COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- In Oklahoma State's 38-10 win over Texas A&M Saturday at Kyle Field, the first win for the Cowboys at A&M since 1983, there was no mention of the impending showdown with number one ranked Oklahoma until the Cowboys hit the locker room. The typical focus that this O-State team has shown this season was present. There was little emotion show during the game, just a methodical, businesslike and precision effort that started on the first series of the game and lasted throughout the contest.
"A good road team is a team that is veteran and understands what it is to play on the road," said Miles. "This is a good football team because a bad football team would have been beaten today. They had a purpose and that was to control their destiny beyond this football game, and they did that. They took care of business. I don't think they played their best, but they played a good game overall."
Tatum Bell had 196 yards
rushing and three touchdowns. All American wide receiver Rashaun Woods caught
four passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns, Josh Fields hit 16-of-25 passes
for 208 yards and two touchdowns, and Darrent Williams had yet another dramatic
interception to go with his six tackles. The typical high profile heroes, but
there were other less recognized heroes that obviously were focused on taking
care of business at Kyle Field before thinging of Bedlam next week in
Cole Farden - The Aggies came in with the top ranked kickoff return squad in the Big 12, and Farden neutralized them with another great day on kickoffs. Five of Farden's seven kickoffs went for touchbacks and the other two had enough hangtime on them that the coverage unit was able to hold them to 37-yards combined on the pair of returns. The frustration of A&M's primary returners Terrence Murphy and Jason Carter was evident on the second half kickoffs as they visibly showed their frustration leaving the field.
"It was fun to frustrate
them," said Farden. "All week Coach DeForest talked about the importance of
making them start at the 20-yard-line on offense. When you make a team go
80-yards the chance of them scoring goes down to one-in-eight on the drive and
we wanted to make sure that kickoff returns weren't a factor."
Chay Nease - Nease caught the first reception of his career last week in the win over Texas Tech. He did not get his second at Texas A&M, but what he did do was lay out Aggie defenders on several of Tatum Bell's big runs at Kyle Field. Nease moved over to wide receiver from safety during the preseason, and it has been a good move by the O-State staff. A major contributor on special teams, Nease has good speed and is a physical presence at the position. On one Bell run for 27 yards and a first down on the first scoring drive of the second half, Nease took an Aggie linebacker completely out. They call that kind of block a "decleater." Nease was smiling about it on the sidelines after Josh Fields hit Rashaun Woods for a 45-yard touchdown pass on the next play."
D'Juan Woods - The younger receiver named Woods actually led the Cowboys in receiving with six catches for 58-yards. His older brother had the two touchdown receptions, but it was D'Juan that ran some very good routes and made some tough catches to keep drives alive. Five of his receptions either set up a first down or actually moved the chains for the Cowboys. D'Juan Woods has also really improved himself as a blocker and contributed to Bell's big day rushing along with Morency and Shaw with solid blocks downfield.
Gabe Lindsay - You didn't hear a lot from Gabe on Saturday as he had just one catch for 14-yards, but like Nease, Lindsay was laying blocks downfield for the running game. On the same 27-yard run by Bell in the third quarter that Nease had hisbest "decleater" of the day, Lindsay came across and planted an A&M defender that really opened up the run for Bell. Lindsay is really good at that style of block as he is able to surprise defenders and for his size is really strong.
Add to Lindsay's
contributions his fair catches on safe punt. Several of A&M's five punts
came around midfield and Lindsay safely fielded the ball around or inside the 10
on each of those. Two fo the catches came with Aggie defenders all around him
waiting for a miscue on the catch.
Chris Akin - Akin led an outstanding effort by the offensive line. The Cowboys had 443-yards of total offense and 235-yards on the ground. One of the primary running plays that had success was the counter and Akin was often the blocker pulling down the line and lighting up an Aggie defender. Akin is one of the quietest players on the team, but he carries a big stick into games. He just does his job, play after play, with little fanfare.
Pagitte McGee - McGee was the lightning rod for the defense at the start. On Texas A&M's first series he broke through on the third play, third and three, and sacked quarterback Reggie McNeal for a seven-yard loss. McGee came back later and shared another quarterback sack to go along with his seven total tackles.
Fath' Carter - Carter had just two tackles in the game, but they both went for losses with the total being 14-yards. He was in on one sack of McNeal as he gobbled up the A&M quarterback for an 11-yard loss and popped the ball loose. Before a Cowboy could fall on it, A&M's Tim Van Zant recovered it for the Aggies.
The performances, noticed and unoticed, major and unsung, are proof of how far this team had come. The Cowboys proved that they could go on the road and beat a solid opponent in an hostile atmosphere. They proved that they could take care of business in the face of a hyped up showdown the following week.
"I have to tell you I did not think we had a great week of practice. We practiced and got through the workload, it was not an inspirational week of practice by any means. There were some lagging effect from the Texas tech game," explained Miles ."But gradually each day the focus returned to this team and they realized who they were playing. With a veteran team coming in here, with focus, they wanted to put themselves in the position they are in for next week."
When the game was over and the Cowboys hit the locker room under Kyle Field the gesture was made, it was now time to talk, think, and get ready to act on Bedlam.
"It's a great game, it's
the Bedlam series, two in-state team that are very successful and one is the
number one ranked team in the nation, and another really good football team,"
said Miles "We look really forward to going to Norman and playing. Their guys
know our guys and we know them, so it's going to be a lot of fun."