Watch Guide: Week 7

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. OSU is off this week, but there is still a loaded slate of games that includes Kansas State-OU, Tennessee-Alabama, West Virginia-Texas Tech, Ole Miss-Arkansas and Ohio State-Wisconsin. I’m going to be off the grid for a couple of days so I probably won’t see much of any of them, but they should be great. Maybe we can even get a KU win over Baylor in Waco!Thanks as always to Ryan Hartwig for putting together the Watch Guide.Weekend Watch Guide: Week 7last_img read more

Midseason Position Grades: Secondary

first_imgIf the poor play continues for these three upperclassmen, it may be time to give a younger corner such as Harper or Williams a shot at some playing time. We’ll learn a lot in a few weeks against Tech in Stillwater.SafetiesThis group, for my money, has played a bit better than the corners. Tre Flowers has been solid, especially lately, racking up eight tackles against Iowa State, to go with two breakups. He continues to be a physical presence at 6’3 and 200 lbs., and will be much needed in the upcoming Big 12 tilts.Senior Jordan Sterns has been a monster in the secondary and helping the running game, with an astounding 39 tackles (12 against Texas!), even missing the Iowa State game. The 2015 All-Big 12 second-teamer is well on his way to an all league honor this year, and the Cowboys will need him to be healthy and at his best if they are to have any shot at the Big 12 title, playing the slew of impressive QB’s they’ll see to end the year.The Pistols Firing Blog staff gave the secondary an aggregate grade of C+, which is the lowest for any positional group on the team. This looks to be the weakest link on the team, and if they play anything like they did the first six games of the season, this Cowboys team will lose several more games, no matter how many they score.2016gradesI’m concerned about this group but if they can find a way to pull it together and tighten things up, this defense will look completely different and could keep the Cowboys in the Big 12 title race well into November.Secondary Grade: C Alright, take a deep breath and grab an ice cold Coop… because we need to talk about the secondary. Six games in, and I don’t think there’s any doubt which of the positional groups has struggled the most in 2016. The Cowboys, for the most part, roll with two redshirt senior cornerbacks, a junior corner, a RS junior safety, and a senior safety, so lack of experience is not an excuse. Let’s start with the corners, the guiltiest party.CornerbacksComing into this season, I think the combination of a healthy Ashton Lampkin, Ramon Richards in his third season, and grad transfer Lenzy Pipkins (fun to say) seemed like a potentially solid group. They’ve had a boatload of starts between the three of them, and we even had two promising newcomers getting praise from Gundy himself behind them, in Rodarius Williams and Madre Harper.But through six games, this group ranks 103rd nationally in passing yards allowed, at 270 per game, and 14.34 per attempt. Yuck. This is a stat that Glen Spencer may be losing sleep over, because West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, and Oklahoma remain on the back end of this schedule. It’s also a group that has just four picks in six games.Lampkin, Richards, and Pipkins have all had their share of the blame, but perhaps the most jarring game of the season was Baylor. Ish Zamora continued his 2016 lifestyle theme of beating anything alive within 50 yards of him to a pulp for the world to see.Additionally, Lampkin and Richards both got beat multiple times on fairly basic double moves, which was kind of shocking for two guys that had multiple years of starting experience in the Big 12. Here’s one of them, with Chris Platt leaving Lampkin in his dust. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Kansas State DB: ‘They’re Ranked, We Definitely Want To Beat a Ranked Team’

