The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 1, 2013

Roland seizes his opportunity

STILLWATER — Desmond Roland was patiently waiting for his chance and when it finally came last Saturday, he took advantage of it.

In his first career start, the junior running back delivered, rushing for 219 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries to help lead No. 18 Oklahoma State to a 58-27 triumph at Iowa State.

Now, of course, the trick is to prove he can produce in consecutive games as the go-to runner when the Cowboys (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) visit Lubbock to face No. 15 Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1) on Saturday.

“I was just staying positive and I was thinking, ‘Once I get my chance to actually play and carry the ball a lot, I have to take advantage of that,’ and I feel like I did that,” said Roland, who earned Big 12 offensive player of the week honors. “I wasn’t expecting to have that type of game. But our O-line was making great holes and they made it easy for me, I was just running. Now I’m trying to forget about the game, believe it or not, and focus on Texas Tech.”

As for the notion of him feeling pressure to duplicate that success, Roland shrugs it off.

“It’s never any pressure,” he said. “As long as our offense is going well and as long as we win the game, I feel like that’s a good accomplishment for me.”

Roland’s performance revitalized an Oklahoma State running game that had been struggling in recent weeks, unable to reach 100 total yards rushing in the two previous contests and managing 111 the week before that.

Coach Mike Gundy, like Roland, also directed plenty of credit to the offensive line.

“He’s worked hard and he got more carries,” Gundy said of Roland. “The majority of it falls on our offensive line and their ability to block so that the running backs don’t have to make a cut in the backfield. This was the first game that we had the same starting five, for the most part, as the game before. There was some consistency in practice over a two-week period. I would like to think that has an effect and hopefully they will continue to improve as we move forward.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • NCAA board endorses more autonomy for big schools

    INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA’s board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences on Thursday, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation’s biggest schools more autonomy in ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Dice-K 1st save since 2000 as Mets hold down Cards

    NEW YORK — Daisuke Matsuzaka pinched his eyelids, clenched his teeth and thought back. He couldn’t remember all the details of the first save of his professional career....

    April 25, 2014

  • Pineda banned 10 games

    BOSTON — Michael Pineda says he was just trying to get a better grip on the ball. Now, he won’t need one for a while....

    April 25, 2014

  • Teague, Korver lead Hawks in win vs. Pacers

    ATLANTA — As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Atlanta Hawks celebrated and their fans serenaded the Indiana Pacers with chants of “Overrated!” Game 3 did nothing to change that perception....

    April 25, 2014

  • Blazers return home in control

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Houston has a LaMarcus Aldridge problem. The Trail Blazers’ All-Star forward has been dominating with more than 40 points in each of the opening two playoff games with the Rockets in Houston. Portland is up 2-0 as the ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Ben Martin surges to Zurich Classic lead

    AVONDALE, La. — Ben Martin treated a tiny gallery to a course-record round, shooting a 10-under 62 on Thursday in the first round of the Zurich Classic....

    April 25, 2014

  • Record number sign up for U.S. Open

    FAR HILLS, N.J. — More people than ever have signed up for a chance to play in the U.S. Open. The USGA said Thursday it received a record 10,127 entrants for the U.S. Open, which will be played June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2....

    April 25, 2014

  • Nadal cruises into Barcelona quarterfinals

    BARCELONA, Spain — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal looked more like his confident self on the clay in passing Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals on Thursday....

    April 25, 2014

  • Sharapova advances in Porsche Grand Prix

    STUTTGART, Germany — Defending champion Maria Sharapova defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to set up a Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinal with top seed Agnieszka Radwanska....

    April 25, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014