Gundy's teams successful against Big 12 North
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Friday, October 22, 2010
10/22/10 at 10:15 AM
HAVING MEMBERSHIP in the Big 12 South is tantamount to being in the American League East. Every season, you've got to contend with the Yankees (Oklahoma) and the Red Sox (Texas).
Anyone who complains that Mike Gundy is a combined 0-10 against OU and Texas should remember that the Sooners and Longhorns had great programs long before Oklahoma State made a legitimate commitment to football.
While Gundy still awaits breakthrough triumphs over OU and Texas, his Cowboy teams are 4-1 against Baylor, 4-2 against Texas Tech and 3-3 against Texas A&M. And against the Big 12 North, Gundy and OSU have fared exceptionally well.
In 1996-2005, Oklahoma State was 12-18 against North opponents.
Entering Saturday's homecoming showdown with Nebraska, the Cowboys are 10-2 in their last 12 meetings with North teams. OSU has a six-game win streak against the North. Gundy is 2-0 against Nebraska.
OSU's Gundy era is defined in part by big victories over North squads:
In each of these four games, OSU was the underdog. Nebraska is a six-point favorite on Saturday. The Cowboys complete this season's North schedule by visiting Kansas State next week and Kansas on Nov. 20.
- OSU 41, Nebraska 29 (Oct. 28, 2006 in Stillwater): The Cowboys beat 20th-ranked Nebraska after having rallied from a 16-0, second-quarter deficit. OSU savored its first win over a nationally ranked Husker team.
- OSU 45, Nebraska 14 (Oct. 13, 2007 in Lincoln): Winning in Lincoln for the first time since 1960, the Cowboys rolled to a 38-0 halftime lead. The 31-point defeat was Nebraska's worst at home since 1958.
- OSU 41, Kansas State 39 (Oct. 20, 2007 in Stillwater): The teams combined for 28 fourth-quarter points. With two seconds left to play, OSU's Jason Ricks booted a 26-yard field goal to finish the 25th-ranked Wildcats.
- OSU 28, Missouri 23 (Oct. 11, 2008 at Columbia): This one still qualifies as Gundy's most impressive victory. The Tigers were unbeaten and ranked No. 3. Kendall Hunter rushed for 154 yards and OSU's defense was brilliant, intercepting Chase Daniel three times.
A look at three key things to watch
in Saturday’s Oklahoma State-Nebraska
Patience: Oklahoma State defines
an “explosive play” as an offensive
play that results in a gain of at least 20
yards. Through the first six games of
the season, OSU has had 36 explosive
plays — 20 on pass plays and six on
rush attempts. (In 13 games last season,
the Cowboys finished with only
50 explosive plays.) Against Nebraska,
explosive plays may not occur with
such frequency. Offensive patience
and ball security are critical.
Manhood test: Facing Nebraska will
be unlike anything the Cowboys have
experienced. Because of its emphasis
on running the football, Nebraska’s
offensive line is programmed to
punish. The coaching of Bill Young
has resulted in a more physical brand
of defense at OSU. Nebraska won’t
hesitate to hit. The Cowboy response
must be immediate and effective.
Balance: The percentages would
suggest that OSU has an offensive
imbalance. The Cowboys get 66
percent of their yards from pass plays.
In actuality, OSU is very effectively
balanced. How many spread passing
attacks are driven by the No. 5 rusher
in college football? Kendall Hunter has
830 yards with a 6.1 average per attempt
and 10 touchdowns. Ultimately,
that balance could give OSU a winning
edge on Saturday. If the Cowboy defense
can force Nebraska into passing
downs, the Huskers haven’t shown an
ability to consistently connect. The
Nebraska passing game is average.
2:30 p.m. Saturday
Radio: KFAQ am1170, KRVT am1270
Original Print Headline: North is no problem
Bill Haisten 581-8397
OSU coach Mike Gundy is 2-0 against Nebraska. The Cowboys play the Huskers on Saturday in Stillwater. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World