No. 22/21 Oklahoma State at Louisiana

STILLWATER, Okla. – The 4-0 Oklahoma State Cowboys will close the non-conference portion of the 2010 schedule with their first road trip of the season as they head to Lafayette to face the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns for a rare Friday night game. Kickoff is set for 8:05 p.m. with ESPN2 on hand to televise the contest. It is Oklahoma State’s second straight game on the ESPN family of networks as OSU defeated Texas A&M last week on the original. Overall, it is the third national telecast of the season for the Cowboys. OSU opened the season by defeating Washington State on FSN.

Late Departure

Only twice since 1975 has OSU played its first road game after Oct. 8. In 1975, the Cowboys opened road play Oct. 11 at Missouri and last season OSU did not play a road game until Oct. 10 at Texas A&M.

Road Experience

Most of the Cowboys will be making the first road starts of their careers at Louisiana, including four of the offensive linemen. However, they will gain a feel for it quickly as OSU now enters a stretch with three road games in four weeks and five road games in seven weeks.

Joe Goes Home

Joe DeForest, OSU’s associate head coach, special teams coordinator and safeties coach, is an alum of Louisiana. The school was known as Southwestern Louisiana when DeForest played football and baseball for the Ragin Cajuns. He graduated from the school with a degree in marketing in 1987. Another Cowboy heading home is defensive end/inside receiver Wilson Youman, who hails from St. Martinville, La. OSU director of football operations Mack Butler spent four years in the same capacity at LSU.

DeForest Faces OSU

As a player at Southwestern Louisiana, DeForest was credited with a tackle against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Sept. 6, 1986. OSU won the game, 21-20, when quarterback Ronnie Williams hit Hart Lee Dykes with a 11-yard TD pass with just eight seconds remaining. That game, played in Lafayette, was the first ever between the Cowboys and Ragin Cajuns.

The Series

Oklahoma State leads the series with Louisiana, 5-0. That count includes a 2-0 record in Lafayette. The Cowboys were 21-20 winners in Lafayette in 1986 and won again on the road in 1997, 31-7. The Ragin Cajuns visited Stillwater in 1987 (OSU won, 36-0), 1998 (OSU won, 44-20) and in 2003 (OSU won, 56-3).

Shining Against The Sun Belt

Oklahoma State is 22-2 all-time against members of the Sun Belt Conference. The Cowboys got their 22nd win earlier this season with a 41-38 victory over Troy. OSU survived five turnovers in that contest. OSU’s five meeting with Louisiana makes it the second longest series Oklahoma State has against the current Sun Belt membership. The Cowboys have faced North Texas (which is just three hours from Stillwater) 11 times.

Cajun Field Carnage

Cajun Field, the home of Louisiana, has been a landmine for a couple of Big 12 teams. Twenty-fifth ranked Texas A&M was a loser there in 1996 and Kansas State lost at Louisiana last season.

Road Signs

Oklahoma State is 6-3 on the road over the last two seasons with four wins in its last five road games. That turnaround is dramatic considering the Cowboys were 4-12 away from home in their first three seasons under Mike Gundy. Last season’s 3-1 road record was the best for the Cowboys since the 1988 team also went 3-1.

September Wrap

Oklahoma State’s 38-35 win over Texas A&M put the wraps on a perfect September and improved OSU to 12-1 in its last 13 September games. OSU is 19-4 in September games under Mike Gundy.

Back In The Balloting

Oklahoma State checks in at No. 22 in this week’s Associated Press poll. It is the first AP ranking of the season for OSU after the Cowboys spent nearly all of 2008 and 2009 in the top 25 and reached the top 10 in both seasons. OSU is No. 21 in the USA Today coaches poll. OSU has been ranked for three straight weeks by the coaches.

More On AP

When unranked Oklahoma State entered the season opener against Washington State, it ended a string of 27 straight weeks in the AP top 25 (the second longest streak in school history).  Some other rankings notes:

• OSU is 14-8 as a member of the AP top 25 under Mike Gundy.

