By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER – When sophomore running back Desmond Roland scored on a 24-yard run in the second quarter, he knew he scored his second rushing touchdown of the game.
What he didn’t know was that he helped tie a 35-year old record as that was OSU’s seventh rushing touchdown of the game.
“It’s a great feeling,” Roland said. “I didn’t know we broke the record. We worked hard during two-a-days. All the work paid off.”
The Cowboys set a new school record with nine rushing touchdowns in Saturday’s 84-0 victory. Roland’s third touchdown of the game in the third quarter broke the record. Oklahoma State ran the ball 42 times for 403 yards. In the second half, the Pokes rushed 19 times compared to 12 passes. The sophomore said all the hard work paid off.
“We had a great camp, us as a team,” Roland said. “The running back group took it upon itself to lead this team because we have a freshman quarterback. (Wes Lunt) played really well, too. We just had a great game (Saturday).”
Junior starting running back Joseph Randle got the night started, scoring the Pokes’ first two touchdowns on runs of two and 40 yards, respectively. In less than one quarter, Randle racked up 107 yards on only six carries.
“I just want to thank the guys in front of me that gave me the opportunity to run,” Randle said. “I still feel like it was the first game and we got a lot of improvement to do and we will get ready for Arizona.”
Oklahoma State had two 100-yard rushers with Randle’s 107 and Roland’s 105 and was nine yards from a third as freshman Corey Bennett finished with 91. All four running backs scored at least one touchdown with junior Jeremy Smith and Roland each scoring three.
“I knew we were all going to do pretty good especially with how fall camp went,” Smith said. “Des has really grown up a lot and stepped up. Corey Bennett, those guys worked and worked all fall and all summer long. It showed tonight.”
Smith only carried the ball five times for 37 yards but was OK with his role.
“I’m happy to play any opportunity that I get,” Smith said. “I just have to take full advantage of it. Whatever time I get.”
Coach Mike Gundy said he was pleased with how his team ran the ball.
“I thought our guys ran the ball well,” Gundy said. “The competition isn’t what we are accustomed to. We should have run the ball well.”
Savannah State plays in the Football Championship Series a level below Oklahoma State. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said that’s just how the game turned out.
“We were running it at the end,” Monken said. “The stats will bear that out. The reality is we have two good running backs, we’re good up front and we should be able to run it or try to.”
– Andrew Glover is a sports writer for The Stillwater NewsPress.