The Cowboys routed Texas Tech 52-34, and as Mike Gundy said, all three phases played well. The grades from Lubbock reflect such a quality performance:
TAILBACK ROTATION: A
Desmond Roland early and often, Rennie Childs late and even Jeremy Smith for some changeups. Quite a rotation OSU had. Roland carried 15 times in the first quarter alone and finished with 96 yards on 31 carries. Childs came on late in the third quarter and bolted for gains of 22, 15 and 14 yards. Even Smith was a factor, coming in and taking a swing pass 17 yards, followed immediately by a 23-yard run, which set up OSU's first touchdown. In all, the three tailbacks combined for 194 yards on 45 carries.
DEFENSIVE STARTS: A
The Cowboy defense gave up a fair mount of points (27) and a huge amount of yards (549), but that's to be expected in an elongated game. What's more important was how the OSU defense played to start both halves. The Cowboys got stops on Tech's first four possessions of the game and held the Red Raiders to a field goal on the fifth series. After Tech reversed momentum to draw within 28-24 at halftime, the OSU defense stiffened in the third quarter, turning back the Red Raiders on three possessions. By then, the Cowboy lead was back up to 42-24.
The Cowboys unveiled a new color pattern – orange helmet, white jersey, white pants. Really sharp look. The helmet had the Pistol Pete logo – the OSU logo is better – but still, very solid.
TIGHT END FORMATION: B
The Cowboys used a tight end more in this game than anytime in the last three years. Most of the time, redshirt freshman Zac Veatch was the tight end, though fullback Jeremy Seaton lined up there a little. And the results were solid. In seven running plays with three wide receivers and a tight end, the Cowboys gained 41 yards and scored two touchdowns. Chelf also threw a 6-yard TD pass to Tracy Moore out of that formation.
DEFENDING AMARO: C
Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro had a monster game, with 15 catches for 174 yards. A series of crossing patterns, in which Amaro was one-on-one with a solitary Cowboy, often a linebacker, proved fruitful for Tech. But the Cowboys did a better job the longer the game went. Amaro had just seven catches for 56 yards in the second half.
KICKING GAME: A
OSU's special teams produced two of the game's biggest plays. Derek Branson's blocked punt set up a first-quarter touchdown that gave the Cowboys a 21-0 lead. And Josh Stewart's 46-yard punt return early in the third quarter re-ignited OSU, setting up an 11-yard touchdown drive. The Cowboys also played well a Tech trick – a cross-field lateral that was snuffed out. The Red Raiders produced no returns of any length.
OSU TRAVELING FANS: D
The Cowboys typically have several thousand fans for games in Lubbock. Not Saturday night. Less than 1,000 fans sat in the visitor's section of Jones Stadium, and there hardly was any orange sprinkled throughout the crowd.
FOURTH-DOWN OFFENSE: A
The Cowboys twice disdained a field goal on fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Both times, OSU used unorthodoxy to score. The first time, OSU used a power formation, with two running backs, plus Seaton in a tight slot. Chelf rolled out and hit Seaton with a 1-yard touchdown pass. The next time, the Cowboys actually huddled, sauntered to the line of scrimmage but snapped the ball quickly. Roland easily burst to a two-yard TD run.