Rudolph Shines in Oklahoma State's 44-7 Win Over South Alabama

Posted by on in Sun Belt Conference Blog

Mason Rudolph threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns Friday to hel lead 10th-ranked Oklahoma State to a 44-7 non-conference football victory over the University of South Alabama at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The senior quarterback was 25-of-38 passing, finding James Washington for 66-yard score in the opening quarter for the game's first touchdown before hitting Marcell Ateman twice for touchdowns. Ateman led the Cowboys (2-0) — who held a 505-175 advantage in total offense — with five receptions as seven different OSU players recorded multiple catches in the contest.

Jeremy Reaves and Bull Barge collected eight stops apiece for the Jaguars, who fell to 0-2 with their second straight loss to a Power Five conference opponent. Dallas Davis was 13-of-23 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown in his season debut, with Jamarius Way pacing the USA receiving corps after hauling in five passes for 66 yards.

-Cole Garvin completed his first pass attempt for a gain of eight yards on the Jaguars' opening drive of the game, but was injued on the ensuing third-down play and did not return to the contest.
-The Jags did not get their initial first down of the contest until Davis hit Way for a 17-yard gain with less than eight minutes left in the opening half.
-After posting nine yards on its first 12 snaps, USA recorded 61 yards on the seven-and-a-half minute drive before a 31-yard field goal sailed wide left.
-The Cowboys were up 20-0 at the half, then more then doubled their advantage while outscoring South 21-0 in the third quarter.
-The Jaguars avoided the first shutout in program history with four-and-a-half minutes to go in the game when Davis connected with Maaseiah Francis for a 17-yard scoring pass.

-This marked the first time in program history that South has played a Big 12 opponent.
-The Cowboys — ranked 10th in both the Associated Press and coaches' polls entering play — are the highest-rated team the Jaguars have played in the school's first eight-plus seasons of competition.
-USA is now 1-2 all-time against top-25 competition.
-Senior Xavier Johnson became the second individual in USA history to surpass 3,500 all-purpose yards after leading the Jaguars with 36 on fuve rushes while adding 60 more returning kicks.
-Reaves matched his tackle total from the Jags' season-opening contest at Ole Miss to share the team lead in the category for the second straight outing.
-Barge fell one stop shy of equaling his career-high total recorded last season against Georgia Southern.
-For the second time in as games USA punter Corliss Waitman recorded a career-high average with a 48.4-yard mark on seven kicks; that included three efforts of 50-plus yards.
-It's the first time ever the Jags have surrendered 500 or more total yards in back-to-back outings.
-South's 175 yards of total offense were the fewest gained by the unit since a gaining 136 at Georgia Southern on Nov. 28, 2015.
-Cowboy QB became OSU's all-time leading passer in the opening half with 279 of his 335 yards coming prior to the break.

South Alabama head coach Joey Jones
On the game: "We were just out executed.  [Oklahoma State's] quarterback [Mason Rudolph] was tremendous; I thought they threw the ball really well and made plays when they had to.  They were able to make a bunch of third-down throws.  Offensively, we didn't execute very well.  We had things that were there, but we didn't get the ball to the right guys.  When you play a team that's pretty good, they are going to make bad things happen to you and that certainly showed up tonight."
On Cole Garvin's injury and the play of Dallas Davis: "Cole came out and fortunately didn't have anything broken; it was just a sprained ankle.  We'll see how he does.  Dallas didn't have many reps this week and I thought he came and did some things for us moving us down the field.  He was a little bit rusty at times; he just hasn't had the reps that Cole's had.  He had to jump in there against a top-10 team and try to execute, but I thought he did a good job."
On what they need to do better in the third quarter: "We started off with a kick-off return to their 30-yard line, but we had a holding call. We just couldn't get any momentum.  When you don't get the momentum against a team like Oklahoma State it's just going to be a long night.  We were never able to flip it.  We have to go look at what we are doing coming out of the locker room.  We haven't played well yet in the third quarter."
On if these types of games can get the team ready for Sun Belt play: "I told the team that it's a brand-new season starting tomorrow.  We knew these first two games would be tough facing an SEC West team and a top-10 program.  It wasn't ideal to start off like that, but it's the hand we were dealt and we played it.  There's no excuses and we're going to move forward.  We play Alabama A&M next and that's all we're going to think about this week."
On Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph: "He's pretty good; a NFL proto-typical quarterback being 6-5.  He throws the ball extremely well and has good presence in the pocket.  He also has some good receivers to throw to.  He's going to be dangerous to anybody that they play and they're going to score a lot of points this year.  I thought our defense played well enough to keep us in the game in the first half; they were out there a lot of snaps."

Dallas Davis
On his mentality when he learned he was entering the game: "Anything can happen in a football game, so you have to be ready at any moment.  I hate it for Cole that he got hurt, but hopefully he comes back.  I just had to get the team together and do the best we could.  We just didn't execute like we needed to."
On what he takes from the last two games: "We played two powerhouse teams, and we knew they were going to be good.  I'm glad we finished the game strong; we didn't give up or hang our heads.  We just have to move forward.  When we get in the red zone, we have to score touchdowns.  We just have to keep moving the ball and be consistent."

Darrell Songy
On the Oklahoma State offense: "We knew they were going to be a big-time team when it came to the passing game.  But we knew they weren't going to run the ball on us.  We just have to step up and finish the ballgame all together."
On what he takes from the last two games: "It was just a test to see what kind of team we are.  We don't have the same kind of things they have, but at the end of the day we're all football players so when we step on that field then we are going to play you as such.  I'm really proud of my team for just going out there and fighting.  No one was hanging their head or pointing fingers.  We're obviously upset, but from the past years I have seen we have taken a step forward."

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy
Opening statement: "I thought the defense was excellent.  They are going through some quarterback adjustments.  Our guys did a good job stopping the run and getting off the field to allow our offense to get going.  They ran a run prevention defense most of the night allowing us to throw the ball pretty successfully.  Mason played really well.  He missed a guy right down the middle before the end of the half.  Other than that he was pretty good.  We caught the ball well.  The backs when they had a chance ran good.  Ammendola was good on his long field goals which was good to see after he missed one early.  Back at it, get a day off and bring them in on Sunday to get ready for Pitt."
On back-to-back consistent performances from the OSU defense: "It is important for us to get off the field.  Tonight we were much better on third down.  Tulsa was a little bit better of a throwing team than South Alabama, but we were so poor in the first game any improvement was encouraging.  I thought our guys were solid for the most part.  We were in position, defended the ball and had a decent rush at times.  We need to get better each week.  The more those guys play at the back end they'll get better."
On Mason Rudolph's maturity not playing on a Saturday and still coming prepared: "Guys can lose focus, it's happened to us before.  The leadership he provides and some other guys, prevent that from happening most of the time.  I am very pleased with the way he's handling things and defensively there are a few guys that are starting to step up and lead.  A coach's fear is to have let downs during the season.  I thought our guy's prepared well, but you still have to come to play."