first_img“I think the experience has allowed him to do things extremely poised and make quality decisions,” added head coach Bill Snyder of Mason Rudolph. “The game has slowed down for him, and when that happens, the innate capability that he has comes to the forefront. He has the ability to make good decisions and the poise to go through his reads and progressions and be an accurate thrower.”He did last week anyway. Snyder continued about what makes OSU difficult to play.“Their whole front seven is big and they play hard,” added Snyder. “So it is going to be a tough match up between the offensive line and tight end, fullback, all of us blocking and controlling the line of scrimmage.”This Saturday will likely be a change in pace for OSU fans. Kansas State has only run 529 plays which comes out to 66 a game whereas OSU generally runs 10 more than that. That’s scary for me because OSU will have to be super efficient.“It’s a little bit of a different game,” said Mike Gundy. “For us, we don’t want to change our game. We want to play our game. We want to be sound in all three phases, but the numbers are different just based on the number of snaps that Kansas State and the teams that Kansas State play get during the game.”Kansas State could very well knock off a ranked team like it wants to in Manhattan. It won’t be an upset though. Not with OSU’s history there. Not with the methodical, weary nature with which the SnyderCats play. In fact, a win here by the Pokes would be just as big as last week’s at home against West Virginia. Five quick stats on OSU.OSU will go into Saturday’s ranked for the 79th time in the last 110 gamesOSU is 50-6 in their last 56 games against unranked opponents (KSU is unranked)OSU is 42-17 in conference games since 2010OSU is 7-1 in its last eight true road gamesOSU is 1-8 in Manhattan since 1988Something has to give on Saturday where unranked Kansas State will be facing ranked Oklahoma State in a venue where Oklahoma State has one win since I was three years old.“This is a good challenge for us,” said KSU defensive back D.J Reed. “They’re ranked, we definitely want to be a ranked team. On offense they’re pretty good. One of their receivers — I don’t know his name — he’s a good football player. I think the Texas Tech QB was really good. But this guy is pretty good. He makes a lot of plays” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

All-Sports Roundup: Tennis Rolls, Cowgirl Basketball Rocks Senior Night

first_imgThanks again for all the fun this weekend @NutterClassic we enjoyed our time in California! #okstate pic.twitter.com/Nz2tvAUQc3— Cowgirl Softball (@CowgirlSB) February 26, 2017Next up, the Cowgirls head back to the friendly confines for their home opener against Arkansas on March 1st. Welcome back to this week’s all-sports roundup featuring the non-revenue sports like tennis, women’s hoops, and softball. Thanks for reading.Cowboy TennisDebuting in the top-10 for the first time this season, the No. 8 Cowboys headed north to take on a pair of Big Ten teams. The Cowboys began the weekend series defeating No. 25 Minnesota 5-2 in an extremely tight matchup in which 3 out of the 6 singles matches went a full 3 sets. Strong comeback performances by No. 18 Julian Cash and Tristan Meraut lifted OSU past the Gophers who had just made their top-25 debut.#okstate knocked off No. 13 Northwestern for the second time in nine days to improve to 10-3 on Sunday.READ: https://t.co/lGLfcXiu5W pic.twitter.com/xbZwAVQQZu— OSU Cowboy Tennis (@CowboyTennis) February 26, 2017To finish off the weekend, the Cowboys continued their Big Ten carnage by defeating No. 13 Northwestern 4-1. Strangely, this was their second time facing the Wildcats as they had already met in the 1st round of the ITA Indoor Championships where they bested the Cats 4-2.The Pokes narrowly won the doubles point and rode the momentum into singles play where they dominated. The Cowboys (10-3) have now won five top-25 matches in the young season and currently are undefeated on the road.Up next for the Pokes is a top-10 heavyweight battle against another Big Ten foe, this time No. 9 Michigan next weekend.Cowgirl BasketballThe Cowgirl hoopsters continued a terrific OSU sports weekend with a close 67-63 senior night win against the Lady Mountaineers in Gallagher Iba. Terrific performances from the underclassmen propelled the ladies to their 3rd win in four games and gave the seniors one last winning moment in Stillwater.Postgame autographs are much sweeter following victories! #okstate pic.twitter.com/nR85SfOu3f— Cowgirl Basketball (@OSUWBB) February 26, 2017The Cowgirls lost in Ames on Monday night but will start Big 12 Tournament play this weekend in OKC. Thank you Cowgirl Seniors!It’s official. March 3, #okstate will be the No. 7 seed and take on No. 10 Kansas at 8:30 p.m. in OKC.— Cowgirl Basketball (@OSUWBB) February 28, 2017 Cowgirl SoftballThe Cowgirl softball team ventured out west participate in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Spring, California. The ladies played five games scoring wins over Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, and New Mexico State, and falling to No. 21 California and San Diego State.All-around, it was a pretty solid weekend for the Cowgirls which included a timely 7th inning rally to down New Mexico State on Saturday.Also if you haven’t noticed this yet, the OSU softball team has some sweet threads.Watch out California, there’s a ❄️❄️❄️ coming through! We’re busting out our #Ice uniforms for Sunday! pic.twitter.com/o0WADFn380— Cowgirl Softball (@CowgirlSB) February 25, 2017center_img While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Chalk Talk: Cowboys to Use More Three-Down Defense in 2017

