Oklahoma State had at least 95 players see the field Saturday night against Savannah State. It's believed that at least 19 of those were non-scholarship players.
Coach Mike Gundy said after the game that it was exciting to watch those players down the depth chart get a chance to play in front of their family and friends — perhaps for their first and only time as a Cowboy.
Gundy singled out defensive linemen Taylor May and Jarid King and wide receiver Christian Schroeder as players it was especially rewarding to watch because of their contributions in practice.
“When they get out there and get thrown around, it's just a lot of fun to watch them,” Gundy said.
GUNDY IMPRESSED WITH NEWCOMERS BARNETT, HAYS, MUNCRIEF
Several players made their OSU debut Saturday night, including nine true freshmen and highly touted junior college transfers Calvin Barnett and Blake Jackson.
Of those newcomers, Gundy came away most impressed with Barnett, wide receiver Austin Hays and running back/returner Caleb Muncrief.
“Barnett made some good plays,” Gundy said. “I thought Austin Hays made some plays, Muncrief did a few things with the balk in his hands. We had a number of them, but those guys, just to point out a few.”
Barnett started at defensive tackle and was consistently in the SSU backfield. Hays was the Cowboys' leading receiver, with eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Muncrief tallied 96 all-purpose yards, including 74 on four punt returns and 22 on five carries.
COWBOYS COME AWAY INJURY-FREE
In jumping out to a 35-0 first-quarter lead, OSU escaped an expected lopsided contest without any significant injuries, Gundy said.
One expected contributor in 2012 who did not play Saturday night was backup inside receiver/returner David Glidden, who's been bothered by an ankle injury since the end of spring football.
Gundy said Glidden, a redshirt freshman from Mustang, is “doing good” and is expected to practice this week.
DENTON GUYER FLASHBACK
When backup quarterback J.W. Walsh flipped a 6-yard pass to Josh Stewart early in the second quarter Saturday night, it revived an old high school connection.
Walsh and Stewart frequently hooked up at Denton Guyer, providing a familiar pitch-and-catch combination for a team that produced one of the top prep offenses in Texas. Saturday's pass play was their first as Cowboys.
“It felt good to be able to throw a pass to him and keep that connection going,” Walsh said. “It was real special.”
Sophomore defensive end Jimmy Bean and freshman fullback Dominic Ramacher are also from Guyer High. While neither played in the opener, they still shared in the experience.
“It's crazy,” Walsh said, “not many people get to go to the next level with four people you hung out with from high school. And to have that, it's a special opportunity. And we're all thankful to have that.”