Analysis: Just What The Cowboys Needed

First, it was good to come out and really cut it loose on somebody. Grambling is not going to be confused with a Big 12 opponent, even a Big 12 doormat, but the Oklahoma State Cowboys did what they were supposed to, the way they were supposed to against the Tigers.

On defense, the Cowboys forced Grambling to punt on six of its first seven possessions, five were three-and-outs and the one possession they didn't force a punt the Cowboys intercepted the Tigers quarterback Greg Dillon.

On offense, Oklahoma State scored on four of the first five possessions, all touchdowns. Zac Robinson threw an interception on the second possession. Considering he finished the day 13 of 16 for 189 yards and a touchdown, the one pick is okay. The Cowboys finished with 587 yards of offense, 321 yards rushing. They averaged 8.9 yards per offensive snap and 7.5 yards per running play. It was a good night.

This was all done without All-American wide receiver Dez Bryant, All-American running back Kendall Hunter, All-American return specialist and standout cornerback Perrish Cox, and starting defensive end Jermiah Price.

The Cowboys are not a juggarnaut just yet. There were still too many penalties (9 for 61 yards) and too many turnovers, four (two fumbles and two interceptions).

"I was proud of the team tonight," said head coach Mike Gundy. "We had some players that weren't able to play tonight, so players that are younger and don't have as much experience had to step up and as a group that is important that we can rely on others to make plays.

"I thought defensively we played well. We had some missed tackles in space and Donald Booker was overunning plays a few times. We had a safety or two do that as well. Their quarterback is a good athlete and he had the ability to run and make some plays. Our defense played well and got pressure on the quarterback and forced him out of the pocket. I was pleased with that.

"Offensively, the first group played well except for Zac (Robinson) and Andrew Lewis putting that ball on the ground when he was under the center in our hurry up offense," continued Gundy. "Those are mistakes we have to eliminate. You can't put the ball on the ground in that circumstance as an unforced error."

The open week is a welcome sight as the Cowboys will get a chance to heal. Gundy will practice his team. He likes to go hard in the open week, but just can't now.

"This week is a little different than what we've had here the last three or four years," said Gundy. "We've normally practiced pretty heavy three times. We're not going to do that because we don't have enough guys. The younger players, we will try to get them some quality work."

"We're definitely ready for the open week and getting some guys back healthy again," said center Andrew Lewis.

"It's a great time for our team to have a bye week," said Robinson. "We get some guys healthy, get off our feet and still get some work in. Get ready for the Big 12 South and that race we are about to be in."

Now there were some extra special treats. I argue all the time (it's very fun) on my radio show with a caller named "T-town." He has wanted to see more receivers catch the ball for two years. Tonight "T-town" got his wish with six different wide receivers, two running backs, and a tight end catching passes.

Dameron Fooks caught his first two touchdowns, Isaiah Anderson caught his first pass, freshman Tracy Moore caught his first touchdown pass, and Hubert Anyiam broke out with three catches. It was good for all of that to happen and it should only help the offense and even take some defensive attention off Dez Bryant when he returns.

"I thought that Brandon Weeden came in and threw the ball well at times," said Gundy. "That gave some other receivers a chance to catch the ball. Fooks made some catches, Isaiah Anderson caught the one ball down by the goal line. Hubert Anyiam made some plays. It was nice to win the game."

There was also the redshirt coming off Tulsa Union product and running back Jeremy Smith. Oh did that work out with Smith carrying for 160 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. That is a first game freshman record for rushing yards in Oklahoma State history.

"Jeremy is very mature and he handles coaching well," said Gundy. "It is important to him and he is a very physical athlete for his age. There were times we were trying to get him out and he kept wanting to be back in there."

Smith ran for the 160 yards and Toston 85 yards and three touchdowns. Fooks caught four passes for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Weeden, coming off the bench, was 4-of-7 for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

"Me and Coach (Rob) Glass were joking around before the game and he said he wanted 300 yards rushing," said center Andrew Lewis. "It feels good to get that goal. It felt good to start from the beginning."

"It was great to try and build the lead at halftime and try to get some young guys out there to get some playing time," said Robinson. "Then in the second half Brandon Weeden made some plays and Jeremy Smith played well too. We had guys catching the ball and it was all good."

Okay, for all naysayers the Houston Cougars are pretty good. Remember that loss in week two that drove you crazy. Now you can look in the final result from Houston and realize that with Saturday night's 29-28 win over the Red Raiders, Houston will likely be a top-10 team and everybody will be glad to have them done on the schedule.

The Cowboys helped the Cougars to their win in Stillwater with turnovers, a bunch of them and penalties, not to mention poor tackling on defense in that contest. Houston won fair and square but with Cowboy cooperation. Maybe the win over the Red Raiders will help OSU fans understand that Houston has a good team.

The loss to Houston still hurts, and it may for awhile, but misery loves company and now Texas Tech feels it too. It's okay to forgive yourself, and please forgive the Cowboys as they will be ready to get back into it in two weeks at College Station.

GoPokes Top Stories