first_imgIn Oklahoma State’s spring football press conference, OSU head coach Mike Gundy said that the Cowboys will have more varied looks on defense in the future, and that includes using more three-down lineman fronts in 2017.The Cowboys used the formation a number of times last season. The 3-3-5 defense has a number of variations, but the Cowboys mostly used it last year in passing situations.The 3-3-5 in its original state (six in the box, secondary pressed at the line of scrimmage) often employs the “disciplined aggression” philosophy, relying on zone blitzes and pressure to stop opposing offenses. Additionally, it creates an unusual front for the offense to block against, which can aid the defense in the running game.When the Cowboys used the 3-3-5 last year, though, they used it in a more simplified state. They used a 3-3-5 “across”, which means that all five players in the secondary align roughly 7-10 yards behind the line of scrimmage.This is a conservative defensive alignment used to stop the deep ball and force everything underneath. Here’s a graphic from a Chalk Talk article on last year’s Texas Tech game:The defense occasionally struggled in this personnel, as they gave up easy throws that often went for big yardage thanks to yards after the catch. The 3-3-5 is most effective as an aggressive scheme, and the Cowboys used it more conservatively with mixed results.The tough thing about the 3-3-5, and with any pressure-heavy defense in modern football, is that it goes against offenses that operate with a much higher tempo than when the defense became popular in the early 2000s.At that time, a defense could call different exotic blitzes with no worry about having to call plays on the fly. Now, if a defense calls a blitz and the quarterback throws for a first down, the defense has to call another play on the fly with the knowledge that using the same blitz call twice in a row is a major risk.This isn’t to say that the defense can’t succeed in modern football. There are plenty of teams who successfully use exotic defenses, such as Arizona and West Virginia. The issue is that the defense takes time to learn, and no team is going to have success if they don’t have the ability to analyze and learn the defense extensively.This is where the hiring of defensive analyst Brian VanGorder comes in. VanGorder has extensive experience with three-down hybrid defenses, tracing all the way back to his job coaching linebackers at Grand Valley State in 1989 under current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.Gundy believes that VanGorder can help the Cowboys incorporate the three-down philosophy into their defense.“I think college quarterbacks have become coaches on the field,” Gundy said earlier this week. “If you don’t give them a different look sometimes and use some variation in your defense, they’re pretty good at picking you apart. We think there are times for three-down and times for four-down … and that’s why I wanted to bring a guy in to help us with how much you need to work on each area.”The Cowboys aren’t going to completely overhaul their defensive system, but they are going to venture into becoming a more varied defense. The hope is that they will have enough time and knowledge to be able to use three-down sets more effectively than they did last year.There were times where it worked well and there were other times when it did not. But with an offseason in front of them, and plenty of bright defensive minds on staff, they have plenty of time to turn it into an asset. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Big Board: Oklahoma State’s Defensive Line Targets

