STILLWATER – Football at its worst. That's what OSU displayed a week ago in the desert.
Four turnovers, 59 points allowed, 167 yards in penalties, which would have been more had the goal line not gotten in the way, resulting in half-the-distance infractions.
That's not just an awful game. OSU's 59-38 loss at Arizona was a candidate for the worst game ever played, by any team.
“To give up 59 points and play as bad as we did, it's embarrassing,” said OSU defensive tackle Cooper Bassett. “We did everything we could to hurt ourselves.”
The main argument against worst-game-ever-played status was the awful officiating. As many as six of OSU's 15 major penalties were bogus calls, courtesy of the Pac-12 clowns.
But take away those six penalties, and you've still got nine major penalties. Ridiculous.
“It really sucks for us to have those types of penalties,” said Cowboy flanker Josh Stewart.
Play like that, and OSU won't beat Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. Play like that, and OSU won't beat any Big 12 team, with the possible exception of Kansas.
“Play that way … I don't see how we can win,” said Mike Gundy. “I'm not sure we were good enough last year to overcome 15 (penalties) for 167 (yards), with four turnovers. We're certainly not good enough this year.”
Said linebacker Shaun Lewis, “Definitely a wakeup call. Heat of the moment. People letting their emotions get the best of ‘em.”
And so the Cowboys are ready to make amends. Ready to show they're who we thought they were. Ready to show they indeed are a Big 12 contender.
“We're going to come in focused,” Bassett said. “We're going to come in angry.”
Be careful. That's part of what troubled the Cowboys in Tucson. Defensive tackle Calvin Barnett, for example, was flagged for three personal fouls.
“Knowing Calvin Barnett personally, he's really a wired-up guy,” said OSU guard Jonathan Rush. “I can be upset at getting 15-yard penalties, but his passion for the game, that's something that can go both ways.”
But penalties were only part of the problem. Ball security was squishy; Joe Randle had another fumble, his sixth in six games, and the receivers were butterfingered. Defensive blunders were many, with ‘Zona receivers repeatedly running free in the middle.
Truth is, the Cowboys were bad. Very bad. Historically bad.
Time for the Cowboys to put their bad game behind them, because bad games equate to a bad team.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.