The question has become all too common for the Cowboys: “What is going wrong on the road?”
Not even two-plus seasons of practice — OSU is now 1-20 in its last 21 Big 12 road games after Saturday's Bedlam loss — made the answer any easier for junior Markel Brown.
“I have no idea,” Brown said, “some kind of spell on us or something.”
Well, the Cowboys often do take on some zombie form in enemy arenas …
If only it were so simple.
At least then the Cowboys would have an explanation. And maybe a spell-breaker could be summoned or some magic elixir ingested that would snap the Pokes from this ongoing episode of Walking Dead, The Road Show.
Except there is no outside influence to blame.
This is on the Cowboys to fix. And fast.
And there are no easy answers.
Questions, however, we've got those.
And some of them aren't just aimed at OSU's road woes, but the vibe overall, which suddenly doesn't provide the same buzz with time expanding since the early momentum inspired by wins over Tennessee and North Carolina State.
Will the real Le'Bryan Nash please stand up?
In the last two games, coaches have tried to get Nash more engaged and involved early on, with his starts — good or bad — typically tied to how he goes the rest of the game.
Saturday, those efforts seemed to be to the Cowboys detriment, as Nash's engine failed to fire and the offense grew stagnant and OSU fell behind — the worst scenario for a team trying to breakthrough on the road.
“It was a big factor,” Brown said of the early deficit. “They set the tone for the game. We didn't respond. They came out, put pressure on us and played way harder than us. And it affected the game.”
The work to try to get Nash going is understandable. He's a talent. And it's clear to see in spurts, like a brief stretch of the second half Saturday, when he showed a rare explosiveness, taking the ball to the hole and posting up smaller Sooners. But it didn't last, as it seldom does.
Travis Ford faces some tricky handling of this former five-star recruit, especially with the energetic and athletic Brian Williams due back from injury soon.