Mike Gundy knows the number he needs from his rushing attack.
Ahead of OSU’s road trip to play Boise State, Gundy also knows how important that number is to the offense as a whole.
“We have to rush the football for four and a half yards per carry because we're very young on the perimeter right now,” Gundy said.
The Cowboys averaged 2.3 yards on their 43 rushes against Tulsa on Saturday, barely half of the desired mark.
The difficulties of passing the ball without a threatening run game to keep linebackers and defensive backs honest showed on Saturday.
The Golden Hurricane held OSU to under 173 passing yards. No player from the largely unseasoned group of Cowboy pass catchers had more than four receptions.
Sophomore Brennan Presley joined freshman Jaden Bray as the only player to record more than 20 yards through the air.
“Years past, we always could just rely on just chucking it down the field, somebody will make a play and make us all look good,” Gundy said. “As we develop those guys on the perimeter, we're going to have to get better at rushing the football.”
Senior wide receiver Tay Martin, who had a team-high 107 receiving yards in OSU’s first game, missed the Tulsa game with an ankle injury.
The veteran’s return will help buoy the Cowboy passing game, but Gundy is said the run game will be helpful to boosting the mediocre offense.
“As an offense, we need to figure out what we can do based on the next team we play and try to come up with a way to average four and a half yards per carry,” Gundy said.
Gundy said he was not necessarily talking about how run blocking must be improved. He is also taking the rushing scheme as a whole into account.
The fix may be a simple one. Get simpler.
“Usually in my history, if you need to get better at something you cut back, not add,” Gundy said.