Apologize for the delay on this post. We had ourselves a 17-hour travel day on Sunday, with very spotty Internet access during a seven-hour stay at the Houston airport.
Anyway, let’s revisit Oklahoma State’s stunning 30-21 loss to West Virginia to open Big 12 play.
Answering the three questions
What will the Cowboy offense look like?
Two words: Not good. J.W. Walsh was not sharp (20-of-47) and threw two interceptions that he even characterized as, simply, bad throws. Jeremy Smith averaged 0.1 yards per carry. Multiple receivers dropped passes. The Cowboys failed to score the go-ahead touchdown with first-and-goal from inside the five (and then Ben Grogan missed the chip-shot field goal that would have tied the game). The playcalling and in-game adjustments were suspect. Plenty of guys will shoulder the blame for this one — including coordinator Mike Yurcich — but Walsh insisted that all the mistakes are correctable. It’s difficult to envision this offense having this many problems in one game again, but the way the Cowboys sputtered on so many levels is concerning. No doubt about it.
Does West Virginia’s change at quarterback matter?
Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said Mountaineers showed the same scheme. Clint Trickett didn’t exactly impress with his arm strength — so many of those deep balls were just lofted in hopes his receiver would come down with it or that the defender would get called for interference — but he also clearly wasn’t rattled by the situation of playing the No. 11 team in the country. He had experience in big games during his time at Florida State — against Oklahoma and Clemson, most notably — and it showed. He even showed some toughness when he reentered the game after getting pounded into the ground in the second half. His final line: 24-of-50 for 309 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
What does Dana Holgorsen pull out of the hat?
Nothing all that strange, really. The Cowboys were making so many mistakes that West Virginia was largely in control for the bulk of the game, meaning trickeration wasn’t necessary. The Mountaineers often did trick Walsh and the Cowboy offense, disguising coverages and bringing pressure and throwing a variety of looks that contributed to OSU’s troubles moving the ball.
West Virginia all but sealed the victory when Walsh tossed his second interception—a ball he simply threw over the head of an open Tracy Moore—with about four minutes to play. OSU’s disaster near the goal line earlier in the period certainly deserves mention here, too.
Player of the game: Charles Sims
Sims was an all-purpose threat, as expected, tallying 60 rush yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, 82 yards on five catches and 15 yards on one kick return.
Up next: OSU returns home to face Kansas State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.