10 Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 24-3 Victory against West Virginia

November 6, 2021

The Cowboys have a sneaky stretch of three games before Bedlam, but they passed test one with flying colors.

Oklahoma State thumped West Virginia 24-3 on Saturday in Morgantown to advance to 8-1. Here are 10 thoughts from the game.

1. Jarret Doege Probably Checks for Jim Knowles Under His Bed

Jarret Doege would probably be fine without seeing the color orange ever again.

In his past two games against the Cowboys, he was sacked 13 times and hurried 12 times. OSU’s defensive front was having a field day on him Saturday, sacking him eight times.

It wasn’t just one guy wreaking the havoc, either. Six Cowboys recorded a sack with Devin Harper and Brock Martin recording two apiece.

Doege entered the weekend leading the Big 12 in passing with 2,071 yards, an average of 258.9 yards a game. He had 109 passing yards Saturday with no touchdowns and an interception.

2. The Past Two Weeks

This marks the first time since the 1949 season that Oklahoma State has held consecutive conference opponents without a touchdown.

Back then, OSU finished its 1948 Missouri Valley Conference season with a 19-0 victory over Tulsa and started the 1949 conference slate with a 28-0 victory against Drake. It’s not every day Jim Lookabuagh era stats get modernized. The forward pass had only been legalized for about 40 years when those two games took place.

Another crazy stat the past two weeks have provided is Kansas and West Virginia were a combined 2-for-27 on third down against OSU. That’s a stat Jim Knowles’ defenses have become known for, but that is outright ridiculous.

3. Tay Martin’s Double Fade Redemption

Tay Martin dropped an end zone fade in Austin, but he proved it to be a fluke in Morgantown — twice.

Martin caught a pair of touchdown passes Saturday, both coming off end-zone fades. The first was from six yards out in the second quarter.

Then he nearly did the exact same thing in the third quarter, but this one was from 12 yards out.

Martin finished with 63 receiving yards on seven catches. It marks the third consecutive game Martin has caught a touchdown pass. It’s the first time Martin has scored multiple receiving TDs in a game as a Cowboy after doing so four times at Washington State.

4. Sanders Shows Growth in Trick-Play Check Downs

Kasey Dunn drew up a flea flicker and a reverse flea flicker in the Cowboys’ final drive of the first half, and Sanders made the right call by not throwing caution to the wind on either.

Sanders was pressured on the first attempt. Instead of heaving a 50/50 ball to Tay Martin, Sanders evaded the pressure and scampered for a 2-yard gain and a first down. On the second, Sanders had time, but with no one open, he threw the ball to the West Virginia sideline to preserve a field-goal attempt deep in Mountaineers territory.

I imagine it’s easy to feel the need to force a big play when trickeration is involved, but it was mature of Sanders to take what was available.

He did throw one interception Saturday, but it came on a spectacular play from All-Big 12er Dante Stills. It was his first interception since the first half of the Texas game. Sanders guided the offense well with the defense being the star of the show. OSU’s quarterback was 21-for-31 for 182 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also had 18 yards rushing.

It was Sanders’ 20th career win. He is fifth all-time among OSU quarterbacks behind:

1. Mason Rudolph — 32
2. Mike Gundy — 28
T3. Brandon Weeden — 23
T3. Zac Robinson — 23

5. Scorin’ Warren Returns

When Jaylen Warren has a clear path into the end zone, he does this double-footed hop. He did that Saturday.

Warren scored trotted in from 13 yards out in the fourth quarter.

It was Warren’s first touchdown since the Baylor game. He finished with 78 yards on 16 carries. After carrying the ball 128 times between the Boise State and Texas game, Warren has been able to stay fresh with just 43 carries the past three games. That’s something that could benefit the Cowboys down the stretch.

6. Rodriguez on the Edge of History

Malcolm Rodriguez’s nine tackles Saturday brings him to 366 career takedowns, just three from tying for fifth on OSU’s all-time list.

That list is made more significant by the fact that OSU’s Top 5 tacklers has been unchanged since Sim Drain finished his college career in 1989. Rodriguez should knock Drain out of the Top 5 next week against TCU.

Place Name Total Tackles Years
1 John Corker 496 1976-79
2 Mike Green 485 1979-82
3 Ricky Young 451 1978-81
4 Leslie O’Neal 393 1982-85
5 Sim Drain 369 1986-89
6 Malcolm Rodriguez 366 2017-present

It’ll be nice for this all-time elite defense to have an all-time elite player among the program’s best in career tacklers.

7. Oliver Gets Another

From one end of the career spectrum to the other, true freshman Collin Oliver got another sack Saturday, bringing his season total to 5.5, which still leads the team after a sack-happy Saturday.

Oliver didn’t record a sack against Kansas, but he has five in OSU’s past five games. Should he get a sack a game from here on out, he would finish the regular season with 8.5 sacks, and he’ll have at least a bowl game and maybe a Big 12 title game to get into double-digits. It’d be the first time a true freshman did so under Mike Gundy.

Oliver was close a handful of times Saturday, but he finally converted in the fourth quarter.

8. Gross Shadows

This might be the equivalent of the 300-level camera angle in GIA, but the shadows at Milan Puskar Stadium are disgusting.

They should’ve turned the lights on for a game that started at 3:30 p.m. local time. When the game started, the West Virginia sideline was in the shade, and that shade crept over the rest of the field throughout the first half.

It’s unfortunate, but there isn’t a ton anyone can do about it. I don’t think the sun is going to adjust its patterns to benefit the West Virginia viewing experience.

9. The Tom Hutton Game

There was a solid punter battle going on for those who are interested in that sort of thing.

Tom Hutton was one of the Pokes’ best players in a day where a lot of players performed well. Hutton put five of his six punts inside the West Virginia 20-yard line.

His two most impactful punts came in the third quarter. He skied one that came down and bounced off Graeson Malashevich’s facemask. Korie Black pounced on it.

Brennan Presley caught Hutton’s next punt to down it on the WVU 3-yard line.

It all goes together. OSU’s offense takes care of the ball, Hutton pins opponents deep and the Cowboy defense slaughters everything in sight.

10. Solo Second

With the OSU win and Baylor falling to TCU, the Cowboys stand alone in second place in the Big 12.

The possibility of a Bedlam battle in Arlington seems as likely as it has since the conference championship game has returned.

Oklahoma still has to play all the game’s other contenders, finishing the season with games against Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. On the opposite end of that, two of OSU’s remaining three games are against teams with interim head coaches. The likelihood of OSU making it to Arlington might be as high as OU at this point.

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