first_imgOur big board series featuring some of OSU’s top targets on a position-by-position basis continues today with a look at who is floating on the radar for the Cowboys along the defensive front — both at defensive tackle and defensive end.Tyler Lacy sealed one spot of need as an edge rusher when he became one of the many who committed over the last month, and the Sachse defensive end likely won’t be the last one Joe Bob Clements hauls in before signing day.Let’s have a look at the remaining targets for now, but based on this list and how Clements has recruited in the past, I’d also keep an open mind for names to emerge on this list later in the summer and into fall. He has a knack for unearthing hidden gems under big boulders.Quarterback | Running back  | Wide Receiver | Linebacker |Israel Antwine — Defensive tackleLocal defensive tackle Israel Antwine of Millwood High School is a solid option at defensive tackle for 2018, and perhaps one of the biggest high school names still available that might be a viable option. He’s a late riser on the recruiting trail but at 6-foot-3 and 286 pounds he’s a legit target and a local area kid.The downside with Antwine is that he’s getting the full court press elsewhere. He told Pistols Firing that Texas, Ole Miss, Missouri and Memphis are currently recruiting him the hardest.Tate Wildeman — Defensive endWildeman was a bit of a wild card when OSU offered him a scholarship. The Colorado native is a 6-foot-5 edge rusher who, at the time of his OSU offer, was a relative unknown. Iowa, Arizona State, Nevada, and Nebraska have all offered since — and he’s a current Nebraska pledge.At this point with Lacy in the fold, I think OSU and Wildeman will likely cool. The 2018 class won’t be big on defensive ends, perhaps two at the most, so OSU might file this offer away for now until signing day gets closer and the staff reassesses their scholarship count. Wildeman doesn’t seem to me to be a must-get prospect — and OSU might have the luxury to be picky here.Tayland Humphrey — Defensive tackleThe self-proclaimed best defensive tackle in the country is Tayland Humphrey, a 6-foot-5, 350-pound run-stuffer who is a beast of a prospect. Humphrey, who is with Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, is originally from Klein Oak, Texas, and has been on the OSU radar for quite some time. He has offers from nearly 25 schools that includes OSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Louisville, Alabama, Florida State and others. Because Humphrey is a junior college prospect, he’d be an immediate plug-and-play guy in the middle where OSU has had success with a long line of junior college guys like Mote Maile, Calvin Barnett and Ofa Hautau.As a freshman last season for Hutch, Humphrey had 32 tackles, 1.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss. He’ll be done with his two-year degree in December, so he could be an early enrollee at his next destination. He will have three years to play two following the 2017 football season.Alton Robinson — Defensive endRobinson is a former Texas A&M signee who failed to qualify and is eligible to jump back up to Division for 2018. He’s a hard-hitting pass-rusher from NEO in Miami (Miam-uh) and to this point, has garnered surprisingly little interest. His offers include OSU, Colorado State and Kentucky.Robinson collected 67 tackles at NEO and 14 sacks to lead the Southwest Junior College Football Conference last season. Should he qualify, OSU might have the inside track. He’s already made an unofficial visit to Stillwater during last football season. But the cat might be out of the bag if he puts up similar production as he did as a freshman for NEO last season again as a sophomore. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Replacing Bob Stoops will be Hard for Even Lincoln Riley

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. In 2009 when Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury in Oklahoma’s season debut against BYU, many fans in Stillwater, Austin, Waco and elsewhere collectively exhaled a breath of “finally.”In came freshman Landry Jones, a goofy-looking freshman from a city of about 11,000. He didn’t play bad as Bradford’s replacement, but the No. 3 Sooners did lose 14-13 that day. Jones went 6-for-12 for 51 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions.Again collectively, a lot of the nation must have thought “finally.” Until the next week and the week thereafter when Jones beat (yes, I know) Idaho State and Tulsa a combined 109-0 while throwing for 622 yards, nine touchdowns and three picks.Saturday, Bob Stoops retired as coach of the Sooners, and former offensive coordinator and (by most accounts) wizard of football Lincoln Riley was named his replacement. The transition won’t be flawless. There will be times when he looks more like the coach of his hometown 3-A Muleshoe High School up in the Texas Panhandle.But don’t be fooled. Riley is not inept at coaching football. Nov. 4 is quickly approaching, and Riley’s (not Stoops’) Sooners will be prepared for Bedlam.The move from Stoops to Riley seems simple enough. Riley was one of the hottest coaching commodities in the nation late in the 2015 season when OU was headed to the Orange Bowl. He won the Broyles Award that year for the country’s top assistant and conducted the third-best offense in the NCAA by yardage.But it’s not going to be easy. Stoops was a defensive guy. He was the defensive coordinator at Florida from 1996-98 and the co-DC at Kansas State from 91-95. But even still, OU had the 75th-ranked defense in the nation last year in terms of points per drive given up. For perspective, OSU was 54th.It’s unclear whether Mike Stoops, Bob’s brother, will remain as defensive coordinator under Riley, but with Bob gone, it is hard to think the defense will get better, at least in the short term. And offensively, the Sooners lose Biletnikoff winner Dede Westbrook and running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.OU probably won’t go 11-2 and finish fifth in the nation like it did in Stoops’ last season, but they won’t lose to UTEP week 1. They won’t lose to Tulane week 3 or probably not Kansas (State), Iowa State or Texas Tech. That’s about where you have to draw the line though.Under Stoops, you could pencil in West Virginia, Baylor and (yes) the Cowboys of OSU. That’s the gray area for Riley in year 1.Stoops was, still is, a legend in coaching. He won 10 Big 12 titles in 18 seasons. I don’t know, for the most part, what Stoops’ culture was like within the walls. And no one knows about Riley’s yet, but regardless, it won’t be as seamless as it will (probably) appear on Saturdays.Imagine your favorite U.S. president of all time. Now imagine if he had just walked away midterm and left you with the vice president. For you, the U.S. citizen, or OU football fan, not much will change in your daily life. But for those within the administration or program, the reporters or his peers, more than a name plate outside an office will change.Some of those changes won’t be felt in the first week or the sixth week or the eighth month. But things will change in Norman, and unless you think Lincoln Riley is equivalent to the best coach in Big 12 history, then they won’t necessarily change for the better.Don’t get me wrong, Riley might be great, but Stoops was a legend. That’s tough to replicate as it looks like OU is trying to do. I think Mike Stoops of all people might have put it best.“I think it’ll be strange for everybody,” he said. “But I think it’s easy to see what Lincoln brings to the table.”last_img read more

