Guess who leads the nation in blocked kicks?
It’s Oklahoma State, who blocked three consecutive PATs Saturday en route to an impressive 49-31 win over then-No. 22 Texas in Stillwater.
The three blocks matched a school record that was first set in 2014 against Missouri.
Two of those blocks were by Vincent Taylor, who now has three blocked kicks this season and four in his career. He blocked Texas’ second PAT attempt and picked it up before lateralling to Tre Flowers, who then returned it for a score. Darrion Daniels blocked Texas’ other PAT attempt, marking the first block of his career.
“After the game I had mentioned that when they were in the position to tie it up with the PAT and then you get a block and get two points changes the momentum of the game and gets the crowd back into it, which excited the team,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said Monday.
“And to do it two more times was really special. Joe Bob Clements is our coordinator for our PAT field goal and they had a nice plan to attack No. 63, and it worked out for us.”
The Cowboys play Iowa State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
ISU nearly upset undefeated Baylor, 42-45. The Bears needed a field goal with no time left on the clock to win.
It takes a lot of points to win in the Big 12 this season.
“It’s not necessarily just the Big 12 now,” Gundy said. “If you look at the SEC, which has over the years prided itself on defense, and the scores in their league are very similar to the scores in our league to a certain extent that we’re in a trend again.
“We talked about how we have good quarterback play in this league. We have really good players – potential NFL players who are mature and understand.
“They’re using offenses that use the entire width of the field. You’re getting skill players in space and quarterbacks that keep the ball and run.
“You can’t evaluate defenses as much on yards and points. I think the two areas that are important are if you’re going to give up yards, which you are, then field goals are better than touchdowns. So what you do inside the 10-yard-line is really important. Then you can just throw out the points and yards per game. It needs to be based on total number of opportunities that the defense is given to stop them because you’re averaging around 28 plays more per offense with these style of offenses than you were even eight years ago.
“So your numbers are going to be inflated just by total opportunities to get yards and to get points.”
OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has seen rapid improve in the Cyclone offense.
“They kind of staredt breaking out on TCU,” Spencer said. “I think they moved the ball well on them, too. The first couple weeks of the year, they were a bit more conservative and they decided that they needed to formation everybody and start motioning, giving quads and empty. Then all of a sudden they started to see a lot of gaps and are using the quarterback run game a lot more, a quarterback power, quarterback lead – which a lot of times they’ll get an extra guy for. They’ve opened it up, and it’s paid off dividends, so I’m sure they’re going to keep doing the same things.”
Against Texas, Justice Hill scored OSU’s first touchdown on a 30-yard rush on the opening drive.
Hill, from Tulsa, finished with 135 yards on 25 carries. It was his second career and second-straight 100-yard rushing game.
It also marks OSU’s third-straight game with a 100-yard rusher. That last time OSU had three-straight games with a 100-yard ball carrier was in Sept. of 2012 when Joseph Randle topped 100-yards vs. Arizona, Louisiana and Texas.