• OSU is 12-3 under Gundy when playing as a member of the AP top 25 against an unranked opponent. The losses came to Houston, Oklahoma and against Ole Miss in last year’s Cotton Bowl.

The Spirit Of 76

Under Mike Gundy, OSU has now cracked the AP top 25 in three straight seasons. OSU had not been ranked by the AP in three straight seasons since the Cowboys made the polls (at least for a week) in six straight years from the finale of 1970 through the first game of 1977.

Aggie Rewind

Oklahoma State is coming off of a wild 38-35 victory over Texas A&M. It was a contest that saw both teams build, and then lose, 14-point leads. OSU’s Dan Bailey booted a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game for the final margin of victory. Some notes from the win over the Aggies:

• The Cowboys rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit. It was the third time in the last six regular season games (Colorado of 2009, Troy and A&M in 2010) that Oklahoma State trailed at the half and rallied for a win. It was also the third rally in five games in which quarterback Brandon Weeden saw significant playing time (he led the Colorado comeback after starting the second half).

• Bailey’s field goal against the Aggies was the first game-winner for OSU on the final snap since Larry Roach booted a 24-yarder to beat Tulsa, 23-21, in 1981. Jason Ricks had a field goal to beat Kansas State in 2007, but the Cowboys had to cover a kickoff to clinch the victory.

• OSU had the ball for just 21:28 against the Aggies, its lowest time of possession since a 2002 win over Baylor in which the Cowboys held the ball for just 20:55 in a 63-28 win.

• Through three quarters, OSU had outgained A&M by a slim 313-307 margin. However, Texas A&M ran 33 plays to OSU’s nine in the fourth quarter for the final discrepancy in total offense tilted toward Texas A&M. The Aggies ran 106 plays to 68 for the Cowboys.

• The Cowboys ripped off 28 straight points after trailing 21-7 to seize control (albeit temporary) of the game.

Still Going

Oklahoma State is one of just 18 unbeaten college football teams as the season hits the second Saturday of October. OSU has some familiar company with four other Big 12 teams also still unbeaten. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are the only unbeaten teams remaining in the Big 12 South with Missouri, Nebraska and K-State perfect in the North.

Another 4-0

Oklahoma State is 4-0 for the 14th time in school history and for the second in three seasons. Mike Gundy has been part of four of those 4-0 starts with two as OSU’s starting quarterback and two more as head coach. OSU has started a season 4-0 just four times since 1988 after making a 4-0 record the norm in the 1980s with six of them.

The Drive For Five

Oklahoma State last started a season with five straight wins in 2008 when the Cowboys bolted to a 7-0 record before losing a heartbreaker at No. 1 Texas. A win at Louisiana would give Oklahoma State a second 5-0 start in three seasons, but just the fifth 5-0 record since 1946.

The Gundy Years

Oklahoma State alum Mike Gundy has brought stability to accompany an impressive list of accomplishments in his tenure as head coach at OSU. The former OSU quarterback is in his sixth season with a 40-27 record at his alma mater. Some of OSU’s achievements under Gundy:

• Four straight bowl appearances (over the last four years) for the first time in school history. Overall, OSU has a school-best seven bowl appearances in eight seasons.

• A preseason AP top 10 ranking for the first time ever (2009)

• A return to the AP top five (2009) for the first time since 1985

• A school-record six conference wins in 2009 with a second-place finish in the rugged Big 12 South

• Four straight Big 12 rushing titles. OSU had never led its conference in rushing

• Two appearances on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

• An improved conference win total every year (from one to six in five years)

• Four straight seasons with at least seven wins for the first time in school history

• Three of the top seven offenses in OSU history have come under Gundy (and he quarterbacked the best offense in OSU history).

• Gundy is the first coach in OSU history to win three straight meetings against Texas A&M.

Gundy By The Numbers

Mike Gundy’s 40-27 record is perhaps deceiving.

• The Cowboys were 12-15 after 27 games under Gundy, but have gone 28-12 over the last 40 games and 23-8 over the last 31 games.

• Four of the losses came to teams ranked in the top three of the AP poll at game time.

