Energy, quarterback and coaching were all lacking in a shocking loss.
STILLWATER — Here’s the Sellout Crowd’s rapid reaction to the Cowboys’ stunning 33-7 loss to South Alabama Saturday night.
Blame for this mess starts with Mike Gundy
Jenni Carlson: What a disaster for the Cowboys. Losing to a Group of Five team at home is never good. But getting dominated?
Here are three things that seemed particularly bad for OSU:
*Energy. There was little on the field. The Cowboys didn’t play with nearly enough urgency on either side of the ball. That led to bad tackling and atrocious third-down defense. On offense, the run game had little pop. Things got a bit better after halftime, but by then, South Alabama had done enough damage.
*Quarterbacking. In the first two games, the three platooning quarterbacks were all equally average. Nothing great, but nothing disastrous. Saturday? None of them were nearly good enough.
*Coaching. The game plan was uninspired or ineffective or both, and if there were in-game adjustments, they clearly weren’t enough. But as much as anything, a coaching staff that allows a team to enter a game so flat has to be held accountable. That starts with Mike Gundy. He’s making too much money to allow a team to step on the field and look as ill-prepared and uninterested as the Cowboys looked much of Saturday.
Don’t pin this on Jaden Bray
Sam Hutchens: Remember the first offensive drive of the game? When it was 0-0 and everything was peachy in Stillwater?
Well, with the way OSU played after that drive, Jaden Bray’s drop that appeared to be a surefire 48-yard TD doesn’t matter one bit.
South Alabama dominated the Cowboys. OSU is not a good team right now. Really, the Cowboys haven’t played especially well in any of their three games. So what does it mean? If OSU finds an identity as the year goes on and starts to play well — as in 2021 — it won’t matter nearly as much. Consider the loss the price of looking out of sorts in the early part of the season. Honestly, for how poorly OSU has looked at times this year, 2-1 feels like an overachievement.
This feels like that K-State game last season
Ben Hutchens: Remember that 48-0 loss to K-State a year ago, when nothing went right for the Cowboys, and by halftime, it felt like nothing OSU did would matter. That nightmare of a game got relived Saturday night.
The differences between OSU’s loss today and last season? This time, the Cowboys are at home and playing a team from the Sun Belt… ouch. There is no shame in finally losing a nonconference game at the beginning of a season for the first time since 2016, but there is some in losing the way OSU did today.
With nothing to fall back on, Cowboys fall hard
Todd Lisenbee: Throughout Mike Gundy’s tenure at Oklahoma State, his teams have always found a way to maximize their talent offensively. OSU has been able to win with scrambling quarterbacks and pocket passers, with 20+ carry workhorses and running back by committee. Oklahoma State has always found a way to lean on what they’re good at to cover other flaws.
This year, there look to be too many flaws. The offensive line isn’t good enough to trust and the Cowboys don’t have a superstar receiving corps to relieve the pressure. OSU can’t even figure out which quarterback to turn the reins over to, for crying out loud.
This loss should be a real eye-opener. It’s time to decide on a quarterback, decide which direction you’re going to go with the offense and get the most you can out of this season. The season is not lost yet, but this is an uphill battle, one that Mike Gundy can’t put off fighting anymore.