OSU Makes Top 9 for Louisiana Safety Israel Mukuamu

first_imgParkway High School safety Israel Mukuamu cut his list in half on Friday, naming Florida State, Oklahoma State, Florida, Purdue, Indiana, Georgia State, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Louisville among his final nine schools.Top 9‼️#Blessed pic.twitter.com/cL9YxSS8HR— Israel Mukuamu2️⃣5️⃣ (@IsraelMukuamu) June 23, 2017Mukuamu made a visit to Stillwater last month where he came away impressed with the town and pitch the coaching staff gave him.AdChoices广告“When I went up there, Coach Gundy sat me in his office and told me he that he thinks I’m the guy for the program and that no matter what they’re going to keep a spot for me,” he told Pistols Firing. “They’re just waiting on me. Coach Hammerschmidt actually compares me to the safety there now, Tre Flowers. He said I could potentially come in early, play early and be the next him because he’s looking for another tall DB like him to play that strong safety position.”The Bossier City product is a 6-foot-5 ball-hawk at the strong safety who OSU has pitched for months now as the next Tre Flowers. Although he’s been a late-riser in recruiting circles, his size, frame and footwork indicate he’s primed to be a strong contributor at the Division I level—something OSU recognized early in the process.“One of the first schools to show interest in me when I first moved down here to Louisiana,” he told Scout of OSU. “They want me to come in and play a big-time role in that strong safety spot like their strong safety right now Tre Flowers is doing.”Late interest from Florida and Florida State along with other major players in the south could be a major factor for the one-time South Carolina native. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Conference Call: Road to the Playoff Long for the Big 12

