West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett repeatedly heaved throws deep into the Cowboys secondary.
Many were defended. Some were caught, including gains of 38, 40 and 44 yards. Three others produced pass interference penalties.
“They took some shots down the field,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy.
And the shots will keep coming.
You asked for more aggressive defense, Cowboys fans.
And you're getting it, mostly to solid results.
Yet the byproduct is what you witnessed Saturday — with cornerbacks left on an island, or at least appearing to be stranded alone, they'll be tested regularly with deep throws.
“That goes with what we're doing defensively now,” said OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer. “We knew that. That's part of our defense. You're going to draw that sometimes.
“We made a decision to get pressure in more areas. And when you do that, that's going to happen.”
In Trickett's case, nearly a third of his 50 pass attempts went long.
“That was what Oklahoma State was giving us,” said Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen.
Now, it was hardly an assault by Trickett, who typically lofted jump balls. He didn't so much take aim at the Cowboys corners as he did heave and hope. Not that it's a bad strategy.
“It's a pretty good plan, throw up deep balls and it's either incomplete or interference,” Spencer said. “It's almost like sometimes they were saying, ‘Hey we're going to keep throwing it deep.'”
Trickett was fortunate at times, too.
He was intercepted twice, with Justin Gilbert and Tyler Patmon picking off two long balls. And it could have been more — that's why they call them jump balls — with the Cowboys missing opportunities on balls that at times hung in the air.
“We already know that they're throwing the ball deep,” said safety Daytawion Lowe. “We've got to be able to make a play on the ball.”
Saturday may be revealed as an aberration of sorts, since not many quarterbacks or coaches are all that comfortable with just throwing balls up for grabs. For West Virginia, they didn't have much to lose, entering the game at 2-2 and scuffling on offense, turning to Trickett, a Florida State transfer who had been the third-team quarterback as he hurried to learn the system.
That doesn't mean opponents won't take more direct shots at the Cowboys secondary.
In this age of attacking OSU defense, offenses will attack back, the best way they can.
“When you press on the corners, people are going to throw deep on you,” Spencer said. “That's the world those corners live in.
“We got tested a lot on deep balls (Saturday). Played a lot of them good. It's evident that we've got to play a few of them better.”