By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma State leads Texas Tech 35-14 at halftime in Stillwater. Here’s some thoughts, notes, stats and quotes:
- A couple defensive lapses are the only thing that kept Oklahoma State from a flawless first half of football, in every aspect. Regardless, that 30-minute performance is about as good as it gets against a ranked team. And a 21-point deficit seems almost fortunate for Tech.
- Mike Gundy has shuffled his quarterbacks like board game pieces this year, confusing fans and media members on a weekly basis. But one thing we now know they were always truthful about: OSU has three legitimate Big 12 quarterbacks.
- Clint Chelf was great in the first half, moving the offense effectively with intermediate routes and some perfectly thrown deep balls. He went 11/17 for 229 yards, throwing three long-range touchdowns (of 30, 60 and 66 yards).
- And he was aided by the surprising return of J.W. Walsh. Walsh has been healthy enough to practice the past two weeks, but it still sounded as if Gundy was hesitant to put him on the field. Not in the first half. OSU finally revealed an effective version of the Walshcat (or Walshing Machine or Car Walsh), leading to two touchdowns, one on a Walsh to Kye Staley pass and the other on a keeper. Not sure where Walsh’s career (at OSU or eventually somewhere else) goes from here. But at the very least, he’ll be a key part of some unique package.
- How about Isaiah Anderson? Expected to take a bigger role during his senior season, Anderson hasn’t been much of a factor. Limited by injuries and drops, Anderson entered the game with only 10 catches and 123 yards all year. In the first half, he caught four passes for 174 yards and three long touchdowns, ran for 26 more on a reverse. Talk about a special Senior Day. We’d be talking legendary if he pulled in that touchdown on the first drive.
- Isaiah Anderson’s previous career-high was 63 receiving yards. Before Saturday, he never had a multi-touchdown game (and only four total in his career).
- On five of Tech’s seven drives, OSU’s defense was dominant, forcing four punts and picking a pass off. But two times, Seth Doege and TTU’s offense have found holes. And that’s why this thought-to-be runaway is still somewhat in realistic reach for the Red Raiders.
- OSU’s front four is living in Tech’s backfield. The Cowboys three first-half sacks (that felt like more) are one short of a season-high, something they’ll likely break in the final 30 minutes.