These usually go up the day after the game. Apologize for not being on my game with this one. Had a bit of a pipe issue (“a bit” meaning my entire office/closet flooded) while I was in Dallas, so it’s been a hectic couple of days since returning to Stillwater. But you don’t care about that, and you shouldn’t.
OSU concluded its regular season with a 41-31 loss to Missouri in a Cotton Bowl that was lethargic for three quarters and then turned into a shootout. Let’s look back.
The OSU offense floundered, then kept up in a shootout, then made the costly error
Berry Tramel’s overarching column on the Big 12 vs. the SEC, following the Sugar and Cotton Bowls.
Jenni Carlson looks calls the 2013 Cowboy campaign a ‘disappointing end. Disappointing season.’
Berry’s grades for the Cowboys are mixed.
A bright spot for the OSU defense? Jimmy Bean is coming back.
There are times when I’m glad we are so high up and don’t always have the benefit of replay. The Brandon Garrett injury was one of those times.
Three straight OSU losses in the Cotton Bowl and other numbers
I told Berry on the drive back to Dallas that Gundy popping Sports Illustrated was his biggest display of genuine personality at the podium that I’ve witnessed since covering the team. BT says this is how Gundy used to be.
From Sunday’s paper: Looking back at Mike Yurcich’s first season as offensive coordinator. It essentially mirrored OSU’s season overall.
From Monday’s paper: Your first look ahead to 2014: Five of my biggest questions
Answering the three questions
Which Missouri run defense shows up?
The Cowboys finished with 167 rushing yards, with a good chunk of those coming on a pair of 23-yarders from Clint Chelf (one that went for a score) and an early 25-yard pop from Jeremy Smith. Where the Cowboys largely failed to convert, of course, was on third-and-short. And there also was not a heavy dose of the zone read, which is what Tre Mason and Nick Marshall used to gash the Tigers for 545 yards on the ground. Desmond Roland finished with 66 yards and a score on 16 carries, but here’s one really positive thing about him heading into 2014: For the third time since taking over the starting job, he had zero carries for negative yards. Since becoming the featured back, he’s lost a grand total of 19 yards, with 14 of those coming against Texas.
Can OSU’s defensive backs handle Missouri’s big receivers?
The Cowboys got help from an inaccurate James Franklin, but Dorial Green-Beckham corralled just four catches for 53 yards, including two near the sideline that needed to be reviewed. But he also came up with perhaps Missouri’s biggest clutch play, a 27-yard snag on third-and-9 late in the fourth to set up the Tigers’ go-ahead score. Justin Gilbert tallied an early interception on a pass off DGB’s hands, while Marcus Lucas (three catches, 46 yards) and L’Damian Washington (three catches, 40 yards) were relatively quiet throughout the night.
Is motivation an issue for either team?
Motivation didn’t seem to be the issue for either team. Offensive execution did.
Examining the key matchup
As examined in our notebook above, Michael Sam had a very, very quiet night–until the biggest play of the night, when he stripped Chelf and teammate Shane Ray took the ball down the sideline for the 73-yard score that clinched the game. Kony Ely recorded two sacks on one possession. Otherwise, OSU’s offensive line held relatively strong, particularly considering the early loss of Garrett.
Sack, strip, scoop and score.
Player of the game
Missouri running back Henry Josey, who finished with 92 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score. We all knew Josey was fast, even after his devastating knee injury sustained in 2011. But he showed some nice strength, consistently breaking tackles en route to the end zone.
The Cowboys open 2014 against Heisman winner Jameis Winston and national title game participant Florida State at AT&T Stadium.