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OSU 65, WSU 17: Thoughts and observations

by John Helsley Published: September 5, 2010
Excitement abound for OSU fans
Excitement abound for OSU fans

by Brandon Chatmon
bchatmon@opubco.com
Follow me on Twitter @BChatmon

– I can’t imagine a better first game for the Cowboys. A message was sent in Stillwater on Saturday night.

Dana Holgorsen didn’t seem particularly thrilled after the game but his offense was stellar in his first game as OSU’s offensive coordinator. Eight touchdowns, zero turnovers, 5 for 5 in the red zone, over 500 total yards.

–The defense was strong as well. Markelle Martin set a tone with his hard hitting and it was clear OSU’s defense is faster than they were a year ago.

Justin Blackmon is a playmaker. He’s a guy I felt like OSU should have gotten involved more last season, and he proved tonight he should be a staple in the Pokes’ offensive gameplan from this point forward.

–Any more questions about Kendall and his touches in Holgorsen’s offense?

–I reached a point during the preseason where I decided to stop sticking up for Kendall Hunter when he kept getting overlooked when preseason honors were handed out. I figured he would take care of it himself on the field. So, thanks Kendall, nothing else needs to be said.

Kendall Hunter put up video game numbers in the opener.
Kendall Hunter put up video game numbers in the opener.

–The Pokes had the ball for roughly five minutes in the second quarter. They scored 21 points.

–Five red zone chances, five touchdowns.

–If you want to knit pick, OSU was just 4 of 14 (28.5 percent) on third down. Holgorsen won’t like that stat, he stresses third down efficiency and that’s not going to get it done.

–The freshmen held up better than I expected, especially on defense. Cornerback Justin Gilbert got a lot of snaps at cornerback and played well, cornerback Devin Hedgepeth also was solid.

–The injuries to OSU’s starting defensive tackles, Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson, is a major concern. The Pokes should just focus on getting those guys healthy for the Texas A&M game, don’t even try to get them back out there for Troy or Tulsa.

Anthony Rogers was solid when thrown into action after Jarka and Donaldson left. He made a very good improvement from spring to fall. The redshirt freshman recorded 0.5 sacks and 3 tackles including 1 tackle for loss.

Brandon Weeden had several incredible throws. Both early TDs to Justin Blackmon were placed perfectly and he showed the mobility that people don’t give him credit for. OSU fans should be really happy with his performance.

Brandon Weeden is slowing coming along as a member of the OSU golf squad.
Brandon Weeden is slowing coming along as a member of the OSU golf squad.

–I expected Tracy Moore to get more involved. Maybe that’s why Dana wasn’t signing the praises of his offense. He said he was still searching for six more guys so I don’t think he’s real thrilled with the receivers other than Blackmon. Holgorsen keeps asking some of the backups to step up and… he’s still asking. At some point those guys need to get hungry because teams are going to come out looking to stop Blackmon as the season progresses.

–This is going to sound crazy but Kendall could have had an even bigger day. He didn’t get involved in the passing game as much as I thought he might (3 catches, -4 yards). I think there will be games this season where he has 5-8 catches for 50-plus yards in addition to what he does on the ground.

–Nobody should be surprised by some of the things Holgorsen did offensively. He understands Hunter is a big-time playmaker and Jeremy Smith and Joe Randle are solid backups. That’s why you often saw two of those guys lined up together alongside Weeden. Dana’s going to get his best players on the field.

–How about Richetti Jones?? If he can remain consistent with that type of production, OSU’s defense will be that much better.

Shaun Lewis should help OSU on kick coverage this season.
Shaun Lewis should help OSU on kick coverage this season.

Shaun Lewis is already showing signs of being a big-time playmaker. In his first game he had 5 tackles including 1 tackle for loss.

Justin Gent was extremely impressive. Quick to the ball and in the right spot. He led the Pokes with seven tackles.

–Call me crazy but it seemed like Markelle Martin had more than just the three tackles he was credited for.

–Don’t forget about Quinn Sharp. 10 kickoffs, 9 touchbacks. That’s a great asset to have on special teams.

–Final thought: The scary thing for OSU’s future opponents is this: I never really felt like the offense was hitting on all cylinders especially passing the ball (just 218 passing yards for Weeden) yet the Cowboys scored 65 points.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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