Oklahoma State RB Desmond Roland earns Big 12 honors

It's like the setup for a joke. How unknown is Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland? So unknown that someone asked Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops about Roland on the Big 12 teleconference Monday, thinking the junior plays for the rival Sooners.

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But if Roland can put together more performances like his breakout game against Iowa State, he won't be an unknown much longer.

Roland was named Big 12 offensive player of the week Monday after erupting for 219 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries in a 58-27 win over the Cyclones. It was the first career start for Roland, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior who had been a bit player during his first two seasons in Stillwater.

Thrust into the starting lineup to boost a Cowboys rushing offense that had been averaging just 136 yards per game, seventh in the Big 12, Roland proved to be a decisive, powerful and explosive addition. Roland was never stopped for a loss and had runs of 19, 32 and 58 yards.

Roland became the first Oklahoma State running back since Kendall Hunter in 2010 to top 200 rushing yards in a game.

Before Saturday, Roland's most extensive action came in blowouts over Savannah State (nine carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns in a 84-0 win) and Louisiana-Lafayette (13 carries for 56 yards and one touchdown in a 65-24 win) last season.

With uncertainty at the quarterback position -- head coach Mike Gundy said that redshirt senior Clint Chelf and redshirt sophomore J.W. Walsh would play this week at Texas Tech -- Roland will probably have to carry the offense again.

Deliver a win to keep the Cowboys in the Big 12 race for at least another week, and everybody will know who Roland is and what teams he plays for.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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