• OSU is 20-21 under Gundy in Big 12 play. However, OSU is 16-9 in league play over the last three-plus seasons and 12-5 against conference foes in the last two-plus years.

Gundy In Perspective

Mike Gundy is the eighth man in school history to coach into his sixth season. The longest tenured football coaches at OSU are Jim Lookabaugh and Pat Jones, who spent 11 seasons each at the helm of the program. Jones also leads OSU with 62 all-time victories while Gundy, who played quarterback for Jones, is third with 40 wins. Gundy’s .597 winning percentage is third best on the school list. College Football Hall of Famer Pappy Waldorf won at a .735 clip during his five seasons in Stillwater before he headed for Berkeley and the University of California. Gundy and Jones top all of OSU’s head coaches with four bowl teams each.  Gundy is OSU’s only coach to earn a bowl bid in four straight seasons.

Freshmen Orientation

Oklahoma State’s freshman class continues to contribute in big ways in 2010. Linebacker Caleb Lavey became the 14th member of the class to see action this season when he checked in against the Aggies. His classmates’ contributions against Texas A&M included:

• A 38-yard touchdown reception by running back Joseph Randle

• A 28-yard interception return by linebacker Shaun Lewis that led to the eventual game-winning points

• A 45-yard kickoff return by Justin Gilbert

• Three solo tackles and a pass break-up by cornerback Devin Hedgepeth

Young Guns

Oklahoma State is among the national leaders in true freshmen seeing playing time. Through four games, OSU ranks fifth in the country in that category behind only Air Force (17), Florida (16) and Syracuse and Tennessee (15 apiece).

How Young Is Too Young

Oklahoma State heads into its last non-conference game of the season as one of America’s youngest teams. How young is OSU?

• OSU’s second-leading rusher is true freshman Joseph Randle.

• The second and third-team quarterbacks are freshmen.

• Nine of OSU’s top 11 receivers, statistically, are underclassmen.

• A true freshman leads OSU in kickoff and punt returns.

• Sixteen Cowboys have made their first career starts in 2010.

• The Cowboys have four new starters in the offensive line, three new starters at linebacker (from 2009) and three new starters in the secondary.

• Ten OSU players have scored this season with only Kendall Hunter and kicker Dan Bailey representing the senior class in that category.

Picking Their Spots

The young OSU defense doesn’t carry great statistics into the Louisiana game but numbers can be a bit deceiving. Texas A&M had 288 of its 535 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter when the Aggies ran 33 plays (partly due to a defensive score by OSU and another forced turnover by OSU that basically kept the OSU offense off the field for four straight possessions). OSU led the Aggies in total offense heading into the fourth quarter, but the Cowboys were eventually outgained by a 535-351 advantage.

Deciphering The D

Oklahoma State’s defense may not have the numbers of the OSU offense, but there is some substance in OSU’s numbers:

• OSU has handily outscored its opposition in every quarter, but the fourth. The opposition holds a 43-38 advantage in that period, thanks in part to massive reserves playing on the defensive side late in some blowout games.

• In the first three quarters this season, OSU holds a 171-75 scoring advantage.

Listening To Mr. Bill

Since his arrival back at his alma mater, defensive coordinator Bill Young has been preaching turnovers to the Cowboys. The young defenders appear to be listening. OSU enters its fifth game of the season sixth nationally and tops in the Big 12 with 14 forced turnovers. Keep in mind that OSU’s total was reached in just four games.

Picking It Up – And Off

The Oklahoma State defense was among the last in the country to register an interception. OSU did not have a pick through the first two games of the season. However, over the last two games the Cowboys have intercepted seven passes and now rank No. 16 nationally in that category. Six players have a pick and senior corner Andrew McGee has two to his credit.

Hitting The Top 10

Oklahoma State has reached the top 10 in one of the most important statistical categories. The Cowboys are No. 10 in turnover margin entering the Louisiana game. The seven fumble recoveries and seven interceptions give OSU a plus-1.25 turnover margin per game.


