Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young missed the Cowboys' 84-0 victory over Savannah State because of an undisclosed illness, and co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said the shutout — OSU's first at Boone Pickens Stadium since 2001 — was important in Young's absence.
“It was strange. I miss him. I talked to him every day this week,” Spencer said. “He was with me. He was with all of us tonight.
“When I came down in the second half, every time before the defense went on the field I'd say, ‘Hey, we need to get this shutout for Bill Young.'
“Even if it was the fourth-team guys there most of the second half, I said, ‘It doesn't matter. We're holding you accountable. We can get this shutout for Bill.' So that's what the defense was playing for tonight.”
MOORE SUSPENDED FOR OPENER
Cowboys wideout Tracy Moore sat out the opener under suspension for violation of team rules.
Moore had his third run-in with the law in the past six months last week when he was cited on suspicion of providing alcohol to a minor by the Stillwater police department.
Additionally, he was cited on a complaint of public intoxication in March and cited for outraging public decency in June. He was fined for all three incidents but never charged with a crime.
“I didn't want to play him tonight after his last incident,” coach Mike Gundy said. “He'll be back with us (Sunday) night.”
Moore was a projected starter for the season opener and is the Cowboys' top returning receiver, catching 45 passes for 672 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2011.
In his place, Charlie Moore got the start and finished with three catches for 18 yards.
Tracy Moore has also had a past brush with the Cowboy coaching staff, as he played only on special teams during the Fiesta Bowl after a spat with an assistant during a practice.
GUNDY DISCUSSES FINAL SCORE
Gundy was asked if he felt he could have done anything differently to keep the score from getting out of hand, despite sticking to run plays and lateral passing most of second half.
“I don't think I should have to comment on what the score was,” he said. “I think it's irrelevant at this point. I'm just glad the kids went out and played hard. We play the games that are scheduled and go on down the road.
He was then asked if he would consider playing a game against an opponent of Savannah State's talent level in the future.
“I don't want to comment on anything about Savannah State, out of respect for them. The game was scheduled and we played it,” he said.
LUNT'S SHORT NIGHT
OSU fans got a good, long look at their freshman quarterback, but not the one they really wanted to see. True freshman starter Wes Lunt was in the game for exactly 20 plays, exiting with a 35-0 lead before the first quarter ended.
He was 11-of-11 passing, the first time an OSU quarterback with more than 10 pass attempts has finished a game with a completion percentage of 100.
“You'd like to get (starters) some more work, but there comes a point where you have to get them out,” Gundy said. “We just feel like it's the right thing to do. Get the other kids on the field and give them an opportunity to play.”
Redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh entered for two series of the first quarter and quarterbacked the team through most of the second and third periods.
Coaches have publicly discussed an offensive packaged designed for Walsh to utilize his running ability, but he got the opportunity to show his skills in the full offense.
Walsh was 13 of 21 passing for 149 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He rushed three times for 29 yards.
PRODUCTIVE PUNT RETURNS
OSU had 79 total punt return yards last season — yes, season. The Cowboys passed that mark in the first half Saturday night with the combination of Charlie Moore, Ashton Lampkin and Caleb Muncrief.
Josh Cooper's role as punt returner last year was essentially a choice of reliability in handling the ball, but Moore could provide that, along with more of a threat for big plays.
The position was an area of concern last spring, but coaches feel Moore has solidified himself in that role.
Moore returned three punts for 46 yards. In all, the trio compiled 153 yards on nine returns.
WHAT A RUSH
By halftime, Oklahoma State had tied its school record for rushing touchdowns in a game with seven, a record set in 1977 against UTEP. With two more rushing scores in the second half, the Cowboys finished with nine in all.
Joseph Randle had his ninth multi-touchdown game and the seventh 100-yard rushing performance of his career, finishing with 107 on six carries.
MUNCRIEF AMONG ROOKIES IN ACTION
In addition to Lunt, Muncrief and Lampkin were two of many true freshmen who saw their on-field careers begin Saturday, in lieu of being redshirted.
Muncrief was a late addition in the recruiting process when the Cowboys lured him away from Tulsa in late January. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Madill product entered as a punt returner in the second quarter, then stepped in at running back, carrying the ball five times for 22 yards
Lampkin returned two punts for 33 yards and also came up with a first-half interception. Defensive back Kevin Peterson of Wagoner also played.
Receiver was the hot spot for true freshmen.
Austin Hays led all receivers with eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Blake Webb, C.J. Curry and Brandon Sheperd also caught at least one pass.
Saturday marked Gundy's 60th coaching victory. He ranks second all-time at OSU behind Pat Jones, who won 62 games. Gundy is 7-1 in season openers and unbeaten in home openers.
OSU has won seven straight home games. The school record is 10 straight, set in 2002-03.
KICKING IT DEEP
There had been some discussion about the theory of whether kickoffs should be kicked deep into the end zone, or kicked high, landing in play near the goal line in hopes of limiting returns.
The decision is more important because of the rule change bringing touchbacks out to the 25-yard line instead of the 20.
All of OSU's kicks went into the end zone Saturday, including those by backup kickers Bobby Stonebreaker, a Tuttle product, and Matt Green.
Savannah State returned two kickoffs, bringing both out of the end zone. Neither return went past the 15-yard line.
* The Cowboys have had a scoring drive of less than two minutes in 27 straight games.
* Fifth-stringer Corey Bennett got the most action of the night at running back, with 12 carries, netting 91 yards and a touchdown while the Cowboys tried to run out the second-half clock. Bennett is a 5-foot-9, 185-pound redshirt freshman walk-on from Choctaw.
* Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott of OSU was recognized twice on the field, including at halftime when the Cowboy Marching Band performed some Olympic-themed music.