Thoughts and observations: OSU 41, Rice 24
by Brandon Chatmon
–I have said it before and I will say it again: Gameplan to get Dez the ball early, OSU did that this game and it was the closest the Cowboys have come to looking like an explosive offense.
–Anytime you win, you should be happy.
–OSU’s offensive guards have been an unsettled situation for the first three games. Clearly the Cowboys are looking for someone to step up at right guard, with Lane Taylor getting the start against Rice.
–The defense and special teams seem to consistently come up with at least one big play per game. If that continues and the offense begins making big plays, that bodes well for OSU’s chances to make noise in the Big 12 South.
–Josh Cooper can make plays, he’s another guy OSU should look to get involved fairly early.
–Gundy said he wasn’t satisfied with the Cowboys running game against Rice… but I don’t think missing Kendall Hunter is the problem. The holes they had last year just don’t seem to be there and I think we are seeing what a loss Brandon Pettigrew was in the running game.
–Zac looked more aggressive and willing to run today. He seems to be getting his confidence back.
–Rice’s 72-yard completion was the perfect example of why coaches stress fundamental football. Maurice Gray went for the INT and 72 yards later Rice is deep in OSU territory. And it clearly gave the Owls offense confidence, because they began moving the ball on the Cowboys after that play. One play, huge ramifications.
–Donald Booker is a playmaker for the defense. He led the Cowboys with 10 tackles and had the 51-yard fumble return for a touchdown after the Owls fumbled a snap on a field goal.
–If his health holds up, Markelle Martin will be a impact player in Big 12 play. Martin was solid in the passing game, had a couple of big hits and it was Markelle who ran down Rice’s Toren Dixon on the 72-yard completion. He finished with five tackles and three pass break ups.
–For the second straight game, the tight ends weren’t involved much in the passing game. Wilson Youman had one big catch but that’s about it.
–The Cowboys can get pressure on the quarterback. They just can’t get sacks. Much like last week against Houston, Rice’s quarterback used his legs to create successful plays for the Owls. And that was a key to the Cowboys defense giving up 21 second half points.
–There was a Richetti Jones sighting! Jones played well against the Owls, getting pressure on the quarterback and even earning a sack.
–With Lucien Antoine and Markelle Martin on the field together, OSU has the chance to be exceptional at safety.
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