Cowboys got burned, but it could have been a lot worse

By Mike Baldwin Modified: September 15, 2007 at 12:59 am •  Published: September 15, 2007

/> The sobering news is Mike Leach and the Red Raiders — who do what Haugabook and Troy does even better — visit Boone Pickens Stadium next Saturday in the Big 12 opener.

It wasn't as if Haugabook threw bombs over the secondary. It the dink-and-dunk attack that has burned the Cowboys repeatedly over the years.

With cornerbacks playing much too soft, giving receivers five or more yards of air, the Trojans used short, safe seam passes to pick up 29 first downs. On many occasions they needed only two plays to move the chains.

The Cowboys trailed 27-10 at halftime. They were fortunate it wasn't 41-10 a quarter earlier.

Troy marched inside the OSU 10 on its second possession, but the drive ended on a Perrish Cox interception.

Late in the first half the Trojans marched to a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line. Out of timeouts, they botched a chance to score.

No one expected the Cowboys to turn into the Monsters of the Midway. But it is surprising that OSU's defense struggled from the opening kickoff at Movie Gallery Stadium. That's why watching this film this weekend will be difficult for Beckman and coach Mike Gundy.

The score and stats could have been worse.

Improve? No way. The Cowboys took a giant step backward in the Deep South.

Oklahoma State safety Ricky Price takes down Troy's Stanley Jones in the first quarter Friday night. The Cowboy defense allowed the Trojans to rack up 562 total yards in OSU's 41-23 loss. BY MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN

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