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OSU 24, KSU 14: Thoughts and observations

by John Helsley Published: October 31, 2010
The Cowboy defense was superb in the win.
The Cowboy defense was superb in the win.

by Brandon Chatmon
Follow me on Twitter @BChatmon

—    Quality win for Oklahoma State: On the road, without one of your main weapons and with two (essentially three) first half turnovers.

—    The Pokes continue to prove they are way better than expected.

—    As much grief as you gave the defense last week, you should be giving them equal praise this week. They won the game for OSU.

Johnny Thomas' "pick six" was a key play in the game
Johnny Thomas' "pick six" was a key play in the game

—    I envisioned a lot of scenarios for this game. A 0-0 tie after one quarter and 7-7 tie at halftime was not one of them.

—    Kendall Hunter may be too good for his own good. A 143-yard performance and I didn’t really think about what a great game he had. Sure there are flashes in my mind, like the third down run where he was hit and spin around on one leg, somehow staying on his feet long enough to get the first down. So consistent, so good.

—    One of the better games of the year for quarterback Brandon Weeden. True enough, he could have been intercepted on more than one occasion. But he wasn’t. He managed the game well and got the ball in the hands of the right person. The junior finished 22 of 39 for 298 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

– Outstanding game by Johnny Thomas. He’s really stepped up since OSU lost Victor Johnson for the year with a knee injury. Six tackles, two pass breakups, one interception return for a touchdown and a forced fumble.

—    Another game of over 500 offensive yards for the Cowboys but I bet most people will see 24 points and think they underachieved. Which they did since the point is to score and they scored less than half their average but they moved the ball at will and really kept themselves from putting up points on the scoreboard more than the Wildcats did.

"The Chosen 1"
"The Chosen 1"

—    Have I ever mentioned before how much I like Joseph Randle and how much I think he should be involved. 9.7 yards per carry (7 carries, 64 yards) and four catches for 59 yards.

—    Some people didn’t understand my halftime tweet so let me clear up something: I consider OSU a program on the rise, one that is on the cusp of competing for a Big 12 championship if not there already. As such, I think in terms of them playing (or striving to play) to that standard. Had OSU been playing a championship level team, they could easily have been down double digits, hence the point of my tweet. I got a lot of responses about how K-State was lucky to be close, which was true, but it’s not about them, it’s about Oklahoma State football. What OSU is doing? How OSU is playing? I don’t care what K-State (or any opponent for that matter) is doing. It’s not about them, it’s about OSU and are they doing the things that will make them a championship level team or not.

—    Shaun Lewis is going to be a star. There were several times today where I thought, “nice tackle” normally when I think that it’s Markelle Martin or Orie Lemon. On more than one occasion today, it was Lewis. He really rose to the occasion in his first collegiate start.

—    I was impressed with how some of OSU’s other true freshmen played. When Andrew McGee went out, Devin Hedgepeth stepped in and was solid. When Lemon got nicked up, Caleb Lavey stepped in for several reps (3 tackles). The Pokes’ young players continue to play beyond their years.

—    Bo Bowling definitely plays with a chip on his shoulder. He gives an all-out effort every play, you can tell it really matters to him. Dana Holgorsen said he has emerged as a legit starter for the Pokes so clearly he’s doing something right.

—    Michael Harrison has a chance to be really good. He has the athleticism and size to become a key part of the offense on the opposite of Blackmon moving forward.

Weeden back to pass... no Wildcats in sight
Weeden back to pass... no Wildcats in sight

—    OSU’s offensive line was superb, there were a couple times where Brandon Weeden was looking around like, “Really? You mean I have five more seconds if I want them?”

—    OSU’s pass rush was solid, Chase Coffman didn’t have a lot of time to sit back there and find receivers. They still need to improve past just getting pressure because they miss out on quite a few sacks it seems.

—    I liked Daniel Thomas, he’s big and has good moves, he’ll be a solid NFL back in the future.

—    You have to respect Shane Jarka. He’s so beat up and he just keeps going out there, week after week, playing and giving consistent effort. If you want to learn more about will and determination, watch Jarka.

– This was the type of game where you are happy with a win because a win is a win and they are hard to come by, especially in league play. But you go home with the understanding you have to get better and improve because some of the things you did in the win will get you beat against championship caliber teams. Example: 10 penalties for 100 yards, that could be the difference against a championship caliber opponent.

—    Bottom Line: OSU is 7-1 and near the top of the Big 12 South through eight games. Did you expect that? I didn’t.

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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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