first_imgBut somehow onlookers make these kinds of conclusions.Chip Brown compared Shane Buechele to Colt McCoy. The Kool aid is getting dangerously strong in Austin.— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) August 21, 2017The Saga ContinuesBaylor’s legal issues continue to unfold.Federal judge orders Baylor University to release underlying documents in Pepper Hamilton sex assault investigation with limited exceptions— Paula Lavigne (@pinepaula) August 11, 2017The ruling came in a Title IX gender equity lawsuit filed against the school on behalf of 10 women who attended Baylor and claimed that school officials failed to properly respond to and investigate their reports of assault.“This is another very positive step in getting all the truth and information out there,” attorney Jim Dunnam said. He said the judge’s ruling compels Baylor to turn over the “information and the data” that the school gave Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, which was hired in 2015 to examine the school’s response to sexual violence. “Now we can hopefully determine specifics about who did what and the specific failures.” [ESPN]So Pepper Hamilton’s carefully chosen footnotes aren’t enough.Quick HittersThree Big 12 players made the preseason All-American teamTexas’ starting right tackle underwent ankle surgery and their starting tight end is done for the yearStoops isn’t opposed to a spot on the CFP committeeK-State’s starting center foregoing senior season for health-related reasonsTexas Tech o-lineman is going full Gabe Lindsay – seeking eighth yearThe Big 12 is basically a NFL-farm system for undersized skill players.Had Great talk with the G.O.A.T @DarrenSproles, it’s amazing feeling to finally meet someone that you idolize as a kid. #HeartOverHeight pic.twitter.com/84srzKjqCx— Jakeem Grant (@_TheDreamIsHere) August 22, 2017TCU is on the doorstep of the rankingsTCU, Utah and Notre Dame were the top vote-getters outside the Top 25. pic.twitter.com/eS2GO9FUSj— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) August 21, 2017Briles has surfaced, informally. “I think it’s a bad move. You don’t want to associate yourself with Art Briles right now” @LauraMRutledge pic.twitter.com/5Q02q1KLVZ— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 22, 2017And now more formally.https://twitter.com/Ticats/status/902187937382768641 Let’s take a look at some news from around the league over the last week or two.Playoff-Sized ProblemSo what does it take to make sure the Big 12 is viable in the playoff-age?In order to improve its chances at being selected for the CFP, though, the Big 12 must also improve upon its 5-8 record against nonconference Power 5 opponents. Oklahoma has to beat Ohio State. West Virginia has to beat Virginia Tech. Texas has to win at USC.“If the Big 12 wants to kind of up their image,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said, “those types of games need to be won.”There are no guarantees with the selection committee, however. The Big 12’s new championship game has to feature more than its two best teams. At least one of them has to be one of the nation’s top four teams. Only then does any conference championship game matter. Just ask Penn State. [ESPN]And that’s what’s a challenge in setting up the league’s structure (scheduling requirements, champ game, how many league games, etc.) It just comes down to 13 guys in a room saying what they think and not an objective criterion to lean on.But here’s a pretty solid breakdown on the chances of the top teams for the playoff.TCU has finished with a losing record three times under Gary Patterson, most recently last season. What happened the past two times? A year later TCU won its conference. That’s in play for the Horned Frogs in 2017. Quarterback play and the performance of the defensive line are my two biggest concerns.Kansas State resembles a vintage Bill Snyder-coached team, especially if the secondary bounces back from a miserable season to finish in the top third of the Big 12 in the key categories – yards per attempt, opposing completion percentage and turnover margin, most notably. No one will enjoy playing the Wildcats in 2017.Oklahoma State is locked and loaded … but what about this offensive line? And the secondary? A wonderful quarterback, an explosive offense and a just-good-enough defense will put the Cowboys on a course for a New Year’s Six bowl, but the potential sticking points are numerous enough to have me questioning this team’s ability to lose just once during the regular season.That leaves Oklahoma. This isn’t a perfect team, either. There’s a hole at running back. No clear go-to receiver. The Sooners are more experienced on defense, but much does depend on the health of the defensive line. Still, this is the strongest, most cohesive roster in the Big 12; it doesn’t hurt to have the league’s best player in Baker Mayfield. [USA Today]Texas-Sized ExpectationsFinally, someone has a really reasonable perspective on Texas.I will not buy Texas as a top 25 team until I see it. The quarterback play has to get better. The ranking is based on the reputation of new head coach Tom Herman.If we are being honest, last year’s Houston squad underachieved because they didn’t win their conference. Houston didn’t win the division or a bowl game. The September game at USC could be a time where Texas can show us they are different. [SportsDay]Herman managed some blue-chip QB’s masterfully at Ohio State and groomed a blossoming QB at Houston in Greg Ward. If he can do something with Buchele at Texas, they could be poised to be a Top 25 team in 2018. But not today.Sounds like a dude who’s all in on his QB.Here is what Texas football coach Tom Herman said about Shane Buechele starting. Definitely a caveat pic.twitter.com/QtOWrrLyp0— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) August 21, 2017center_img While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

