Wickline, Rush Expect To See Improvement

Jonathan Rush

The Oklahoma State Cowboys expected to run the football right down the Jayhawks throats in Lawrence, Kan., last weekend with the Big 12's leading rusher in Joseph Randle. The weather didn't help and neither did KU stacking the box with defenders and daring OSU to throw deep in the conditions. So, the week after a sub-par performance how do the Cowboys prepare for the Iowa State game?

At the end of the 20-14 win, OSU had 371 yards of total offense, its fewest since the 2009 season. There were only 116 rushing yards, and Randle only mustered 80 yards on 29 carries.

Because of those numbers the offensive line is getting its share of the criticism.

"I wouldn't say we played our best, and Coach (Joe) Wickline being the way he is, the stickler that he is for perfection, we were nowhere near up to standards," senior guard Jonathan Rush said.

"You grind, you grind, that's the only way I can say it especially with the way Wickline is. We are going to go out and correct everyone of those details that we were lacking in," Rush explains.

"It may sound like it sucks but it is not really a bad thing. I know it sounds bad, but in the end it's a good thing and it gets you crisp and ready to play."

Another Rush classic quote.

"My first reaction is the way Rush played, I wouldn't say a damn thing," kidded the offensive line coach.

Wickline is tough, but he is fair, and in the end his players usually leave feeling very good about their time on the practice field.

"I don't know that it changes," said Wickline of his practices. "Some weeks it's this and some weeks it's that. We didn't play very well and we didn't do anything that hurt the team, but we didn't do anything to help the team and that is our job.

"Whether it be short yardage or protections or play-action or whatever it is, we need to get better. We are not anywhere near where we have been, but they are making strides. They want to get better and they are locked in. That is all you can ask and that they give you great effort," added Wickline.

As mentioned, Kansas loaded the box and Wickline feels that is likely to happen more than a few times this season.

"That is going to happen every week. We can't lean on that. I am going to say it like it really is, playing with the big boys you are going to see a loaded box because it is all about stopping the run," he said. "Then we'll take care of the pass. That's the way it has been since I started and that is the way it will always be."

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