“I was in charge,” Spencer said. “It didn’t work … it’s not pretty.”
After a stop on ‘Zona’s first possession, OSU wilted. The Wildcats scored on five of their next six possessions, and it could have been worse, since ‘Zona thrice settled for short field goals.
When Arizona opened the second half with a five-minute drive to a touchdown, the Cowboys were down 30-14, and this one looked like a rout.
Wes Lunt rallied the Cowboys, but the task was too much for the OSU freshman quarterback. When State finally clawed within 37-31 early in the fourth quarter, a well-timed, third-down Arizona blitz prompted Lunt to float a prayer that ‘Zona cornerback Jonathan McKnight intercepted and returned 48 yards for a touchdown.
But the tale was told before that. The Cowboys could not stop Arizona.
“Unfortunately in college football today, there’s a lot of that going on,” Gundy said.
When OSU drew within 30-28 with 4:54 left in the third quarter, ‘Zona answered with a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
The Wildcats did it with a variety of weapons. Scott’s deep ball to Austin Hill for 44 yards, tailback Ka’Deem Carey’s 15-yard burst up the middle, Richard Morrison’s nine-yard gain off a swing pass and Scott’s 8-yard touchdown run off the shotgun option.
Just like that, OSU momentum was gone. It went like that all night for the Cowboys.
“When you have a quarterback that can scramble like that and turn nothing from something, there’s going to be plays made,” said Cowboy cornerback Justin Gilbert.
Lunt was no Weeden, but he wasn’t half bad for a freshman quarterback making his real debut. Savannah State doesn’t count.
Lunt threw three interceptions, but only McKnight’s take-it-to-the-house pick was Lunt’s fault.
In some ways, this game was a good sign for OSU. There is no doubt about the quality and potential of its quarterback.
But that defense is another story. The Cowboys won’t have a memorable season with defense like this.
Martin, the hard-hitting safety from a year ago, and Blatnick, the fierce pass-rushing end, can’t return. They were seniors. Come back soon, Bill Young.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. 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.