OSU football: Tight ends flash ability to be effective in passing game
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s tight ends had heard the talk all week.
The talk about how great Iowa State’s tight ends were, what a mismatch they can be against opposing defenses.
“Going into it, there was a little bit of a rivalry,” OSU offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said. “They’ve got a great set of tight ends at Iowa State and our guys wanted to play well. We wanted to get our guys active, too.
“There was a little bit of motivation from both Logan (Carter) and Jelani (Woods) going into the game, so we felt, hey, let’s give these guys a couple shots in there, and we did.”
The result was production in the Cowboys’ 24-21 win Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Three catches for 54 yards for Woods, including a 34-yard touchdown. Three catches for 27 yards for Carter. Each of their six catches resulted in a first down or touchdown.
OSU coaches found a way to attack the structure of Iowa State’s defense that helped make the tight ends more effective. And it led to Woods being wide-open for his TD catch.
“They have a middle-field player that’s really hard to account for in the run scheme,” Dunn said. “If he’s showing up quickly, then you want to try to get something over his head. We got it at the right time. It was a good play fake, and just got it over the top of his head, and we had a chance to make a play.”
- Related to this story
- Article: Texas at OSU football: Kickoff time, betting odds, matchup breakdown
- Article: College football winners and losers from Week 8 include Rutgers, Alabama and Indiana
- Article: Cowboys face first major test and stay No. 1 in the Big 12
- Article: OSU football: Best and worst of Cowboys' win over Iowa State
- Article: Carlson: Why Texas football continues to lag behind OU, OSU even in Tom Herman's fourth season
- Article: OSU football: Mike Yurcich returns to Stillwater, but with different offensive scheme at Texas
- Article: Tramel college football rankings: Alabama, Clemson remain 1-2, but Oklahoma State coming fast
- Article: OSU football: Cameron Murray has grown into ‘a force to be reckoned with’ on Cowboys’ defensive line
- Article: OSU football: How good can the Cowboy defense be? Texas' Tom Herman says 'they’re as good as it gets'
- Article: Tramel: College football predictions & OSU's dominance of Texas
- Article: OSU football gains commitment, loses running back to transfer portal
- Article: Tramel: Give Mike Gundy credit for decision to hire Jim Knowles as OSU defensive coordinator
- Article: OSU football: Cowboys and Texas always seem close in Big 12 play
- Article: OSU football: The football side and the fun side of Jim Knowles are equally important to the Cowboys
- Article: OSU football: The Six Shooter pregame thoughts on the Cowboys vs. Texas
- Article: OSU football: 3-2-1 kickoff for Cowboys vs. Texas Longhorns
- Article: Texas at OSU football: Broadcast info, betting lines, weather, predictions
- Article: OSU football: Tylan Wallace has come a long way in a year since tearing ACL
- Article: Tramel: Can Spencer Sanders elevate the Oklahoma State offense?
- Video: OSU Football: Run game helps seal Cowboys' win against Cyclones
Iowa State’s tight ends outproduced OSU’s in catches and yards, finishing with seven for 86. But OSU’s duo had 33 yards after the catch — compared to 18 for Iowa State — plus the crucial first-quarter touchdown.
“It felt really good to get that touchdown,” said Woods, who had two receptions for six yards through the first three games. “I take my hat off to Spencer (Sanders), because all week, we had been hitting home on reading the defense and seeing which of us was open — him having the quick read and looking for me.”
As for the rivalry aspect of the tight end vs. tight end matchup, it only added fuel to the fire on OSU’s side.
“It’s always good to have a competition, because I feel like if you have a competition, it only makes you better,” Woods said. “Just trying to outplay them was really good for us as a group, because we can just base ourselves off where we are as a group and how we can get better.”
Up next for the Cowboys is Texas at 3 p.m. Saturday, and the Longhorns have had their issues containing tight ends in the passing game at times.
Eight different players caught passes from Sanders in his first game back, most of any game this season. And the tight ends feel comfortable with Sanders at quarterback.
“Since we had this long break, we hammered on keeping it simple and each play, we hammered it multiple times,” Woods said. “We built that trust in each other and chemistry to where it was just a simple toss play and we knew it was gonna work.”