OSU vs. Baylor Report Card

Again, the Cowboys did almost nothing wrong in a blowout victory. It's becoming a weekly occurrence. Saturday, OSU shredded Baylor for a 59-24 victory and led 42-0 at one point. The team gets high marks across the board as the team improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1945.

Jerseys — B+

Another solid look for the Cowboys and, hey, they finally wore orange jerseys. Perhaps the grey helmets and pants didn't provide quite the traditional orange look some fans had been hoping for but the wardrobe was solid overall.

Homecoming Crowd — A+

It would be hard to give OSU's Homecoming crowd enough credit. It was great on Saturday. The crowd was loud and into the game from start to finish despite the lopsided score. It was also the second largest crowd in Boone Pickens Stadium history with an official tally of 58,274 and it felt like more than that.

Opening goal line stand and ensuing drive— A

That was a big momentum swing right out of the gates. Baylor had marched down the field with relative ease before getting inside the 10-yard line and OSU's defense put the clamps on the Bears. The Pokes actually stopped the Bears on fourth-and-1 twice but were given a delayed timeout call before the first attempt. It didn't matter as Alex Elkins filled the gap to keep the Bears off the scoreboard, which turned out to be a trend.

Then the Cowboy offense took the field and went 99 yards in 14 plays, capping off the scoring drive with a 2-yard Joseph Randle run, his first of four on the day.

Coach Mike Gundy mentioned how much of a momentum swing it was for his team and it definitely took away some of Baylor's confidence.

Red zone defense — A

This was easily one of the most impressive aspects of the Cowboys' dominating victory. Baylor had first-and-goal from the 5-yard line or closer on four occasions with the ending with a turnover on downs, two turnovers and a late touchdown after the game had already been decided and a good portion of OSU's starters had moved to the bench.

Forcing turnovers — A+

The Cowboys just find a way, don't they? Baylor entered Saturday's contest as one of the nation's best teams at protecting the football. OSU entered as the best at taking it away and OSU prevailed on that front again. The Cowboys forced five turnovers from a Baylor team that had conceded just 10 on the season entering the game. BU quarterback Robert Griffin had two picks in the first half after having thrown just two through the first six games. The Cowboys have now forced a ridiculous 20 turnovers through five conference games. This defense deserves more respect than it's getting.

Defense between the 20s — C

For as well as the defense played in the red zone and in forcing turnovers, OSU has to find a way to get off the field faster. The defense surrendered 622 total yards and the Bears ran 105 plays (OSU ran just 63). OSU forced zero three-and-outs and the Bears never punted, areas Bill Young said the team will address after the game.

Cowboy running backs — A++++

Four plus signs is probably overkill but I handed one out to each member of the OSU backfield anyway. Joseph Randle dominated the game early and finished with 152 yards on just 14 carries, good for 10.9 yards a pop. He also had touchdown runs of 2 yards, 62 yards and two scores from 7 yards out for his second straight four-touchdown game.

Jeremy Smith only carried the ball three times but he did a lot of damage in those touches, rushing for 77 yards with a long of 63, good for 25.7 yards per carry.

With runs of 63 and 62 already in the books, true freshman Herschel Sims one-upped them taking his first carry 81 yards for a score. It was OSU's longest run since Mike Hamilton rumbled for an 83-yard score against Texas Tech in 2005. Sims finished with eight carries for 104 yards on 13 yards per carry.

And last but not least, fullback Kye Staley hauled in an 18-yard touchdown reception for the first score of his career. He keeps writing one of the best comeback stories in recent years.

Justin Blackmon — A

What concussion? It wasn't decided until late in the week whether Blackmon would even play against Baylor but he responded by torching the Bears with his best game of the season. Blackmon had 13 receptions (the rest of the team combined for 11) for 172 yards and two touchdowns on his now patented fade route. It was an impressive show of dominance from the reigning Biletnikoff winner.

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