ARLINGTON, Texas — J.W. Walsh threw his first pass of the night and the crowd gasped.
Here we go again. Midway through the first quarter. A pick-six from the Oklahoma State quarterback benched last season for inconsistencies just like this. What had been a scoreless game minutes earlier was suddenly a 10-point Florida State lead as the Seminoles had knocked in a field goal the series before.
But what looked like an early collapse … wasn’t. The Cowboys clawed their way back Saturday night inside AT&T Stadium and were within three points of tying it up in the fourth quarter.
Yes, OSU lost 37-31. And no, coach Mike Gundy said he doesn’t believe in moral victories.
But in a postgame press conference, Gundy made a powerful statement that points to the resolve of a young OSU team thrust into the national spotlight.
“This team won’t back down from anybody,” he said.
The Cowboys’ youth has been well-documented to this point. More than 30 top contributors from a season ago are gone. Eight true freshman were expected to play Week 1.
So when the Cowboys were down 17-0 midway through the second quarter and were behind 10 points at halftime and again late in the third quarter, there was reason for concern as to how they would respond.
“I think everyone just kind of settled in,” Walsh said. “It was the first game of the year and I think everyone had a deer-in-the-headlight look at first. And once we got rolling, we were clicking and things were moving for us.”