When senior linebacker Orie Lemon was lost to injury the week before the 2009 season opener against Georgia, it was hard to see a silver lining. It’s easy to see now as Lemon anchors a Cowboy defense that returned just two starters from last season. Through four games, the Houston senior:

• Is coming off a 14-tackle effort against A&M that included a quarterback sack and three tackles for loss

• Is averaging nine tackles per game to lead OSU and rank No. 6 in the Big 12 Conference

• Is tied for the Big 12 lead and ranks fourth nationally with two fumble recoveries

• Ranks No. 12 in the Big 12 with 4.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage

• Leads the nation with 8.25 solo tackles per game

Dean Martin

The elder statesman of the youthful OSU secondary is Markelle Martin. Perhaps the most talented player on the defensive roster, the Wichita Falls junior is having an outstanding season. He is coming off of an A&M game that saw him pick up eight tackles to go with an interception, a pass break up in the end zone and a quarterback hurry.

Senior State-man

Ugo Chinasa was the only returning starter in the Cowboy defensive line and the quiet Texan let his play do the talking against Texas A&M. The Lott Trophy watch list member had six tackles, two quarterback sacks for 15 yards in losses, a pass deflection, an interception that he returned 22 yards, and three total tackles for loss, including one on a fourth and one, against the Aggies.

In Numeric Order

Through the first four games of the season, Oklahoma State’s offense, despite replacing eight starters, shows signs of a potential history-making season. Oklahoma State enters the Louisiana game averaging 534.8 yards per game (thanks in part to a school-record 722 yards against Tulsa). While it will be hard for that average to go anywhere but down as the season advances, it is worth noting that the school record for total offense in a season is 515.2 yards per game (1988).  That ’88 squad is the only one in school history to average more than 500 yards per game. The current Cowboys are also averaging 52.2 points per game. The school record in that category is also held by the 1988 Cowboys featuring All-America receiver Hart Lee Dykes, Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders and the Big Eight Conference’s all-time leader in passing and total offense in quarterback Mike Gundy. That ’88 team averaged 47.5 points per game.

Four Steps

Oklahoma State’s current 52.2-point average (209 points through four games) is the third best four-game scoring total in school history. In 2008, OSU scored 224 points over four games, reaching at least 55 points in all four games. The 1988 Cowboys scored 219 points during the last three games of the regular season plus the Holiday Bowl. The 209 points to date are the most ever scored by OSU through the first four games of a season. Prior to 1915, OSU topped that mark, but that total included several non-college competitions.


Just four games into the 2010 season and Oklahoma State has surpassed the 60-point mark twice with 65 against both Tulsa and Washington State. OSU has reached the 60-point mark just 16 times in its history. The 2010 Cowboys become just the third team to reach the 60-point mark twice in the same season and the first since 1988. The only other team to reach 60 more than once came in 1912 and that squad accomplished the feat three times.

Big Plays Live Here

How explosive has the Oklahoma State offense been through three games? Consider:

• Twelve Cowboys have a pass reception of at least 17 yards

• Five Cowboys have a rush of at least 16 yards

• Twenty pass plays of at least 20 yards are already in the books

• The 81-yard Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon TD is the seventh longest pass play in the NCAA this season

• OSU has 18 scoring drives with an elapsed time of less than two minutes (including a 91-yard drive in 1:26 and an 81-yard drive in 1:42)

Cashing In

Oklahoma State is sixth nationally in red zone offense with points on 18 of its 19 chances. The breakdown includes seven rushing touchdowns, seven passing touchdowns and four field goals.

The Triplets Again

Throughout some of the most successful offensive periods in OSU history, the Cowboys have been led by “The Triplets”. It started in 1988 with Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders, All-America receiver Hart Lee Dykes and the Big Eight’s all-time passing leader Mike Gundy. A reference to triplets resurfaced again twice this century with the Josh Fields-Tatum Bell-Rashaun Woods-led teams of the early 2000s under Les Miles, and the 2008 juggernaut of Zac Robinson, Kendall Hunter (first-team All-American) and Dez Bryant (first-team All-American). Another trio has surfaced through four weeks of the 2010 season as Brandon Weeden, Kendall Hunter and Justin Blackmon are all over the NCAA stat charts as the Cowboys head to Lafayette.

