After a week off, we're back at work. K-State didn't take that week off, obviously, and they'll be hoping the extra preparation springboards into a successful start to the Big 12 season. They need all the help they can get, as the front half of the schedule is brutal. First up, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. We sat down with Gerald Tracy from our sister site Cowboys Ride for Free to ask a few questions about what's going on in Stillwater.
Jon: So, that Texas game. What went right, what went wrong, and what the heck was the deal with Gundy playing quarterback Waffle House?
Gerald: Well, the first quarter was just so fantastic. If we could've just replayed that four times, we'd have taken the 14-6 win. However, [Mason] Rudolph hurt his hand (stinger is the rumor) and then his throws looked as bad as ever. That mixed with him being nervous for the first time in his short career made for a pretty bad game. Gundy tried to switch it up and says its because he wanted to get the run game started, but that's a lie.
I'm fully behind the idea that Gundy was confident the defense could hold Texas because our offense wasn't going to do anything, at all.(Note: Rudolph began suffering numbness in his hand during the game. That's a detail Jon wasn't aware of at the time he asked the question.)
Jon: Obviously, the officiating sort of became the main story from Saturday's game. You're not a neutral observer, but nevertheless I'm interested in your thoughts on the crew's performance.
Gerald: I fully agree with the Longhorn fans that say the officiating was terrible. There were calls the Longhorns got called on that made me scratch my head. However, saying they corrupted the game is a tad ridiculous in my mind. The ref didn't cause the punter to forget that his face isn't what you catch with and the ref didn't stop Heard from moving the offense at all the second half. Could it have been better? Sure. But it probably still would've been a Texas loss.
Jon: Mike Gundy had been sort of a mess, going back a couple of years when he started quietly clashing with the administration and was very close (by most reports) from bailing out to head to an SEC job. Suddenly, after last season's Bedlam win, everything was roses and unicorns in Stillwater again. What do you think has changed?
Gerald: We beat OU. This program is still growing. Les Miles started the revolution and though many would like to think we won the revolution, we're still in the middle of it. Gundy just got his second win over OU, it's sort of a big deal considering we have a whole 18 wins in the series.
That coupled with how Mason Rudolph looked really gave fans hope. Stillwater thrives off hope and honestly, other than last week, he hasn't given us much to worry about.
Jon: How are the Cowboys lining up these days? Any major schematic changes from what we're used to seeing?
Gerald: Pistol, shotgun, pretty much the same stuff. They'll go under center occasionally but not often. They're really focused on seeing the run game through, even if its only averaging 2.4 yards per carry.
Jon: We're painfully familiar with J.W. Walsh and Emmanuel Ogbah, and Mason Rudolph's gotten enough press that we've got a good read on him as well. Who else do we need to eyeball this weekend?
Gerald: On offense take a look at the running backs Chris Carson and Rennie Childs. Childs has had the better year in my opinion, looking like a better player but Carson has been the starter and got a majority of the carries. If they can get the run game started, the pass game will be fine.
On defense, look out for the middle of the defensive line. The tackles were a huge question going into the year but Daniels and Vincent Taylor have played as great as anyone could've wished. With how well they have been pressuring the quarterback in every game, the secondary has had time to grow.
Jon: Prediction time. Who ya got, by how much, and why?
Gerald: I've got OSU in this one. Kansas State hasn't won in Stillwater since 1999 (according to winsipedia), and I think the Cowboy defense is pretty great. I am not completely sold on KSU yet, but neither of our teams have really played anyone. 28-17 OSU and your walk-on finally throws one interception.
Our thanks to Gerald for taking the time to participate this week. You're invited to read Jon's answers to Gerald's questions about K-State as well. (In fact, you really should.