A tough week ends with an expected rout of Lamar, 59-3. Oklahoma State gets high marks for third-down defense and fan support.
J.W. WALSH: B
A so-so day for the Cowboy quarterback. He threw for 181 yards, one touchdown and one interception and ran for 45 yards. Walsh just wasn't as sharp as he was the past two weeks, but in what quickly became a blowout against lowly Lamar, it's understandable that some focus would wane.
THIRD-DOWN DEFENSE: A
Even as the Cowboys added reserves liberally into the mix in the second half, the defense continued standing tall. Lamar converted only 3 of 12 third downs against OSU's first-team defense in the first half, and against a more reserve-heavy lineup after halftime, the Cardinals were only slightly better, 4 of 11.
You couldn't ask for better weather. Game time temp, 81 degrees. Partly cloudy. Slight breeze. Low humidity. Absolutely lovely.
INTRO VIDEO: A
It was extremely well done, the best in several years. Good highlights. Driving music. But in coming weeks, OSU could stand to better sync up the end of the video with the Cowboys' entrance. There was a long delay Saturday. Would be better to go right from the video to the entrance.
I have no idea what the call of the game was like — reporters in the press box aren't able to hear the broadcast — but I'm sure it was fine. The failing grade comes from the fact that some television viewers in some markets missed the first two possessions of the game, including OSU's first touchdown. Fox Sports didn't switch everyone from the North Texas-Ball State game until almost six minutes had passed in the OSU game. In Denton and Muncie, that's fine. In any other market? It's a bad deal.
The Cowboys lost a little interest after halftime — a fact Cowboy coach Mike Gundy confirmed in his postgame press conference. Hard to blame them after they opened up a 31-3 halftime lead, but even against a rum-dum opponent, you'd like to see that focus remain. Still, the Cowboys had only four penalties for 28 yards and one turnover, and they scored on all seven red-zone chance that they had. Pretty decent for a team that lost focus.
Even though Walsh was a bit off, several receivers made big-time catches. None was any bigger than Blake Jackson's diving, one-hand stab of a Walsh pass for a touchdown.
FAN SUPPORT: A
Saturday's crowd set an OSU record for attendance, 59,061. While the packed house thinned noticeably after halftime, it's hard to blame them for bailing on a blowout. And the folks who stayed were into it even as the lead ballooned.
UP-TEMPO OFFENSE: I
The Cowboys get a grade of incomplete on this. Sadly, we didn't get to see the uptempo offense like we did a week ago. What fun that was. Bring it back, Mike Yurcich. Bring it back.