The Oklahoma State Cowboys win another game that had orange-clad fans in the stands concerned.
OSU defeated Tulsa 28-23 Saturday afternoon after falling behind by a touchdown in the third quarter. Here are three notes from the OSU victory.
Malcolm Rodriguez continues to stifle opponents:
Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez is the leader of the Cowboy defense, in stats and in spirit.
Rodriguez has led the team in tackles both games, totaling 28 stops. This puts him among the leaders in the nation.
“It’s just the play calling by Coach Knowles, he puts us in the right position,” Rodriguez said. “He said always run to the ball and that’s all that goes. I run to the ball and get my hat in there.”
It’s not just Rodriguez’s ability to wrestle opponents to the ground, as seen in OSU’s first game against Missouri State, that makes him so effective, it’s his connection to defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.
“I said to (Rodriguez) before the game ‘I’m glad you’re here and go out and make some plays and make me look good,” Knowles said. “We work really well together. He knows how I think, and the scheme, and I do my best to put him in situations where he can see the play and react to it.”
Martin’s head was in it, but his ankle was not:
Tay Martin, OSU’s leading receiver a week ago, attempted to play through an ankle injury he suffered against Missouri State. Martin was targeted on the first drive but dropped the pass and did not re-enter the game.
“(Martin) shouldn’t have been out there today,” coach Mike Gundy said. “I mean, he was just insisting on going out there and, you know, he wasted 65 cents on a tape job. Should have just watched, he wasn’t ready to play and you saw that.”
Gundy said he expects Martin back some point this week.
The playmaking ability is evident:
Against Tulsa, two players, senior running back Jaylen Warren and freshman receiver Jaden Bray, brought back visions of Cowboy playmakers of old.
Warren on an 11-yard TD scamper where he reversed field twice and broke a tackle in the backfield and Bray on a pass he caught at the 10-yard line, spun out of two tackles with his hand on the turf to stay upright, and scored.
“That one on Jaden (Bray) was a nice drawn play, wasn’t it?” Gundy joked. “We’ve (make plays after the catch) around here a lot. We’ve been very fortunate for 15 years to have great skill players to do that.”