Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy downplayed the impact that assistant Ty Linder had on Saturday's special teams success, primarily Zack Craig's two blocked punts, one of which the junior picked up and returned for a touchdown in the Cowboys 59-21 win over Texas Tech.
But Craig felt Linder brought some inside knowledge.
Linder was on the Tech staff last season, but joined the Cowboys as a graduate assistant, and was put in charge of special teams, which he also coached with the Red Raiders.
“You could tell he knew more this week than in a normal week,” Craig said. “He's a great coach overall, and this was a big win for him, coming from Tech. He was very prepared for this week.”
Linder made an adjustment in Craig's path to the punter, telling him to reach to the side for the block, rather than a more common direct approach toward the punter.
“The first time I tried it in practice, I blocked it,” Craig said. “We knew their shield was kind of soft. Ryan Simmons gave great pressure up the middle, gave me a short edge, and I was able to stick my hand out twice and block both of them.”
Craig's first block set the OSU offense up for a quick score for a 28-7 lead in the second quarter. After his second block, Craig stumbled around, then found the ball and was able to run it in for a TD early in the fourth quarter for OSU's final TD.
“I almost fell picking it up. Luckily I was able to keep my feet and go in and score,” he said. “It was my first touchdown as a Cowboy, and a great experience.”
OSU had not blocked a punt since Nov. 20, 2010, against Kansas. Texas Tech hadn't allowed a punt to be blocked since 2008.
RAIDERS' SILENT NIGHT
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said his team's morale was good after Saturday's loss. And you'll have to take his word for it.
Tuberville made the decision that none of his players would speak to the media after a tough loss and a tumultuous week dating back to last week's incident with Tuberville in which he knocked the headset off a graduate assistant's head during a game at Kansas.
“Our morale is good,” Tuberville said Saturday night. “We had our best practices last week. I have no problem with the effort and how the guys go into each game and compete. We're our own worst enemy in a lot of ways. It's been a long eight games, but we'll bounce back.”
A LITTLE MOORE
Receiver Charlie Moore had become one of the team's most reliable receivers, but he didn't see the field on offense Saturday. He was unable to practice all week because of an undisclosed injury.
Moore was used as the punt returner, though he only called fair catches when he fielded them. He and redshirt freshman David Glidden shared the duties Saturday.
RANDLE MOVING UP THE CHARTS
Junior running back Joseph Randle moved into OSU's top 10 in all-time rushing yards, now with 2,767 career yards to rank ninth. He also scored his 39th touchdown, which ties him with current San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter for sixth on the career touchdowns list.
SHARP ON SENIOR DAY
Senior kicker Quinn Sharp got one of the loudest cheers when he was introduced during Senior Day festivities, and he went on to score 11 points on the day.
That included a 51-yard field goal that matched his career long, and helped him move into a tie for eighth place on OSU's all-time scoring list.
ANOTHER SIX-WIN SEASON AT HOME
For the second year in a row, Oklahoma State will finish with six home wins in a season. It's the seventh time in history OSU has reached the mark, which is the school record.
OSU has won 12 of its last 13 home games, the only loss to Texas in September.
Saturday's 38-point win was the third-largest margin of victory by OSU over a ranked opponent, behind the 62-14 win over No. 15 Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl and a 45-3 win over No. 12 Arizona State in the 1984 season opener... Freshman linebacker Ryan Simmons had a team-high and career-best seven tackles, including three for lost yardage. His previous best game was three tackles against Louisiana... Texas Tech defensive back Tre' Porter, from Carl Albert, had four tackles... Oklahoma State's uniform combination of orange helmets with an orange OSU logo, orange jerseys and white pants was worn for the first time. On the other side, Texas Tech was in black helmets, white jerseys and red pants, a combination it had not worn this season... Saturday's attendance was 55,341.