If Teams Are Selling out to Stop OSU’s Run Game, Why Not Pass More?

first_imgLook at these two quotes from the two Mikes (G. and Y.) after the Central Arkansas game. The head ball coach first.“They were in a defense that was focused on stopping the run. In the end, we threw the ball down the field with the style of defense we were seeing.”And now the playcaller.“Our balance and run/pass ratio was good, but we’ve got to be more effective in the run game by getting more yards per carry and making sure we’re in second-and-normal downs.”Gundy says UCA was focused on stopping the run. He said the same thing about Central Michigan.“(Central Michigan and Central Arkansas) defended us so we can’t run the football,” Gundy told the Tulsa World. “When that happens, there are two ways to handle it. You throw a lot of passes, or you’re just physically better up front and your tailback is much better than the defense is at tackling, and you just say that we’re not concerning ourselves with the structure of the defense.”Yurcich said he still wanted balance. My question … why?Here’s the longer question I have — and it’s something I posited after the game on Saturday — if teams are going to sell out to stop the run against Oklahoma State (and it sounds like they are), then why doesn’t OSU throw it on every single down.I get it, you want a good mix and you want to keep folks off balance, but sometimes it feels like Yurcich is setting up plays for six quarters later. Like a poker player throwing away a hand early in a big tournament to set up a monster beat later on down the road … except he gets bounced out three hands later so it doesn’t matter.This stuff can be overthought. If you have a good-to-great quarterback (you do!) and an embarrassment of riches on the outside (you do!) and teams are killing themselves to keep your yards per carry under five (they are!), then … uh … throw the thing.Throw it until they make you run it. Throw it until Mason’s arm falls off. Throw 8-yard curls and that sweet deep out to James Washington and skinny posts to Marcell Ateman. Throw it down field, hit your Cowboy Backs in the flats and for the love of Walt Garrison, run Jeff Carr on the wheel route.Trust No. 2.I’m completely aware I sound like the 77-year-old alum in Section 232, Row K right now who knows how to call plays because he grew up watching Joe Namath, but what I’m talking about is more philosophical.OSU has passed it 71 times and run it 70 so far this year. It’s as if Yurcich is trying to achieve a balance on the field the Dalai Lama could be proud of even if defenses haven’t dictated that. It gets old watching your alma mater bang its collective head against a wall. If you’re not “physically better up front” like Gundy said, there’s only one option left. Throw it.The flip side of this is that if you have a really good defense (which OSU has), you also want to protect the ball (which OSU is doing). I’m actually a fan of that. But we need to stop expecting the high-powered offense we’ve tasted in the last half decade.Maybe all of this is just our fault because of misplaced expectations?But I think this offense can (and should) be better than it has been so far.These are the games you want to stretch yourself and try things out to see what works.  Maybe that’s what’s happening so far and when Malik Jefferson and Co. put eight in the box in Austin next weekend, Yurcich will let Rudolph gallop a little bit.That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more