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Oklahoma State football report card: Cowboys' kicker Quinn Sharp, OSU faithful get high marks

by Jenni Carlson Published: October 13, 2012

A lackluster performance in a 20-14 victory against Kansas yielded a lackluster report card for Oklahoma State. Play calling was bad. Ditto for enthusiasm. Good thing Quinn Sharp and the lesser-heralded receivers came to play.


Not one of Todd Monken's better days. The OSU offensive coordinator admitted as much. His offense never seemed to find a rhythm or a spark. The play calls were pedestrian, and so were the results. And worse, late in the game when the Cowboys surprisingly found themselves on the ropes, they opted to rely on J.W. Walsh's arm. Not until Monken called a few runs for Walsh were the Cowboys able to do enough to survive.


The Cowboys played like they'd been off for two weeks. And they played like they'd been watching video of a really bad Kansas team during their down time. Their play was lackluster. Good thing the Jayhawks were, too.


Give the OSU kicker/punter player-of-the-game honors, which might help explain why the Cowboys only beat the lowly Jayhawks by a touchdown. Sharp's 70-yard punt in the first half dribbled out of bounds at the Kansas 8-yard line and flipped the field for the Cowboys. Then, in the second half, he made a touchdown-saving tackle in kick coverage. If a 52-yard field goal attempt doesn't go wide at the end of the first half, he might've had the best day of his career.


An overcast afternoon turned downright awful when strong thunderstorms rolled into Lawrence half an hour into the game. The rain eventually abated, but dark skies remained for the rest of the game.


Where was the Joe Randle who ran for 199 yards vs. Texas? The Cowboy tailback managed only 80 yards, and worse, he had only 2.8 yard a carry. Had it not been for Walsh, who had 49 yards on nine carries, the Cowboys would've only had 67 yards rushing on 35 carries, a paltry 1.9 yards per carry.


The Cowboys' run defense early would've earned a B as they held the Jayhawks in check through three quarters. But the run defense late deserves a failing grade. The Cowboys' defensive front looked gassed late, and that led to some big Jayhawk runs. If OSU isn't going to platoon and play more guys on the defensive line, Kansas won't be the last team to gain yards in chunks late in games.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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