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No. 9 Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh observations: Cowboys offense running like a machine

September 16, 2017 GMT

This offense is a machine

Oklahoma State took possession of the football seven times in the first half on Saturday. It scored seven touchdowns.

With Mason Rudolph running the OSU offense, the Cowboys faced nine third downs. They converted all nine times.

The offense was a machine at Pittsburgh — a finely tuned one that could have broken all sorts of school records if Rudolph and his first-team receivers were forced to play all four quarters.

In 50 plays with the first-string offense, Oklahoma State accumulated 590 yards and 49 points. In the first half, it scored 49 points … on 46 plays.

For the first time in school history, four receivers — Jalen McCleskey, Dillon Stoner, James Washington and Marcell Ateman — produced more than 100 yards receiving. And each did it by the middle of the third quarter.

Mason Rudolph has yet to play a full game

As Tre Flowers ran off the field with the football he intercepted — a ball he held, by the way, all the way to the bench — Rudolph stood by the Cowboy defensive players instead of in OSU’s offensive huddle.

There was 5:26 left in the third quarter and Rudolph had his helmet off.

Another week, another day that ended early for the senior quarterback. For good reason.

Rudolph has yet to play in the fourth quarter for Oklahoma State — OSU has had insurmountable leads against Tulsa, South Alabama and Pittsburgh.

In 8.5 quarters this season — a little more than two full games — Rudolph’s numbers are remarkable: 68-of-94 (72.3 percent), 1,135 yards, 11 touchdowns and an interception.

As defense exits nonconference play, additional confidence

One element that made Oklahoma State’s offense look even better Saturday: The fact the defense kept rushing the Pittsburgh offense off the field.

As the Cowboys built a commanding lead, OSU forced three punts and a turnover on downs in Pittsburgh’s first four offensive possessions, allowing only two first downs.

For the second consecutive game, Oklahoma State’s front seven was impressive. DeQuinton Osborne sped around the right tackle for a first-half sack, and Justin Phillips and Chad Whitener remain sure tacklers.

In the first three quarters, the defense held Pittsburgh’s offense to 14 points on 11 possessions — 1.3 points per possession.