OSU report card: Reserves, defense get high marks in rout of McNeese
Oklahoma State defeated McNeese State 56-14 on Saturday in Stillwater, but on a night the outcome was never in doubt, many of the grades had little to do with the play on the field.
B Cowboy reserves were in heavy rotation in the second half. The offense continued to produce, scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter alone after starting quarterback Spencer Sanders was replaced by Dru Brown. The reserve quarterback threw for two touchdowns and was extremely efficient, going 7 of 10 for 142 yards. The reserves on the OSU defense weren’t quite as successful. McNeese not only got on the board but also moved up and down the field several times. But the defensive reserves had an interception and a pair of goal-line stands, too, so it definitely wasn't all bad.
A Big props to the OSU faithful. On a blisteringly hot day against a less-than-stellar opponent, Cowboy fans showed up. The announced crowd was a sellout of 55,500, but there were clearly patches of empty seats. Still, it was a much healthier crowd than might’ve been expected.
D That crisp, efficient offense from the opener? Maybe the Cowboys left it in Oregon. The OSU offense was a ragged mess to start the game. A punt on the first possession after several miscues, including a Chuba Hubbard fumble and a Spencer Sanders-L.D. Brown miscommunication. Then on OSU’s second possession, Dillon Stoner fumbled at the end of an 18-yard catch and McNeese recovered. If not for Tylan Wallace turning a short catch into a 69-yard touchdown, the first quarter would’ve been a scoreless disaster for the offense. Can’t have those kind of early struggles against better opponents to come.
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A Yes, McNeese State wasn't the challenge that other opponents will be, but OSU was focused from the start. A.J. Green had an interception and returned it for a touchdown on the second snap of the game. Then, OSU forced McNeese to punt on five of its next six possessions. The other series? The Cowboys got a fourth-down stop. Strong stuff from the defense.
F My disgust for OSU’s gray uniforms is well-documented. Yes, I’m against the gray – it’s not one of the Cowboys’ colors – but the bigger issue is not being able to see the numbers. But before the game, the numbers seemed brighter, more discernable. And they may well have been, but once the game started, it was still difficult to make out the numbers. They seemed a bit better on TV, but paying customers sure had to work hard to tell who was who. Why do that to your fans, OSU?
A OSU has a new Bullet this season, even though the horse did spot duty a year ago, Saturday was its first full-time game. The horse didn’t run as fast as more experienced Bullets have, but unlike a few years ago when a new Bullet threw its rider in pregame, there were no such incidents. Add the debut of BB, the miniature horse, and it was an equine extravaganza.