Coming off an emotional overtime loss at Oklahoma, there was some concern about how the Cowboys would play on the road at Baylor.
They didn't play sharp, for sure, falling behind 24-3 and eventually falling 41-34.
But no one was biting on the hangover talk.
“I think the guys were over that,” said OSU quarterback Clint Chelf.
Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said the possibility briefly crossed his mind, before he dismissed it.
“I would hate to hang my hat on that,” Gundy said. “I thought the same thing in the beginning of the fourth quarter, maybe they couldn't overcome the last game. But I got to thinking and I don't really see it that way.
“I don't really think there was a hangover. If there was, it's my fault, because that's my responsibility. I thought we practiced well. I just don't think that was a factor.”
COWBOY D PLAYS SHORTHANDED
Facing one of the nation's most explosive offenses, OSU's defense found itself shorthanded at two key spots: defensive tackle and cornerback.
Tackle James Castleman didn't make the trip, after suffering an undisclosed injury during practice on Wednesday.
Baylor attacked the middle of the Cowboys defense in the run game, netting 319 yards and three touchdowns, including a 76-yard romp by Lache Seastrunk.
“We missed Castleman,” Gundy said.
Cornerback Brodrick Brown didn't start and eventually played, but limped off the field several times, taking himself out of the game with an apparent leg/foot injury.
“He's not healthy,” Gundy said. “Probably should have just stayed home. He felt like he wanted to try to go. But he's not healthy.”
SEASTRUNK… SEE SEASTRUNK RUN
OSU had climbed within one score at 34-27 in the fourth quarter, scoring a touchdown on a J.W. Walsh run, then needing a defensive stop to set up a chance at an unlikely rally.
But on first down following the kickoff, Seastrunk romped 76 yards up the middle for a score, extending the lead again.
Once past the line, Seastrunk had nothing but open field to cover, which he did, despite seemingly pulling a hamstring in the run.
What happened to leave the Bears back so alone?
“Cant' wait to see it,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young. “We were blitzing right there. We had two linebackers going to the spot. And they just creased us.
“I think our safety got confused, rolled the wrong way. And we didn't have anybody coming down. It was a bad combination. It was a huge play in the ballgame, too.”
Seastrunk, who has bolstered an already potent Baylor offense, finished with 178 yards on 16 carries.
BRILES, BEARS FINALLY GET COWBOYS
Baylor's improvement under coach Art Briles has featured some landmark wins over Texas and Oklahoma and others.
Before Saturday, Baylor had taken down every current member of the Big 12 in the Briles era with the exception of West Virginia (one meeting)… and Oklahoma State.
Even with Robert Griffin III the past two seasons, the Bears couldn't break through, actually getting routed in both meetings. And their frustration showed.
Saturday ended that.
“It's very big and it's a really good feeling,” said Baylor senior safety Mike Hicks. “Our seniors who have been through this program had this win coming to them.”
Said Briles: “Really, today was about getting respect. When we are standing on the street corner, we have to find room and we have not done that with OSU.”
GUNDY STILL CONFIDENT IN COWBOYS
Following Sunday's bowl announcement, revealing OSU's postseason destination, the team will have several weeks to regroup from a two-game losing streak ending the regular season.
Gundy said he doesn't anticipate any major rebuilding, with the late losses more attributable to an inexperienced roster and a league that features eight teams with at least seven wins.
“I think our guys are fine, I really do,” Gundy said. “I just think there's parity in this league. When you play on the road, there's no gimmes in this league for the most part. When that happens, it's a battle week to week. And you're going to see more teams that finish in that six, seven win category and not as many in that 10 and 11 category.
“That's probably what the future is in this league.”