TEMPE, Ariz. — The Mad Hatter wasn't needed Monday night in the desert.
Next year, who knows? But the early returns of the Mike Gundy offensive era were a smash hit. With Gundy calling the plays in the Insight Bowl, Oklahoma State's offense looked very much like the offense we saw on the Oklahoma plains.
Lots of yards. Lots of points.
OSU routed overmatched Indiana 49-33, scoring touchdowns on its first five possessions. OSU turned a 6-6 regular season into a 7-6 finish for the second straight year.
Larry Fedora, architect of this OSU offense but now Southern Mississippi's head coach, stood on the sidelines, wearing an orange shirt but no longer involved in the Cowboy brain trust.
No hatter? No matter. Gundy's calls worked with stunning efficiency, although when everything works, how can you make a bad call?
And everything worked for OSU.
Quarterback Zac Robinson played spectacularly. Flankers Adarius Bowman and Dez Bryant dueled for superiority, and the freshman Bryant won.
Tight end Brandon Pettigrew made a couple of nifty catches, giving NFL scouts even more to think about, concerning his early entry plans. And tailback Dantrell Savage said goodbye to OSU football with many of his patented stop-and-start runs.
Call it a resounding endorsement of Gundy taking over more of the offense in 2008, though the question of how the Cowboys will fare against prime opponents remains unanswered.
Indiana was a nice little team with a nice little story, rebounding from the June death of coach Terry Hoeppner to make its first bowl trip in 14 years.
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