'Wrong Way' Elliott
After cornerback and regular punt returner Darrent Williams, who came into the game ranked fourth in the nation in punt returns, was cut on the finger after making a tackle and getting his middle finger caught in a Cyclone helmet, it was up to freshman Prentiss Elliott to handle the punt return chores. The freshman speedster out of Tulsa School of Science and Technology is an adventure on those plays. At UCLA Elliott fielded a punt that the coaches were yelling from the sidelines to get away from.
Elliott came running up on and mishandled his first try against Iowa State, but was fortunate it went out of bounds. Elliott later fumbled another punt and was relieved of the duty for the day following a Cowboy recovery of the muff. In between those mistakes, Elliott fielded one cleanly and took off with a burst on a 32-yard return.
However, following the game Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeForest admitted that even the good one by Elliott had its flaw. Elliott got that return on his own.
"He went the wrong way," said DeForest. "We were set up for a return to the left, and he went right. Hey, you saw what he is capable of. He goes the right way (left) and it's probably a touchdown."
Williams should be back fielding punts in Saturday's conference contest against Colorado in Boulder.
Ticket Told The Story
Each game ticket at Oklahoma State features a Cowboy senior, and Iowa State's ticket was a predictor of the day. O-State tight end Billy Bajema was featured on the ducat, and it was a break out day for the season for Bajema. The 6-5, 265-pound senior caught a first quarter pass and looked like a wide receiver taking advantage of a Prentiss Elliott block on the edge and weaving his way downfield for a 42-yard gain to the Iowa State five. The play set up the first score, a 22-yard Jason Ricks field goal.
Bajema finished the day with three receptions for 76 yards. His fourth quarter catch going for 16 yards, after he had dropped a preceding pass, set up a Vernand Morency touchdown run.
"It was exciting to have the opportunity to catch some balls and it was a lot of fun," said Bajema. "It was wide open and there was some running room and it was good for us all day."
Hamstring: the Injury of 2004
It seems like every season there is an injury that becomes the in vogue injury of the season. Two years ago it was sprained ankles when tailbacks Tatum Bell, Vernand Morency and Seymore Shaw all went into the opener at Louisiana Tech with them. Last season there was a run of shoulder injuries. Now, this season it appears the hamstring is the injury of choice.
Going into the Iowa State game tailback Vernand Morency was iffy with a hamstring injury. Linebackers Paul Duren and Lawrence Pinson had experienced some recent hamstring trouble, but neither showed any signs of it. Pinson had a particularly strong game with four tackles, a couple of big time hits and a fumble recovery. Duren had six tackles and Morency rushed for 143 yards with a big second half.
The most severe hamstring injury belongs to Stephen James who missed the game.
Williams Gets More Than He Wanted
As we mentioned, of the other injuries, Darrent Williams, who came back in the game made a tackle out on the edge, but came to the bench with his finger bleeding. The finger apparently was caught in a helmet. The senior cornerback went to the locker room with one of the Cowboy trainers and had the finger treated and bandaged. He put a glove back on the hand, but had to have the middle finger slot on the glove cut open to fit the bandage and then taped the middle finger and ring finger together. He continued playing in the game.
Offensive left guard David Koenig did not play because of a back injury. Koenig was replaced in the lineup by veteran backup guard Doug Bond.
Two other prominent Cowboys who did not play were defensive tackle Brad Girtman, who has battled a sprained ankle but practiced last week, and linebacker Victor DeGrate. No word on what their status was or is.
Cowboy Sack Exchange
The eight sacks by the Cowboys more than doubled the sack output of the first three games, and it sent the OSU sports information staff into the research mode to find the last time the Cowboys put that kind of heat on an opposing thrower. The eight sacks were the most for OSU in a game since Houston in 1987. Freshman Nathan Peterson had the first three sacks of his Cowboy career and Efe Mowarin registered his first sack. Safety Jamie Thompson had two sacks and linebackers Pagitte McGee and Lawrence Pinson each had one.
"I thought our defense set the tone," said head coach Les Miles. "I think they really improved in the off week. I thought they had great plans, except for one drive. Our defense came to play all day."
Bond and Franklin Head Prospects At The Game
There were 25 prospects in attendance at the Cowboys win over Iowa State as unofficial visitors. The two top names are current commitments for the Cowboys. Garber offensive tackle Brady Bond told me his team lost a tough one to Morrison on Friday night and the 6-7, 260-pounder was hanging out with fellow o-line commitment Noah Franklin out of Vinita. They were joined by a bunch of big guys as offensive and defensive linemen seemed to be the dominant positions among the visitors.
They included a Texan in Charles Wiebusch (6-2, 300) of Mission Sharyland, a Kansan in Toby Gifford (6-5, 330) out of Louisburg, and a Missourian in Andrew Lewis (6-6, 250) out of Joplin. Besides Bond and Franklin, in-state linemen at the game included Zach Allen (6-2, 285) of Edmond Memorial, Ronnie Lewis (6-5, 250) of Midwest City, David Benham (6-5, 265) out of Okeene, Cory Summers (6-2, 285) out of Westmoore, Russell Brorsen (6-4, 245) out of Stillwater, and Chris Box from Broken Arrow.
Among the skill position players at the game were quarterback/punter Cole Reynolds of Edmond Memorial, Broken Arrow linebacker Sedric Patterson, Ponca City athlete Zak Frederick, Edmond North wide receiver Marquis Hamilton, wide receiver Eldon Miles of Bishop McGuinness, Vinita quarterback Kurt Williams, Claremore twin tandem Steffan and Zane Williams, and Burkburnett, Texas wide receiver Jason Brown.
Considering it was the first afternoon kickoff of the season it was a good turnout for the game. There were no official visitors at Oklahoma State for the weekend.
OSU-ISU Game Notes
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