretty easy in the first half when not making stupid mistakes, moving the ball downfield while avoiding any three-and-outs — and doing it all without a running game, so a ‘B’ is warranted.

I’m not going to go into detail about the trainwreck of a second half.

Basically, Rudolph had the team’s first three-and-out, and followed it up with a perfect drive that showed what this team is capable of, which you can read about in more detail here.

But then the interceptions started flowing. The first one resulted in a touchdown, and the second one came during a series after the Cowboys ran on five straight plays for 25 yards. The running plays were no doubt being used to give Rudolph some time to settle down after the pick-six, but when he went to make his first throw since the first interception, he gets picked again, which set off an avalanche of highly suspect playcalling and personnel decisions.

The Cowboys abandoned everything that had worked up to that point, and decided to just run the ball the rest of the game while shuffling Rudolph and Walsh in and out, absolutely destroying any flow the offense could hope to establish, while simultaneously making it incredibly obvious that they were going to run the ball, as usual, up the freaking middle.

It was incredibly infuriating to watch. Thank goodness this team had penalties on their side to advance the ball for them instead.

Whether Rudolph was rattled, or had numbness in his finger or whatever, Gundy and Yurcich could’ve just gone with Walsh. The guy already had a touchdown on the ground and in the air, and has shown over his 87 years in Stillwater that he can throw. It likely would’ve thrown the Texas defense off base. Instead, he just became a proxy to hand the ball off up the freaking middle.

Zero improvisation, and terrible execution. The offensive line got pushed around again on running plays, aside from that one drive.

By the way, has anyone seen the Cowboys pitch the ball on a running play one time this season?

The frustration continues.

I don’t really care about the one good drive in the second half, or the mild success prior to the second interception. The fourth quarter alone is enough to give the offense a big fat ugly ‘F’.

Next: Defense