The Cowboys must win on effort, coaching and execution from here on out. That’s what won Friday night at raucous Boone Pickens Stadium.
STILLWATER — Here’s the Sellout Crowd’s rapid reaction to Oklahoma State’s 29-21 victory over Kansas State on Friday night at Boone Pickens Stadium:
OSU victory hard-earned, well-earned
Guerin Emig: Nothing’s coming easy for an Oklahoma State team that’s shorthanded at a few key positions. The Cowboys must win on effort, coaching and execution from here on out.
That’s what won Friday night at raucous Boone Pickens Stadium.
OSU played hard enough on defense to contain Kansas State mainstays Will Howard and DJ Giddens through the majority of the game. The Cowboys intercepted three Howard passes and returned one for a touchdown, a play that stood tall at the end of the game.
It was a well-drilled effort by Bryan Nardo’s defense… and Kasey Dunn’s offense, even as the Cowboys stopped scoring at the 11:31 mark of the fourth quarter.
OSU got Alan Bowman settled in as its starting quarterback. He outplayed Howard over a first half in which the Pokes took 20-7 command.
The Cowboys sprung Jaden Bray and Rashod Owens for a pair of 45-yard completions, awaking their until-now dormant downfield passing game.
They blocked well enough for Ollie Gordon to reach triple digits rushing, a big deal on a night K-State rushing leader DJ Gidden was kept in relative check.
It took some deep breaths, and a couple of huge defensive stops, in the fourth quarter to secure OSU’s first Big 12 victory of the season. But it was a well-earned outcome for a team that left much to be desired over their last two games before their bye week.
Big-play defense delivers big win
This win was just what the doctor ordered. The schedule ahead looks like one OSU can attack heading into Bedlam. Two weeks ago, Cowboys fans were just hoping they could survive
Kasey Dunn and Mike Gundy had their offense ready to play right out of the gate. They got the ball in the hands of their best playmakers, Gordon and Presley. Most importantly, they avoided mistakes.
But the game was won on the defensive side of the ball. Winning the turnover battle is crucial for this year’s OSU team and the Cowboys took advantage of three big ones. Here’s hoping Nick Martin, Cameron Epps and Brian Nardo have some celebratory cheese fries at Joe’s tonight.
The Cowboys win with their backs against the wall
Ben Hutchens: Looking at this matchup on paper, nothing pointed toward OSU pulling an upset, but that’s where Mike Gundy has been best. You can chalk it up to Gundy and the coaching staff cooking up an aggressive and imaginative plan full of tricks over the bye week, but realistically, OSU’s win came from turnovers. The Cowboys came up with three interceptions and stopped another three drives on fourth down. OSU needed a win to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since 2014, so, of course, it won.
Making plays on both sides leads to victory
Ed Murray: When an offense is struggling and maybe lacks the talent of past years, the defense has to step up to allow that offense to develop. Both happened against Kansas State. The OSU defense came to play from the opening kick, preventing the Wildcats from scoring on their first possession for the first time this year.
In turn, the OSU offense marched 72 yards on 15 plays to score on its first possession for the first time this year. And the Cowboys never trailed.
The defense intercepted Will Howard three times while the Cowboys’ offense never gave it up.
Cam Epps made plays all over the field, 2 of the interceptions-one a Pick 6. Nicholas Martin led an outstanding tackling performance. Ollie Gordon ripped the nation’s #6 rush defense for 136, nearly twice what KSU allowed total per game. And for most of the game, OSU won the battle of the trenches on both sides, when going in, that was looked at as a Cowboys disadvantage
What I loved the most though, a reverse, throwback to the quarterback, fake punt, wildcat formation, and a tight end “tush push”. They didn’t all work, but the confidence to open the playbook is another great sign going forward.