NORMAN — The Cowboys were good in a lot of aspects, running the ball and responding to adversity being prime among them. But in a 51-48 overtime loss, shortcomings — especially the ones on defense — were magnified.
The Cowboys got to Landry Jones a couple times, notching one sack and two hurries. But there wasn't nearly enough pressure to throw off the Sooner quarterback. A sign of what turning up the pressure might've done to Jones — his one interception came when he was under duress. More pressure might've meant more mistakes from Jones and more success for the Cowboys. Everyone knew pressuring Jones would be key coming into the game, and the Cowboys just didn't do it often enough.
RUN GAME: A
Success came from a likely source and an unlikely one. Joseph Randle had another big Bedlam game, rushing for four touchdowns and 113 yards. But the surprise was the Clint Chelf's running. The Cowboy quarterback had 63 yards rushing on 12 attempts, besting his career total by 10 yards. Five of OSU's six touchdowns came on the ground as it rolled up 201 yards rushing.
CLINT CHELF: B
Hard to find much to fault in the Cowboy quarterback's first career start on the road. He was 19 of 37 for 253 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 63 yards. He would've earned a solid A grade if not for his interception and the Cowboys' stalled drive in overtime. Chelf threw two incompletions in overtime, and in a close game like this, that made a huge difference.
The Cowboys went with the all-white look — white helmets, jerseys and pants. A sharp look.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
Not a great night for a unit that's normally rock solid. The Cowboys gave up a punt return for a touchdown, then made a couple questionable squib kicks on kickoffs that gave the Sooners good field position. They got nothing spectacular in the return game to negate the other missteps.
ADVERSITY RESPONSE: A
The Cowboys kept fighting. They had several opportunities to fold in the face of adversity but always had an answer. OU had a big touchdown drive right before halftime, but OSU came back with a quick touchdown of its own. The Sooners had the punt return for a touchdown, but the Cowboys came back with a 77-yard touchdown drive. The only time the Cowboys didn't answer came at the end of the first half and at the end of regulation; in neither case did they get the ball back with enough time to respond.
THIRD- AND FOURTH-DOWN DEFENSE: D
The Cowboys just didn't get off the field enough when they had the chance. The Sooners converted 10 of 19 times on third down and 2 of 3 times on fourth down, including Blake Bell's game-tying touchdown at the end of regulation. It's difficult to win close ballgames when the opponent converts nearly 55 percent of the time on third and fourth down.
WALSHING MACHINE: C
An average day for the special package for J.W. Walsh. He did save OSU's last scoring drive with a one-handed grab of a high snap. One play later, the backup quarterback scored on his only running attempt. But Walsh attempted no passes and handed off more than anything. Not that that's a bad thing. The package just wasn't as effective as it was when it debuted a week ago against Texas Tech.