After reviewing the film from Oklahoma State's 55-34 victory over West Virginia, one phase of the game still stuck out to coach Mike Gundy.
“We were really, really, really good on special teams,” Gundy said during his media teleconference Sunday evening.
OSU got a big momentum swing with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Justin Gilbert in the first half. The Cowboys also capitalized on WVU mistakes in the return game, recovering a muffed kickoff and punt deep in Mountaineer territory. Those turnovers led to 10 OSU points.
“Our starting field position compared to their starting field position, and obviously we had the big return, was obviously the difference in the game,” Gundy said.
COWBOYS BACK IN BCS, COACHES POLL; FIRST TEAM RECEIVING VOTES IN AP POLL
After OSU's loss to Kansas State knocked it out of the BCS and USA Today Coaches polls last Sunday, the Cowboys checked back in at No. 24 in both of those rankings this week.
The Cowboys are not ranked in The Associated Press poll, but are the first team receiving votes.
Texas Tech, OSU's next opponent, is ranked 23rd in the BCS and AP polls and 25th in the Coaches poll.
GUNDY: TEXAS A&M BEATING ALABAMA SHOWS BIG 12 OFFENSE CAN BEAT SEC DEFENSE
Just after OSU's victory against WVU went final, Texas A&M upset No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
That raised questions about the national perception that a spread offense, the style of play common in the Big 12, could not beat the ballyhooed SEC defenses. Of course, Texas A&M was a member of the Big 12 until last season.
Gundy admitted that game made him think about what could have been if the Cowboys and their high-powered offense led by stars Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon would have gotten their crack at LSU in the BCS title game a season ago.
“There's no question,” Gundy said. “I think that what you're seeing is an offense that gives themselves a chance by speed, width of the field, length of the field and execution is the best way to attack what people are calling the best defenses in the country.
“I don't think you can question it. That's just my opinion on it.”
GUNDY ON FACING DANA HOLGORSEN AND CO.: ‘IT'S A HASSLE'
Much was made leading up to the OSU-WVU game about the familiarity of the coaching staffs.
Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen was the OSU offensive coordinator in 2010 and installed the spread offense the Cowboys still use today. Defensive coordinator Joe DeForest was an assistant in Stillwater for 11 years. Assistants Robert Gillespie and Jake Spavital are former OSU staff members, and graduate assistant Andrew McGee played for the Cowboys.
When the game was done Saturday night, Gundy admitted “it was a hassle” trying to disguise hand signals that could clue WVU on what the Cowboys were running on offense and defense.
“You can call it like it is — they know a lot more about us than we know about them,” Gundy said. “And so we had to be as smart as possible. It's not easy to just change signals (with) the way you operate on offense, especially when you're going to operate with speed.
“It's kind of a pain in the rear. Dana and I talked about it before the game.”