The Oklahoma State Cowboys had a chance to win their first Big 12 title since 2011. If they took advantage of this opportunity in Bedlam to get a victory, they could have won their biggest rivalry game and claim their second Big 12 championship in the last decade. Yet, the Oklahoma Sooners emerged on top by the score of 38-20. The loss moves the Pokes to 9-3 (7-2 Big 12). While the Sooners moved to 10-2 (9-0 Big 12). It was an impressive run for the Sooners being able to go undefeated in conference play after a 1-2 start to the season. OK State quarterback Mason Rudolph was completely outperformed by OU quarterback Baker Mayfield. Rudolph did not post a single passing touchdown and threw for less than 200 yards, while Mayfield had three passing touchdowns and more than 275 yards passing. Now let’s take a look at Oklahoma State’s week 14 takeaways after their Bedlam loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.
Oklahoma State’s Week 14 Takeaways
Mason Rudolph Should Come Back for Another Season
This may seem like a large jump to make in a lot of people’s minds, but it would be a smart idea for Rudolph return to Oklahoma State for his senior season. He still has a chance to add to his NFL Draft stock in the bowl game. However, it’s likely that wide receiver James Washington stays another year. Rudolph and Washington are one of the most lethal quarterback-wide receiver duos in college football.
The biggest issues with Rudolph right now are his inconsistency on the road and accuracy problems. Rudolph has struggled to consistently complete intermediate routes this season. Furthermore, he looks like a completely different quarterback on the road. What looked like a potential first or second round selection now looks like a fourth to sixth round pick for Rudolph. One more year of development in Stillwater could make a world’s difference.
Justice Hill is the Future of the Cowboys Offense
True freshman Justice Hill became the first Oklahoma State rusher to get more than 1,000 yards in a single season since Joseph Randle in 2012. He was one-yard shy, against OU, of getting over the century mark for the sixth time this season. Hill finished the regular season with 1,042 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Senior running back Chris Carson has split time with Hill in the backfield. Next season Hill will be the clear starter. If Rudolph and Washington do return for Hill’s sophomore campaign this offense could be incredibly dynamic in 2017. Hill’s combination of speed, agility, and elusiveness, give him a rare skills set that makes him one of the best running backs the Cowboys have seen in the last decade.
Mike Gundy Still Makes Questionable Decisions
There were two very questionable decisions that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy made during Bedlam. The first was running out the clock on offense right before halftime. Running back Barry J. Sanders returned a kick close to midfield with 18 seconds left in the half. OU scored to tie the game at 17. Yet, the Cowboys had a great chance to carry some momentum into halftime, with the possibility of chucking one up into the end zone or trying for a field goal. But the Cowboys only ran one play and ran the rest of the time out.
The second decision was to attempt a field goal with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter instead of trying to score a touchdown. At this point in time, the Pokes were down 31-20. They faced a third-and-ten and decided to run a draw. On fourth-and-short, the Pokes could have tried for their second fourth down conversion on the drive. Instead, kicker Ben Grogan shanked the field goal. On the following play, OU running back Joe Mixon scored on a 79-yard rushing touchdown to effectively seal the victory for the Sooners.
Oklahoma State travels to San Antonio to take on the Colorado Buffaloes on Dec. 29 in the Alamo Bowl. The Buffs have a record of 10-3 (8-2 PAC-12) after losing in the PAC-12 Championship.