TULSA, Okla. – New Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship believes he might have a solution to slow down the mighty Oklahoma State offense that had a record-setting night when the in-state rivals met last year.
"We'll probably need to stake somebody out when they get off the bus," Blankenship said. "There's not been a whole of success in disrupting what they've done the first two weeks of the season offensively.
"At least to date, it may be the best collection of weapons that we've seen."
And that's saying something.
The Golden Hurricane (1-1) opened the season against No. 1 Oklahoma, losing 47-14 as the Sooners — led by quarterback Landry Jones and All-American receiver Ryan Broyles — compiled 663 yards of total offense.
Last year, however, Oklahoma State put up 722 yards and 65 points on Tulsa despite letting up in the second half.
Brandon Weeden threw for 409 yards and six touchdowns, three of them to All-American receiver Justin Blackmon, before leaving after just one series in the second half. The Cowboys scored on their first 10 possessions and won 65-28.
As the eighth-ranked Cowboys (2-0) come to play in Tulsa on Saturday night, Blankenship and new defensive coordinator Brent Guy are trying to keep that from happening again.
"It probably begins as much with our offense as it does with their offense. We have to do a good job of taking care of the football, driving the ball, putting points on the board," Blankenship said. "That's a lot of pressure our offense has to shoulder the load to help our defense.
"And understanding that we have to match up where we can and take our shots at pressuring the quarterback. We'll try to do anything we can to create a little bit of confusion, which to this point hasn't seemed to happen."
Todd Monken, who replaced Dana Holgorsen as Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator this season, said he won't concern himself with trying to duplicate the record-setting performance and he doesn't want it running through his players' minds either.
"That was a different team, a different coaching staff for the most part, a different defense," Monken said. "I just think about running enough good plays in a row that our guys understand to score each drive and let it work out."
Through his first two games, Oklahoma State leads the nation with 1,260 yards of offense. Weeden and Blackmon have been complemented by two big games from Joseph Randle, who just missed becoming the first Cowboys player with at least 100 yards rushing and 100 receiving in last week's win against Arizona.
"We've had a pretty good couple of weeks and I've still never felt like, 'Boy, we played as good as we can,'" Monken said. "But you never play a perfect game."
At least for a half, Oklahoma State was pretty close last season against Tulsa. And almost the entire offense is back for the rematch.
"OSU has a great team. They have a lot of choices and it's a big thing to look at from the defense's point of view," Tulsa defensive end Cory Dorris said. "But if we come out and play the way we know we can play, be confident, keep our poise, we have a good shot at this game."
The Cowboys will be trying to extend a five-game road winning streak, the second-longest in school history behind an 11-game run from 1943-45, and get Mike Gundy his 50th win as their head coach.
Winning in Tulsa, the smallest school in the Bowl Subdivision, has never been a given for Oklahoma State, though. The Golden Hurricane are 22-14-2 on their home field in the series, though the most recent win was in 1998.
It's the first time Oklahoma State will play in Tulsa since 2000.
"I know they've won the majority and we won when I was over there coaching," said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young, an assistant on John Cooper's staff at Tulsa from 1980-84. "It's a tough place to play and they're very emotional about this game."