Oklahoma State report card
What a crazy day in Stillwater. It ended with an Oklahoma State 45-38 victory against Pitt, and the grades reflect the wackiness of the day.
OFFENSIVE PLAYCALLING: A
Saturday was one of Mike Yurcich’s best days as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator. The Cowboys saw a weakness that they felt like they could exploit – the Panthers’ pass defense – and they attacked right away and hit a 91-yard touchdown pass from Mason Rudolph to James Washington. And when Pitt didn’t change much, OSU kept at it. But when the Cowboys got deep into the red zone, Yurcich didn’t try to get fancy. He put the ball in his tailbacks’ hands, namely those of Rennie Childs, and let the ground game go to work. Masterful stuff all the way around.
THIRD DOWNS: B
What a flip of the script. Only a week after the OSU offense couldn’t covert a third down and the OSU defense couldn’t get off the field on third down, the Cowboys were solid on both accounts. The defense was spectacular, allowing Pitt only four third-down conversions on 18 attempts. The offense wasn’t quite as good, but still, going 6 of 15 on third down is a vast improvement over last week.
TAILBACK GREATNESS: A
Quite a scene early in the first quarter when Barry Sanders and Tony Dorsett stepped onto the Boone Pickens Stadium turf. Two of the greatest running backs in the history of football were together Saturday as their alma maters duked it out for the first time. Dorsett, the Pitt alum, got a huge cheer, but OSU fans about brought down the house at the introduction of Sanders, the greatest Cowboy of all time.
STADIUM STRIPING: A-
For a first attempt, Cowboy fans did a superb job. The “Wear Orange” mantra means that OSU fans don’t have a ton of non-orange garb, but most folks who were in the white sections did their part. Even the Paddle People coordinated their paddles to fit the color of their sections. Strong. The reason for the minus part of the grade – sections that weren’t filled. Too many spotty areas of the stadium to get the all-out A.
UNFORCED ERRORS: D?
On a day when so much went right for the Cowboys, there were so many times that they shot themselves in the foot. Rudolph was uncharacteristically careless with the football, fumbling the football twice. The first resulted in a Pitt touchdown on the very next play. The second resulted in a Pitt touchdown on the fumble, which was recovered in the end zone. Not good by Rudolph. The Cowboys had several unnecessary penalties, too. An offsides. An illegal substitution. And then there were the three block-in-the-back penalties by Dillon Stoner while playing on return units. Got to get that stuff cleaned up.