Video game numbers
The points per drive statistic is becoming increasingly more common in college football as an efficiency metric that can (somewhat) bring together the different styles of play seen in various conferences. It’s a statistic that defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has mentioned often over the years.
Oklahoma State ventured into an unfathomable realm in the first half, though: The Cowboys were scoring points by the play.
In the first half of OSU’s 59-21 victory over Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, the Cowboy offense scored 49 points … on 46 plays.
The first-team offense only appeared for four plays in the second half — the final one being a Mason Rudolph interception. With Rudolph on the field, OSU nearly averaged a point per play.
In seven first-half drives, not counting a kneel down at the end of the half, Oklahoma State scored seven touchdowns. And it went a sparkling nine-of-nine on third down with its starting quarterback taking the snap.
“That’s an explosive team,” Pittsburgh cornerback Avonte Maddox said. “Explosive quarterback, explosive receivers, explosive back.”
Interceptions were keepers
Tre Flowers leapt and came down with an interception in the red zone on the side of the field near the Pittsburgh bench.
He then cradled the football across the field to the Oklahoma State sideline, where he continued to hang on to it.
All the way to the Cowboy bench. “I wanted to take it home, but they found it,” Flowers said.
The interception was one of two for The Cowboys. Justin Phillips returned a pick 10 yards for his second pick-six in as many weeks.
Flowers prevented Pittsburgh from scoring on a drive that lasted nine plays. The interception was the third of his career but the first since Nov. 7, 2015 against TCU.
Through three games, OSU has six takeaways — three fumbles and three interceptions.
Cowboy health a concern
With the victory well in hand, Zachary Crabtree stood with his Oklahoma State offensive linemen in the second half Saturday in a black T-shirt and sweatpants.
His left foot was in a protective boot.
Fifteen yards south of Crabtree, Chris Lacy stood with his fellow receivers in a T-shirt and shorts.
His right arm was in a sling.
If there was any blemish on the 59-21 win over Pittsburgh, it was the injury scares.
The Cowboys lost Lacy in the first quarter before he could catch a pass, and Crabtree exited soon afterward with a toe injury.
OSU, of course, was fine at receiver with four 100-yard performances, and redshirt freshman Teven Jenkins held down Crabtree’s right tackle position.
Gundy said after the game he expects both players to return to the field soon.
“I think (Crabtree) will be fine,” Gundy said. “We had a decent lead there. It was a deal where you sprain your big toe. It gets sore. In the ‘80s, when we were tough, they would have injected it and put him back out there.”
He added on Lacy: “I think he’ll be fine. He had a slight (right-shoulder issue.)”
:08, THIRD QUARTER
OSU punter Zach Sinor was unable to collect a high snap from center. The football rolled into the end zone. Sinor easily could have fallen onto the ball, with the recovery resulting in a safety, but instead he whiffed on an attempt to boot the ball out of the end zone. Pitt recovered for a touchdown.
Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill (right) avoids Pittsburgh defensive back Jazzee Stocker on his way to a touchdown in the second quarter on Saturday in Pittsburgh.