Cowboys Get Their Swagger Back For Texas

Before the game, Dave Hunziker, the radio voice of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, said that he thought it would be interesting if the Cowboys fell behind Louisiana early just to further test the mettle of a team that was coming off a stunning upset at Arizona to see how they handled the further adversity. Call it, kind of, a pile on test.

That didn't happen.

The Cowboys did not fall behind, but they got their pile on test when on the sixth play of the game, freshman quarterback Wes Lunt was struck by Louisiana corner Melvin White in the front knee and suffered an injury.

It was an injury that had the Boone Pickens Stadium crowd hushed, and one that easily could have caused great pause on the Oklahoma State sideline. Instead, J.W. Walsh, a talented player as well with a different skill set, trotted out to finish the drive, leading to a field goal. Then the rout was on.

"I was pleased with J.W., especially the position he was put in to play when it really counted," said head coach Mike Gundy. "I was proud of all the guys rallying and playing around him. The defense got us a number of stops there in a row after Wes (Lunt) got hurt and that was really good because at that time we needed to take control of the game."

It was especially fun that the big offensive play that got it all started was a 52-yard screen to fullback Kye Staley. Staley had that devastating knee injury early in his career but just keeps getting better and better.

"When you look at the stats, you had Josh Stewart and Blake Jackson that had most of the catches, but Tracy Moore, who had the big block on Kye's touchdown, was a great leader for us," said Gundy. "I actually mentioned it on the sideline that he was downfield cutting and it just worked out that way."

"I had kind of a flashback and I haven't run that far since I was in high school," joked Staley. "I t was great to run like that and score for my team.

"I think all of our quarterbacks work so hard in practice and they feed off each other and help each other," said Staley. "We have complete confidence that any one of them can come in there and take us up and down the field."

Walsh did that as Lunt was being checked out inside the Cowboys training room, where the training staff found out that the injury was not as devastating as it might have looked.

Walsh ran for 73 yards and completed 21 of 30 passes for 347 yards. He matched Lunt's four touchdowns of a week ago hitting Staley, former Denton Guyer High School teammate Josh Stewart for two scores, and Blake Jackson for most of an entire scoring drive including a 20-yard touchdown pass.

"To know these guys had that much confidence in me was a comforting feeling and allowed me to come out there and help the team have success today," said Walsh. "It was a lot of fun. Wes (Lunt) will be in my prayers tonight, but I was just glad I was ready and able to come in there and get the job done."

It was also important for the team to flex some muscles, especially the defense after allowing Arizona 52 points a week earlier (one touchdown was a pick six).

The Cowboys needed some swagger back before the open week and then the Sept. 29 visit from Texas.

"It was a long week and the guys needed to get back out there," added Gundy. "I'm just glad it wasn't an open week (this wek). We challenged the guys to play better football, catch the football, tackle better, and play with more intensity. I was pleased overall with the group."

"We felt better and we knew that was not our defense last week," said linebacker Caleb Lavey. "That was not the way we think of ourselves as a defense."

The first half Gundy was right. The defense got the ball back for the offense and limited the Cajuns to 106 yards of offense in that half. For the second time this season nearly everybody played.

The important thing is that this team understand they've had their reset and it was a good one. There is no room for any more resets.

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