No. 25 Oklahoma State finally cracked the AP Top 25 and that ascent should continue next week as the Cowboys host winless University of Texas – San Antonio.
“It was interesting watching their games against Arizona and Kansas State,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy. “It’ll be the third time we’ve played them in not that many years. We know a lot about them, and they know a lot about us.”
OSU had an easy time with Central Arkansas last week, winning 32-8 to go 2-0 on the year while UTSA fell to 0-2, with a 3-30 home loss to Kansas State. UTSA opened the season with a 32-42 loss to No. 20 Arizona.
OSU’s schedule gets much tougher next week when the Cowboys play Texas on the road, host Kansas State and travel to West Virginia.
Against Central Arkansas, Cowboy quarterback Mason Rudolph excelled, hitting 23 of 35 passes for 401 yards and two scores. Rennie Childs was the top runner but gained only 50 yards on 8 carries.
“He was good,” Gundy said of Rudoph. “He could’ve been much better. I thought he missed, like, five throws that he normally hits. He did come back and give us some good deep throws, though.
“He’s still young. He’s playing in his fourth or fifth game, so he’s still going to make mistakes. He still needs to be better, but he did hit some deep throws. He missed at least four throws in the first half on first down. We would have been in second and three instead of second and ten.
“They were forcing the pass. They had everybody down in the box. That was the game plan, I’m guessing. When that happens, you have to throw the ball. It’s difficult to run the ball with those types of looks.”
Rudolph’s career-high performance ranks as the third-highest passing yard total for a sophomore in school history. Zac Robinson had 430 yards against Texas in 2007 and Bobby Reid had 411 yards against Kansas in 2006.
That also marks the 12th 400-yard passing game in school history and the first since Wes Lunt’s 436-yard game at Arizona in 2012.
“There were a couple of inaccurate passes that I’m sure Mason (Rudolph) wants back,” said OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. “Those are plays that he usually makes. Those are routine to him.”
“I thought we did well,” said Rudolph. “We had some hiccups in the first half and kind of stalled out some drives, but we were able to bring it back together. The defense played great and got a lot of stops for us to put us in good positions.”
David Glidden’s 67-yard TD reception in the third quarter was the longest reception of his career and the Cowboys’ longest play of the season thus far.
Glidden finished with a career-high 145 receiving yards. It was the most by an OSU receiver since Brandon Sheperd’s 156-yard day at Oklahoma last year.
“Glidden’s a consistent playmaker,” said Rudolph. “He’s always there, he always makes great plays in space, but I have to give all of the credit to the offensive line. They gave me a lot of time and protection to be able to make those throws to him.
“It was good to be able to distribute the ball to a bunch of freaks out there. There are a bunch of guys that make plays for us and it was just a great team win.”
Glidden finished with three receptions of at least 30 yards, two of at least 40 yards and one of more than 60.
“We started out slow, but we got the ball rolling and we got the W. Coach Gundy said that we’re 2-0 and there are a lot of teams that aren’t like that, they don’t have that benefit of going into that next game undefeated,” Glidden said. “There are a lot of improvements to make, but we’ll move on and get things corrected.”
Glidden complimented Rudolph.
“I think he played well,” Glidden said. “There were some times when he had to make some tough throws with guys in his face and he stood in there and delivered the ball. That’s tough to do as a quarterback. Coach Gundy says it all the time that the quarterback has to be the toughest guy on the field and I have to give Mason a lot of credit. He always stays composed and I’ve said that a lot about him and every game he proves me right and it’s impressive.”
He credits the coaches for him having a big night.
“It was just play calling,” Glidden said. “Things just happened to work out right for us. The coaches had a great game plan, I had a couple of shots and Mason just threw the ball on the money and the offensive line was giving him enough time, so everything just worked out.”
Central Arkansas coach Steve Campbell complimented the OSU defense.
“They’re a good defense,” Campbell said. “We tip our hats off to them. We knew that they were a good football team and that we were going to have to play a really good ballgame. I thought the guys played hard, but just didn’t make enough plays.”
OSU is ready to build on its early momentum.
“We’re 2-0, so we have chance next week to make that 3-0 and stay unbeaten,” said OSU safety Jordan Sterns. “We have to keep improving and getting better every week and I think we played better this week than we did last week, so next week we have to keep it up. We can’t be satisfied and I think that the sky is the limit.”