Cowboys need to learn from Tech loss

The Cowboys didn't perform well at Texas Tech. In fact, they preformed rather poorly in some areas. However, they can rebound - as long as they learn from the Lubbock experience.

LUBBOCK, Texas--Oklahoma State had a lot to prove Saturday.

And, just when it seems that people are starting to take the Cowboys seriously, OSU takes two steps back.

To win games in college football, or Tiddly Winks for that matter, all components of the game have to come into order. Against Texas Tech, OSU didn't really have anything that meshed anywhere.

Quarterback Josh Fields passed for 257 yards, tailback Tatum Bell rushed for 165 yards and receiver Rashaun Woods caught eight passes for 111 yards.

However, when three men are doing the work of many, the end result isn't ever something to cheer for.

The offense failed to convert third down conversions, dropped passes that should have been caught for first down yardage and the line had Fields scrambling for his life in order to avoid double-digit sacks.

The defense allowed over 40 points for the second-straight road game. The defense also caused the Red Raiders to fumble five times.

Good, huh? Not quite so much, Aunt Jenny. Out of the five fumbles, OSU only recovered one. It is good to cause turnovers -- but capitalizing on them is what scores points.

The special teams -- well, the special teams didn't do anything, save for punter Cole Farden. OSU had five return yards on the day. The mighty orange-and-black ran for as many yards in kick/punt returns as I have dollars in my bank account.

For the record, that isn't much to buy anything with -- much less a trip to Orlando, Shreveport or Houston over Christmas break.

Why the troubles on the road? It speaks volumes when a team leaves the locker room and can't even try to offer up explanations for what went wrong.

Poor preparation, OSU offensive lineman Jason Russell said.

He was the only Cowboy willing to say what the real problem was.

"I can't explain it," seemed to be a popular response among the rest of the team representatives talking to the media.

"I don't know what we can do to fix it," was another.

Winning on the road is never an easy task, especially in the Big 12 Conference. But, the Cowboys, who have proceeded to lose every road game thus far, need to buck up.

Bucking up now almost seems like they would be putting the horse after the carriage, but the season must go on.

Sure, Kansas is Kansas. They lose, everybody else wins. A trip anywhere, even Lawrence, shouldn't be anything but the best effort of the OSU team.

Hopefully the road woes for OSU will end, just in time for its last game. Better late than never.

The Cowboys that OSU fans have seen the past two home games weren't the same players that boarded the plane to "legendary" Lubbock. The West Texas shootin' match didn't happen. It was more like Frank and Jesse James against the rifles of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Those performances don't get bowl-bids. Russell knows it, Fields knows it, OSU coach Les Miles knows it. Even the water boy knows it.

The thing about this team is, when it is brought to reality, it finds a way to bounce back and prove the critics wrong again and again.

Approaching the bench for exhibit A:  OSU 16, Oklahoma 13.

No one thought the defending National Champions would fall to "lowly" OSU. Not a chance, the leery snickered.

But, it happened. And a win in Lawrence can happen. A win at Lewis Field against Baylor can happen. A win against No. 4 OU can happen again.

Standing outside the players' locker room at Jones SBC Stadium on Saturday was a surreal experience. Everyone that exited the area and was chauffeured to the media area was exhausted, mentally and physically. The players had no answers, and neither did Miles.

A bowl season is upon you, Cowboys. Remember that feeling. Remember what it felt like eating dirt in the West Texas wind, remember what it felt like allowing Tech QB Kliff Kingsbury to move into fifth place on the NCAA career passing yardage list. Remember what it felt like hearing Tech fans call you "Mrs. Fields" and "Cowboy ballerinas" while they tossed frozen tortillas at your helmets. Remember how it felt having questions hurled at you after the 49-24 loss -- remember how confused you were when reporters asked for answers.

Remember that awful feeling -- and how you never want to feel it again.

And then, remember the Alamo in 1997.

"I got to step up my leadership and we need to rally back between the team," Russell said.

Rally behind the captain. Onward, onward, captain Russell.

Listen to the only one who stood up and told it like it was.

"We just got to grow up and forget about what's happening around us and think about what's happening on the field," Russell said.

Because, everyone knows that an all-around performance is needed to notch a win. Offense. Defense. Special teams. You can't win unless all is in order.

Even in Tiddly Winks.

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