• Sophomore receiver Justin Blackmon leads the NCAA in scoring, receiving yards per game and TD catches.

• Running back Kendall Hunter is fourth in scoring and sixth in rushing.

• Quarterback Brandon Weeden is ninth in passing efficiency and No. 13 in total offense.

The Forgotten All-American

Quiet Kendall Hunter prefers to remain anonymous and most of the college football media have seemed happy to oblige him. Hunter, a 2008 first-team All-American (as voted by the FWAA) and the Big 12’s leading rusher that season, was all but forgotten in the hype leading up to the 2010 season opener.  The start to the 2010 season may have served as a reminder of his talents. After four games:

• Hunter is sixth nationally with an average of 143.5 rushing yards per game.

• He is fourth in the country (but second on the team) in scoring (12 points per game).

• He is No. 11 in the country with an average of 174.25 all-purpose yards per game (and he had a 100-yard kickoff return wiped out by penalty).

• Factoring in a bowl game, he is on track for 1,800 rushing yards.

• He ran for 208 yards in the first half against Washington State. It was the first 200-yard half by a Cowboy since Barry Sanders ran for 217 vs. Kansas in 1988.

• His four rushing touchdowns against the Cougars were just one shy of Sanders’ school record (which Sanders set three times in 1988).

• He is averaging an extremely healthy 7.0 yards per rush this season.

Hunter And History

At a university steeped in tailback tradition with the aura of perhaps the greatest runner in college football history setting the standard, Kendall Hunter has already carved a place for himself in Cowboy backfield lore.

• He is seventh all-time in rushing with 3,207 yards and No. 5 with 29 career rushing TDs.

• Hunter is the nation’s seventh active leading rusher, despite averaging just 14 carries per game.

• He has moved up to No. 13 all-time at OSU in scoring with 186 points (tied with the legendary Bob Fenimore).

• Hunter averages an impressive 6.25 yards per rush for his career, second only to Barry Sanders among OSU’s top 10 all-time runners.

• Hunter’s 257-yard effort vs. Washington State was the 12th best game in OSU history.

• He has 14 career 100 yard rushing games and two 200-yard games. He has three 100-yard games and a 200-yard game this season.

Good Company

A quick recap of the handful of names that remain ahead of Kendall Hunter on OSU’s all-time rushing chart:

1. Thurman Thomas: the school’s all-time rushing leader, an All-American and NFL Hall of Famer

2. Terry Miller: Heisman Trophy runner-up and two-time All-American

3. David Thompson: More than 4,000 yards and an all-league performer in the Big Eight and Big 12

4. Barry Sanders: Heisman winner and multiple Hall of Famer

5. Ernest Anderson: Another All-American and an NCAA rushing champion

6. Tatum Bell: 14 career 100-yard rushing games with two of the seven longest runs in school history (Hunter needs 203 yards to surpass Bell)

Classy Kendall

Kendall Hunter is one of 30 NCAA football bowl subdivision nominees for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.  Hunter has received several distinctions for his classroom work, including second-team academic all-Big 12 in 2009, a spot on the President’s Honor Roll for a 4.0 GPA and honorable-mention Scholar-Baller in 2009 and 2008. Hunter is also a two-time recipient of the Oklahoma State Academic Achievement Award and a member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Hunter has helped with the Harvest II Food Drive, made numerous visits to pediatric cancer patients in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and he’s also been a guest speaker on leadership and hard work at local high schools in Oklahoma and Texas.

Walker Watchers

Kendall Hunter is one of the preseason candidates for the Doak Walker Award, the Pricewaterhouse Coopers SMU Athletic Forum announced on Aug. 25. The Walker Award is presented annually to the nation’s top running back.

Blackmon Busts Out

Oklahoma State entered 2010 looking for a go-to receiver and through four games sophomore Justin Blackmon has been “gone-to”. The Ardmore Plainview product is at the top or close to the top in several national categories and is off to a historical start for the Cowboys.

