OSU football journal: Cowboys looking for faster start against Tulsa
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s slow start against McNeese State was a letdown coach Mike Gundy doesn’t want to see at Tulsa.
The Cowboys’ high-powered offense will be tested by the Golden Hurricane defense, which has allowed just 325.5 yards per game. It’ll be a solid test to close nonconference play.
“I’ve been impressed with their team, particularly they’ve fared really well on defense,” Gundy said. “They put it together a little bit offensively the other night.
“We need to get off to a good start in this game.”
OSU’s opening drive Saturday featured a fumble by running back Chuba Hubbard and a sack of quarterback Spencer Sanders. The Cowboys punted twice and lost a fumble in the first quarter before finding their offensive rhythm.
The lackluster half led to just eight carries for Hubbard, who had 26 in the opener at Oregon State.
“Two things, the offensive line was average and Chuba put the ball on the ground,” Gundy said. “If you put the ball on the ground, you’re out. So, he’s not going to get his carries if he fumbles.”
Tulsa’s defense has been impressive against Michigan State and San Jose State. It’s forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and sacked the quarterback six times. It’s also had 13 tackles for loss.
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Return for Bundage, Antwine still unknown
The OSU defense remains without a pair of significant players for the third straight week.
Linebacker Calvin Bundage has yet to play this season while battling a back injury. Gundy says Bundage is being evaluated weekly, but he doesn’t know when the linebacker could return.
Gundy described Israel Antwine’s absence as something he has no control over. The sophomore defensive tackle has not played this season, but has been practicing with the team. Sources have told The Oklahoman that his absence is not related to any injury or legal matter.
“It’s just a technicality,” Gundy said. “I wish I could expedite the process, but essentially, it’s administrative issues that are out of our hands.”
Moore off to hot start
C.J. Moore feels fortunate the quarterbacks are even throwing the football his way.
But there’s a good reason they do.
The 6-foot-5, 175-pound redshirt freshman is off to a fast start in two games. He’s caught three passes — two for touchdowns — for 75 yards. All are the first catches of his career.
“I’m just doing my job,” Moore said following OSU’s 56-14 rout of McNeese State. “It’s Spencer and the front line that are reading everything. He could have thrown it to anybody. It just happened to be me.
“I’d like to thank Spencer and Dru (Brown), because Dru threw it to me tonight. I bet he feels pretty good, too.”
Moore, a Tulsa Union product, will receive a homecoming this weekend at Tulsa. He’ll bring a different look than high school. He’s bulked up and he’s showing off incredible foot speed.
And with his frame, it’s leading to big things.
Green’s pick-six sparks defense
When McNeese State quarterback Cody Orgeron dropped back on the second play of the night, Oklahoma State defensive back A.J. Green read every step Orgeron took.
Orgeron dropped back to pass. Green broke to jump the route.
OSU immediately seized control during Saturday’s 56-14 win over McNeese State behind Green’s first career interception return for a touchdown.
“I feel like it was good for us,” Green said. “Me being a veteran on the team and looked at as a leader, I think that was a good way to come out and a good way to start the game.”
OSU’s defense created just 13 turnovers last season. After not forcing one in the opener at Oregon State, it was crucial to get some momentum for the defense.
Green certainly provided that.
OSU’s first-team defense held McNeese State to 82 yards in the opening half. OSU had just the one turnover, but it also had two sacks.
Going into Tulsa, which found some offensive rhythm last weekend at San Jose State, the Cowboys like where they are at defensively.
Jacob Unruh and Scott Wright, Staff writers