After keeping their Big 12 hopes alive with a 38-31 win over Iowa State, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will have a week off before traveling to Kansas on October 22.
ISU turned out to be tougher than most thought.
“That was a good college football game,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said Saturday. “I had warned our team last week about Iowa State and the ability they have to move the football. Their quarterback is a good player and they’ll spread you out. They have good runners, good schemes on both sides of the ball, and they made some really nice adjustments on us. It took us a long time, offensively, to adjust with them.”
OSU (3-2, 1-1 in the Big 12) trailed by 17 points in the fourth quarter and was in danger of experiencing their second Big 12 loss. OSU’s comeback marked the seventh time quarterback Mason Rudolph has led the Cowboys to victory after trailing in the second half.
“…we can score fast,” Gundy said. “If we were in a conventional offense, we would have been in trouble. We have the ability to score really fast, and we have playmakers that can pick up big chunks of yards. I didn’t feel that way, but I didn’t feel very good either.”
Rudolph had at least 300 yards passing for the ninth time in his career and for the third time in his last four games.
“A lot of teams are trying to take away the deep threat from us because we are so lethal down the field,” said Rudolph. “They are throwing different looks at us that we haven’t seen in the previous five games of the season. I have to give the credit to our coaching staff for making great adjustments at halftime and making sure that we have some schemes to work with to execute and we executed well.”
James Washington’s 152 receiving yards marked the eighth 100-yard receiving game in his career and his second of the season. He passed Josh Stewart, who had seven career 100-yard receiving games, in OSU’s record books with that effort. Only Rashaun Woods (20), Justin Blackmon (19), Hart Lee Dykes (18) and Dez Bryant (9) have done it more than Washington.
Washington was injured last week and practiced sparingly. He was a difference maker.
“(The defense) plays differently,” said Gundy. “You go back and watch it and study how they play when he’s in the game compared to when he’s not, they’re going to get an extra guy in the box in the running game.”
Washington entered the game ranked third nationally in 20-plus yard catches this season with 10. He had three such plays today, adding catches of 24, 42, 35 yards.
The Cowboys are welcoming the off week.
“We feel good and it is much needed rest,” Rudolph said. “It’s been a long haul these past few games and had some guys getting beat up. It’ll be good to relax, get our bodies back and prepare for Kansas. I am very proud of this team and how we’ve battled back and fought through it. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
“We need a week off,” Gundy said. “This was a tough week for us. We had several guys that didn’t play and we had several guys that played that didn’t practice this week. I’ve never been a big fan of guys playing in games that didn’t get much work during the week, but we really didn’t have much choice from a depth standpoint. They did okay, but recognition for some of those guys wasn’t good because they weren’t out there (during the week). We need the time.”