• He leads the country in scoring (15 ppg).

• He leads the country in receiving yards per game (139.5)

• He leads the country in touchdown receptions (9), despite having only played four games

• He is third nationally in receptions per game (8.5)

• His 81-yard TD reception vs. Tulsa is the seventh longest reception in the country this season.

• He is averaging 16.4 yards per reception.

Streak Starter

Justin Blackmon has four straight 100-yard receiving games to start the season. He’s the first Cowboy to reach 100-yards in four straight games since Rashaun Woods hit the mark in five straight games in 2002. The only other Cowboy with five games in a row over 100 yards was Hart Lee Dykes in 1988. Both Dykes and Woods went on to become first-team All-Americans and first-round draft picks.

Weeden’s Numbers

Through three starts, junior quarterback Brandon Weeden seems to have made a seamless transition into the starting role. Even though he has played just two college games wire-to-wire, Weeden’s numbers are impressive in his first four starts:

• He has already recorded the fourth (409 vs. Tulsa) and ninth best (348 vs. Troy) passing games in school history.

• OSU has just 21 300-yard passing games in school history and Weeden has two of them.

• His 13 TD passes already rank him No. 12 on the single-season list. The school record of 31 was set in 2002 by Josh Fields.

Weeden In America

Entering the Louisiana game, Brandon Weeden is another Cowboy on the national charts:

• He is No. 5 in the country with an average of 314 passing yards per game.

• He is ninth in the nation and tops in the Big 12 with an efficiency rating of 169.69.

• His 13 TD passes are only two off the national lead of Hawaii’s Bryan Moniz, who has played one more game than Weeden.

Bailey In Perspective

Senior kicker Dan Bailey enters the stretch run of his career on a high note. He has hit all seven of his field-goal attempts this season and for his career he remains perfect with a school record 157-of-157 on extra points. He now has 268 career points to rank fifth all-time at OSU. And his game-winner at the gun to knock off Texas A&M last week was the first for OSU since 1981.

Sharp Still Sharp

Quinn Sharp, just a sophomore, has already proven his value as a punter and kicker. And his sophomore season has been stronger than his outstanding freshman season. Sharp enters this week sixth in the country and tops in the Big 12 with an average of 46.7 yards per punt. Even more importantly, OSU is ninth in the country (and again tops in the Big 12) in net punting (41.33 yards per kick). He now has 32 career punts in excess of 50 yards and eight over 60 (including three this season). Seven of his 18 punts this season have resulted in fair catches.  He also has 27 career punts inside the opponent’s 20. Sharp remains the country’s most effective kicker when it comes to kickoffs. Of his 36 kickoffs, 29 have gone for touchbacks, while no one else in the country has more than 19 touchbacks. Sharp led the country in that category last season.

Brains And Brawn

Oklahoma State has a pair of starting defensive linemen who have already obtained their undergraduate degrees. Defensive tackle Shane Jarka has already earned a degree in marketing and is pursuing his MBA. Defensive end Ugo Chinasa has completed work on his degree in sports management.

It’s All Academic

Three Cowboy defensive linemen, Shane Jarka, Chris Donaldson and Jamie Blatnick, were academic all-Big 12 selections in 2009. While Jarka is already an OSU graduate, Donaldson is just four hours shy of his degree in secondary education.

Honoring The Blond Bomber

Oklahoma State players sport a decal on their helmets this fall to honor the Blond Bomber. Bob Fenimore, OSU’s first All-American and one of the most dominating players of his era, died this summer. His jersey number of 55 is not in use at OSU. He was a two-time All-American, the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft and No. 3 in the Heisman balloting. Fenimore led the nation in total offense and was third in rushing, eighth in passing, ninth in scoring and 13th in punting in 1944. He still holds the OSU career record with 18 interceptions as a defensive back. OSU was 17-1 during his sophomore and junior seasons with wins in the Cotton and Sugar Bowls. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

Updated 10-04-2010

Back to Top


email (we never post emails)
  Textile Help

Back to Top

Contact GTR News

About Post Author