CNHI News Service
Oklahoma State University junior running back Joseph Randle couldn’t have asked for a better start to Saturday’s game against Texas. On his first touch, he broke a 69-yard touchdown run on his way to a career-high 199 yards rushing. At the end of the day, Randle was asking for a better finish for his team.
“You know it doesn’t mean much in a loss,” Randle said after Oklahoma State’s 41-36 loss to Texas. “We have goals set for the team. We are going to try to move forward and get ready for Kansas.”
Randle gained 103 yards in the first quarter alone, averaging 14.7 yards per carry. The junior broke career highs in yards and longest rush. His previous highs came against Baylor last season when he rushed for 152 yards with a long of 62. Randle also tied a career high with 25 carries, which came against Tulsa last season.
“I was already on edge before the game,” Randle said. “I was just waiting for the right opportunity to fall off the cliff.”
Coach Mike Gundy said he was pleased with how hard his backs ran.
“I think they did a great job,” Gundy said. “I was proud of how our guys competed. There were times that Joe Randle should have been down. He was as effective running the ball and breaking tackles and making plays tonight as he has in his career.”
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said he was impressed with Randle’s running.
“I thought Joe Randle ran as hard as he has run since I’ve been here,” Monken said. “I thought he was a man tonight. And he hasn’t put the ball on the deck for two straight games and that’s a huge positive.
“... I just thought he ran with such power and at pad level and enthusiasm. I just thought he played different. And if we’re going to be the team that I think we are ... if he keeps running the way he ran and doesn’t put the ball on the deck, we’re going to be a hard to handle because he’s a really good player.”
Randle, being a team player gave credit to his offensive linemen adding they handled Texas’ defensive speed well.
“They did a great job tonight,” Randle said. “The offensive line coach (Joe Wickline) does a great job with them. ... (Texas’) defense is hyped up and supposed to have a good defensive line and our offensive line play its heart out.”
Gundy credited his players for how they worked together despite not coming up with a win.
“The offense played unselfish,” Gundy said. “There were guys like Tracy Moore and Isaiah (Anderson) that didn’t get many catches. For a while I don’t think Tracy had one. ... They blocked hard down the field. It was important to them. The team was important to them. That says a lot of who they are and this organization.”
Randle said he felt better about how the team played Saturday than in its 59-38 loss at Arizona on Sept. 8.
“We fought hard,” Randle said. “As a team we stuck together. All of things it takes to be a great team, team chemistry. It never got bad. People didn’t start pointing fingers. Everything was positive and that’s a good thing.”