Notebook: Gordon Is Different, Bowman Comfortable in Old-School Game, Oliver’s Grit

STILLWATER — The Jayhawks will have to look elsewhere for bowl eligibility this season, as the Cowboys made amends for a rough trip to Lawrence in 2022.

Oklahoma State beat Kansas 39-32 on Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium. Here are three storylines from the Cowboys’ postgame media scrums.

Ollie Gordon Is Different

The outstanding running back tandem of Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw combined for 90 rushing yards Saturday. The outstanding Ollie Gordon had 89 rushing yards after contact.

There are a million ways to look at Gordon’s historic day (many of which Dekota covered here). He finished with 168 rushing yards, 116 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Other OSU running backs in recent seasons have taken over games, but not in the way Gordon did Saturday. Chuba Hubbard ran for 296 yards against Kansas State in 2019. Justice Hill jump cut his way to 228 rushing yards in Bedlam 2017. Joseph Randle had 121 rushing yards and 99 receiving yards against Arizona in 2011 (probably the closest comparison to what Gordon did).

But what makes Gordon different than those other guys? His offensive coordinator — who has been on staff since 2011 — said it has something to do with Gordon’s 6-foot-1, 211-pound frame.

“Ollie is different in that he is such a long-striding, limbed guy,” Dunn said. “He’s not the jitterbug type. When people try and come up and tackle him, he’s got this wonderful stiff arm and his legs and everything is a long ways away because his stiff arm is so long. When they do get in there, the stride, I think it surprises people how big it is when they get in to tackle him. They just don’t quite fit up on the guy. You saw it last year, it looks like he’s gonna get tackled, West Virginia, and all of a sudden he kind of slithers out of it. It’s different.

“At first, as coaches you’re like, ‘Is that really happening?’ Now it’s all the time. That’s just kind of how it is for him. We gotta get used to it. It’s not your traditional running style, but I love it. Like I said, he’s downhill with a little bit of nifty — it’s good stuff.”

Bowman Comfortable in Old-School Big 12 Game

There were portions of Saturday’s game that looked like an old-school Big 12 contest (if you consider about 2010 to 2020 old school).

Points were flowing. There were 24 points scored in the first quarter and 49 points scored by halftime. It felt like one of those games that was going to come down to which team had the ball last.

OSU and Texas Tech might’ve been the two standard bearers for that style of play back then, and luckily for OSU, Alan Bowman has experience at both institutions. His accelerated age for a college football player also means he has seen what that era was like.

In 2020, Bowman threw for 397 yards against Oklahoma State in a game that ended 50-44 in OSU’s favor. It wasn’t a Big 12 game back then, but he also threw for 605 yards in 2018 in a game against Houston that ended 63-49.

So when it looked like Saturday’s contest might turn into an old-school shootout, Bowman said he was ready.

“Love it — that’s why I play football,” Bowman said. “That’s why you do it. There’s no other place in the world I’d rather be than out there down in the fourth quarter driving to go win it. I just got the chills saying that. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to do that, so the fact that I’m doing it, I’m really grateful.”

Oliver’s Signature Sack

Throughout his career, Collin Oliver has made a habit of sacking the quarterback — he is up to 19 in his career.

He has a signature sack celebration, but he also has somewhat of a signature sack: where he essentially army crawls toward a quarterback and grabs an ankle.

That’s how Oliver’s most notable sack happened — his Bedlam-icing takedown against Caleb Williams in 2021. But Oliver also brought down Kansas’ Jason Bean in a similar way Saturday as part of his 2.5-sack day.

Sure, as a pass rusher you’d probably rather clobber the quarterback, but the play never appears to be over when Oliver has the grit that he does.

“I want to get this dude down right now,” Oliver said. “That’s what’s going through my mind, so I’m going to do whatever it takes to get him down.”

The post Notebook: Gordon Is Different, Bowman Comfortable in Old-School Game, Oliver’s Grit first appeared on Pistols Firing.