Oklahoma State's defense gave up 622 yards to Baylor — and got high marks all around. How does that work? The same way this defense has worked all season for the Cowboys.
Red-Zone Defense: A
Baylor had first-and-goal from the 5-yard line or closer four times, and the Bears managed just one touchdown on those possessions. The first time, the Cowboys stopped them on downs. The second time was an interception. The third time was a fumble. Not until the fourth quarter when the game was decided did the Bears finally punch one in. In the first three quarters, Baylor ran 10 plays inside the OSU 10-yard line and had 7 yards and two turnovers to show for it.
Short-Yardage Defense: A-
Baylor kept trying to run it up the gut, and OSU kept stuffing it. The Bears were only 7 of 18 on third down, and much of that was because the Cowboys were able to hold them even in short-yardage situations. It was an impressive show of force by the Cowboys.
Ball-Hawking Defense: A+
Can you tell that the defense played pretty well? Despite giving up a bunch of yards, the Cowboy defense dominated because it caused five turnovers. It recovered three fumbles and intercepted two passes. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III threw as many interceptions Saturday as he had the rest of the season.
The orange jerseys made their debut, paired with gray helmets and gray pants. It was a solid look but not the best of the season. Still, homecoming was a perfect time to wear orange. The push to wear orange has become a university-wide rallying cry. The Cowboys finally joined the fun.
Justin Blackmon: A
Defenses won't like this guy when he's angry. Miffed a week ago that he was held out of the second half because he got “dinged” in the head, Blackmon made up for lost time Saturday. He snagged 13 catches for 172 yards, both season highs for the junior wide receiver.
Legend Returns: A
Homecoming brought back a couple rarely seen Cowboy alums. Baseball great Robin Ventura was recognized early in the game. The new manager of the Chicago White Sox got a huge round of applause. So did former Cowboy running back Ernest Anderson. Also spotted, a more familiar alumni face — Desmond Mason.
Emotions ran high all afternoon. Both teams seemed a little chippy. While nothing ever escalated to anything ugly, there were definitely some less-than-savory moments where officials had to separate players. C'mon, fellas. Just play ball.
Homecoming Atmosphere: A+
No one does homecoming any bigger or any better than OSU. Lots of folks tailgated and milled around campus before the early afternoon kickoff. A beautiful fall afternoon only added to the Norman Rockwell nature of the school's 90th homecoming game.