Offensively, it started for the Cowboys with an interception, a huge play for a touchdown surrounded by a three-and-out prior and two three-and-out possessions after.
The offensive line is still an issue, although Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy recognized that Texas Tech was determined not to let the Cowboys run over them in their spread running attack like Arkansas did over a week and a half ago with a power running attack. The safeties were in the box and the Cowboys receivers had man coverage on the outside with no safety help.
Throw the deep ball is what quarterback Daxx Garman does best, and that's what the Red Raiders gave the Cowboys. He did it again to the tune of 370 yards, with four touchdowns passes to three different receivers for 33, 39, 47, and 50 yards. Then there were throws of 28, 19, 23, 41, and 23 yards to set up scoring opportunities.
"I thought he handled himself really well. It was his first Big 12 game and only his third game at this level," head coach Mike Gundy said of Garman’s play.
"For the most part, he understood exactly what we wanted to do. He did much better in our run-pass checks. In fact, I don’t remember him making a mistake, run-pass check-wise. He’s learning, and he’s getting better. He needs to learn how to slide. I told him just get the first down and slide, and he took a hit. So he needs to learn to get down once he gets a first down.
"He competed and to be a quarterback, you have to be the toughest guy on the field. You’re the one who gets hit, and you can’t defend yourself so that’s a choice you have to make as a quarterback in this league."
Here is a breakdown on offense with the negatives being the offensive line and not being able to run against a stacked box and the quarterback being hit too many times. There were some drops on the part of some of the receivers. Garman threw the interception just before halftime that cost the Cowboys the chance at a momentum-changing score. Garman also needs to improve his short to intermediate passing execution. Plenty to work on and there is some time to get things better.
It is nice when you have to have it that the quarterback and the receivers know what it means to go long, how to throw it, and how to catch it.
"We work constantly on our yardage marks on our fade ball and our longer go-route," offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. "Those are certain things that we get pretty adamant about as far as being meticulous. We don't just say 'go run' and then throw it up to you. Sometimes that's the case. It's that simple when you go one-on-one, but you try to be as disciplined as you can.
"We've practiced structure and repetitions. The receiver has to turn his head at the right time. If he turns his head too early, the defensive back is going to throw his hand up and interfere with the pass. All of those sorts of things are things we rep on a daily basis, and we try to get better and better."
Now it is time to continue working to get better in those other areas. To have a chance to win in Manhattan, Kansas; Waco, Texas, and Norman, Oklahoma in November you will have to be able to run the football and do it effectively.