By the Numbers: OSU’s Rapid Pace Left Tulsa in the Dust

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State got its season off to a quick start with a dominant performance over Tulsa in Week 1. The first quarter was the stuff dreams and had everyone looking up which bowls were hosting the semifinal games. But beyond the hyperbole and besides the flashy highlights and Tyron swag, what else can we glean from the season opener? Let’s take a look at the numbers.OSU Drive ChartThe Cowboys scored on the opening three possessions while burning up all of 4:31 off the clock. The first was a methodical but blazing-fast eight plays for 74 yards that culminated in Tyron Johnson’s first catch for his first touchdown at OSU. Two more quick strikes and the game was set on its fixed trajectory. Zach Sinor got just two shots to build his faux Heisman case.AdChoices广告On the empty side of the glass, a boneheaded mistake from Mason Rudolph resulted in a strip sack and Jalen McCleskey’s attempt at the most ill-advised punt return I can remember ended with six points on the wrong side of the board. Matt Ammendola missed a 33-yard field goal attempt wide-left which Mike Gundy blamed on the sophomore getting in a hurry. Let’s hope Philly can slow down.Here’s a look at OSU’s pertinent numbersPoints per drive (offense): 4.33Points per drive (defense): 1.21Yards per play: 10.2Third-Down conversions: 5/9 (55.5%)Average starting field position: own 30-yard lineRed-zone scoring: 4/5Points off turnovers: 14Time of possession: 23:20The points-per-drive disparity was heavy in the Cowboys’ favor but could have been even more so had OSU not turned the ball over twice (giving up 10 points) and missed a short field goal. I want to say something smart like, “They won’t be able to get away with that against (insert team).” But I’m not actually sure. I’m not saying the needless giveaways should be ignored or that place kicker is not a concern. What I am saying is that this offense is really, really good and we knew that coming in. Let’s just not make a habit out of silly mistakes and I won’t have to be wrong.Tulsa Drive ChartYou know the saying “If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.”? Well, Philip Montgomery might empathize. He wouldn’t admit to anyone (and possibly himself) who his starting QB was until kickoff. President, Skipper, President. I’m not just recalling random proper titles of leadership. That’s Tulsa’s QB rotation.With inexperienced leadership behind center and the passing game a work in progress, we all expected Tulsa to come out with an emphasis on the rushing attack. The Golden Hurricane finished 2016 as the eighth-best rushing team in the country with the Nos. 1 and 2 rushers in the AAC. No. 2 is back for 2017 — D’Angelo Brewer’s jersey number is 4 actually — and returns after a 1,435-yard, 7-TD season where he averaged 5.4 yards per carry. On Thursday night, Oklahoma State held him to 33 yards on 22 carries for a rough 1.5 average. Tulsa ended up averaging 4.1 yards per carry but that was a bit inflated due to a garbage-time run for 55 yards by Corey Taylor II. Glenn Spencer cracked exactly one and a half grins during postgame availability — that’s a good sign.Here’s a look at Tulsa’s numbersPoints per drive (offense): 1.21Points per drive (defense): 4.33Yards per play: 4.4Third-down conversions: 16/26 (61.5%)Average starting field position: own 25-yard lineRed-zone scoring: 2/4Points off turnovers: 10Time of possession: 36:40So Tulsa couldn’t stop Oklahoma State. No surprise there. But its 61.5 percent on third-down is somewhere between head-scratching and concerning. Especially when you consider that Tulsa was 5 of 10 on third-and-long and 5 of 8 on third down with at least 10 to go. It was also 1 of 2 on fourth down.The Golden Hurricane actually started 0-for-4 on third-and-long until the second quarter when the score was 28-7. OSU’s defense then gave up five of the last six third-and-long situations. Like I said, it’s not ideal but it does fall into OSU’s lane of a “bend-don’t-break” defense. I’m not going to worry too much about it. If not for an unnecessary fumble by QB1 and a perplexing snafu by Jalen McCleskey, OSU wins the turnover battle 2-nil. I’ll take that, 1.1 points per drive and a 50-percent success rate on my opponent’s red-zone trips most days if I’m Spencer.last_img read more