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OSU football: Defensive adjustment helps Cowboys halt WVU run

Related coverage: OSU vs West Virginia

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- From his seat in the press box, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Jim Knowles and his staff recognized a scheme change West Virginia had made that was creating big rushing lanes in the middle of the Cowboy defense.

Mountaineer running backs rushed 12 times for 46 yards in the first half — a significant number for a team that entered ranking 129th out of 130 NCAA Division I teams in rushing yards per game.

But the Cowboys adjusted.

“Their center was turning back on the noseguard and they were gashing us there for a few plays,” coach Mike Gundy said. “So Jim made an adjustment to move the noseguard over in the gap, brought the linebacker up closer, and from that point on, they didn’t get any more yards on that play.”

The Mountaineer running backs finished the game with 16 rushes for 42 yards. Including the quarterback, they had 26 yards on 22 carries.

Combined with OSU’s defensive effort against Kansas, it has allowed 65 yards on 46 rushing attempts in the last two weeks.

Related Photos
Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles after the OSU football media golf scramble at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, July 29, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles after the OSU football media golf scramble at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, July 29, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6d29a465ba506aa11b59a6e8a0783470.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles after the OSU football media golf scramble at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, July 29, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles after the OSU football media golf scramble at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, July 29, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles after the OSU football media golf scramble at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, July 29, 2019. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ab67ba2181812b23bc8924a3e0ae8518.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard (30) carries the ball during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard (30) carries the ball during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard (30) carries the ball during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c049a2913fe94472111e801131ea5f79.jpg" alt="Photo - West Virginia's Sam Jones (13) is tackled at the one yard line by Oklahoma State's Braydon Johnson (8) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="West Virginia's Sam Jones (13) is tackled at the one yard line by Oklahoma State's Braydon Johnson (8) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>West Virginia's Sam Jones (13) is tackled at the one yard line by Oklahoma State's Braydon Johnson (8) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-24996fa33c92bd4cedd236e132ccf696.jpg" alt="Photo - West Virginia's Keith Washington (28) breaks up a pass intended for Oklahoma State's Brayden Johnson (8) during their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="West Virginia's Keith Washington (28) breaks up a pass intended for Oklahoma State's Brayden Johnson (8) during their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>West Virginia's Keith Washington (28) breaks up a pass intended for Oklahoma State's Brayden Johnson (8) during their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e27e735ed25a71249762422e2edd5b5b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State quarterback Dru Brown throws during their NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="Oklahoma State quarterback Dru Brown throws during their NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>Oklahoma State quarterback Dru Brown throws during their NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e44ab92a0b0799da7a63a47d866d7ce6.jpg" alt="Photo - West Virginia head coach Neal Brown yells at the official during a timeout during their NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson)" title="West Virginia head coach Neal Brown yells at the official during a timeout during their NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson)"><figcaption>West Virginia head coach Neal Brown yells at the official during a timeout during their NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a89c2e58e9f576d9d75836c93d3d77d2.jpg" alt="Photo - West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Doege (2) rolls out of the pocket as Oklahoma State's Jayden Jennings (42) pursues during the second quarter of their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Doege (2) rolls out of the pocket as Oklahoma State's Jayden Jennings (42) pursues during the second quarter of their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Doege (2) rolls out of the pocket as Oklahoma State's Jayden Jennings (42) pursues during the second quarter of their NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-645164ef2f0e7e7f05b611c0387f020e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma State quarterback Dru Brown celebrates with Dillon Stoner after an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="Oklahoma State quarterback Dru Brown celebrates with Dillon Stoner after an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>Oklahoma State quarterback Dru Brown celebrates with Dillon Stoner after an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-54fcc3f219e088f1e94764ccd96a5d0b.jpg" alt="Photo - West Virginia head coach Neal Brown, right, shakes hands with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy after an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]" title="West Virginia head coach Neal Brown, right, shakes hands with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy after an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]"><figcaption>West Virginia head coach Neal Brown, right, shakes hands with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy after an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. [AP Photo/Chris Jackson]</figcaption></figure>
Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›

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