Since dropping their season-opener to Florida State, the Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-1, 1-0) have won three straight games, including a Thursday night game against Texas Tech on Sept. 25.
Oklahoma State won, 45-35, and has now scored 40+ points in three straight games.
“The Thursday night game is much different (than a Saturday game),” Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We kind of work backward, making the Wednesday a Friday from a football perspective and our practice and approach. But on campus with the students in school, it’s just considerably different. It worked out for us being on national TV, and (being) the only show in town was really good.”
The win over Texas Tech featured 80 points, 1,040 yards, 55 first downs and five turnovers.
“We’ve always had kind of wild games,” Gundy said. “(They’ve had) a wide-open attack for a number of years, and we’re kind of the same way offensively. A little different now, but both teams are doing very well on offense. I think this is the best offensive line that Tech’s had in a number of years. It’s really difficult to get to the quarterback (Davis Webb). He’s mature now. He’s making some plays. They got skill players. Defensively, we did a great job. Our guys just kind of stayed patient and hoped to tip some balls around and get some interceptions.”
The Cowboys did that three times, picking off Davis twice and Patrick Mahomes once.
Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman, meanwhile, threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns – and the Cowboys needed every one of them. They rushed for 158 yards but needed 42 carries (3.8 yards a pop) to do so.
“We ran the ball a little bit better but not good enough,” Gundy said. “We have to improve in the running game. But (we were) able to throw the ball down the field and make big plays in the passing game and (that) allowed us to win the football game.”
Indeed, Garman has filled in admirably for the injured J.W. Walsh (foot), so much so that Gundy trusts Garman to make clock-killing throws late in the fourth quarter.
“We have to be willing to say we’re going to throw it down the field,” Gundy said. “We are fortunate. We have big guys on the perimeter – guys that are 6-3, 6-4, that have strong hands and big bodies and they can go up and make a play. Daxx has an ability to throw an accurate deep ball. I think as coaches, we have to find out what our players are best capable of achieving . . . and we have to use that to our advantage.
“Sometimes there’s a little more risk than what you would want,” Gundy continued. “But we’re not good enough upfront – we’ve really got four new offensive starters on the line – and we’re not good enough just to line up and pound people and run the ball and punt. So we have to find a way to keep the games going. We’re going to be in a battle each week because of the young players we have, so we have to take more chances than what we would have done years ago.”
This week, thankfully for Gundy, shouldn’t require too many unnecessary chances, as No. 21 Oklahoma State hosts Iowa State (1-3, 0-2) Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.
The Cyclones have lost 10 of their last 13 games.