Ready for redemption

Jeff Johnson, Publisher
O State Illustrated

Though it fell in a different spot on the calendar, most will remember that the Baylor game four years ago is when Mason Rudolph made his debut as the Cowboys signal-caller. Rudolph performed admirably in that game, as did the Cowboys, but ultimately fell 49-28 as a major underdog.

OSU did not win the BU game the next two seasons either. Rudolph admits that fact is something he thinks about.

"I think the last couple years I thought about it. I really hadn't thought about that until you just mentioned it," he said. "I think obviously what sticks out most to me is I haven't beaten those guys, and I want to beat them. This is kind of one I've had circled on the schedule for a while now. So I'm preparing hard, getting ready to go and lead my team and play my butt off. I think obviously it was the first one for me, and everyone has a first one so nothing special there."

Hill holding up?

In this week's media availabilities, sophomore running back Justice Hill's workload has been a popular subject. In OSU's last game - a 41-34 win at Texas Tech - Hill had a whopping 30 carries for 164 yards. Only Rudolph (11) and backup RB J.D. King (2) had rushing attempts in the game.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said it was about how Hill was running the football that night.

"Anytime you are talking about a tailback with reps or a receiver or anyone that is a high-energy position, you have to keep an eye on the number of repetitions they're getting," Yurcich said. "And not necessarily the number of repetitions, but how tired are they or how exhausted are they or are they full-speed, because the next guy is. You don't want to make any exceptions and have the team suffer because of that, so you have to monitor it, but at the same time if you have somebody who has got the hot hand, you have to go with them. Justice is a guy we trust and if he can go, we're going to go with him. If James (Washington) can go, we're going to go with him. Those are the types of guys that if they're ready to roll - our coaches on the sidelines do a great job with substitutions of personnel throughout the game, especially when you consider the tempo that we play with there's different things to factor in."

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