Notch a four-score road victory against a team that was previously undefeated in conference play, and there are bound to be plenty of top grades. Oklahoma State got them in all three phases of the game.
OPPORTUNISTIC DEFENSE: A
The Cowboy defense didn't exactly dominate. The Longhorns had more yards, more first downs and a better third-down completion percentage than the Cowboys. But the OSU defense did what it had to do — namely coming up with turnovers. Justin Gilbert's interception for a touchdown late in the first half was a momentum changer. Then in the second half, the Cowboys had interceptions on back-to-back possession. Caleb Lavey came up with the first, setting up a short field that the offense took advantage of quickly, and Gilbert snagged the second, all but shutting the door on the Longhorns.
PUNT TEAM: A
Kip Smith and the Cowboy punt team kept the pressure on early by putting the Longhorn offense in tough spots time and again. After the OSU offense opened the game with a three-and-out, Smith and Co. pinned Texas at its own 3-yard line. The next time the Cowboys were forced to punt, the Longhorns fair caught the ball at the 4. Neither of those first-half Texas possessions resulted in any points, and with the OSU offense scoring and building the lead, the Longhorns quickly found themselves in a must-pass situation.
UNSUNG OFFENSIVE HEROES: A
Senior fullback Kye Staley had one carry and no catches, but if blocks on touchdowns counted as assists, Staley would've gotten two big ones. He helped spring quarterback Clint Chelf on his first touchdown, an 18-yard quarterback draw that went straight up the middle. Chelf was untouched. Then later in the half, Staley sealed off a defender on the left end and allowed Chelf to almost walk into the end zone. Senior receiver Charlie Moore quietly had big day, too. While the Cowboy run game made the difference in the game, Moore snagged several passes that kept the chains moving. He led the team with six catches for 83 yards and one touchdown. Staley and Moore were largely unheralded but absolutely necessary.
Continue reading this story on the...