The Cowboys let A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill run loose most of the first half, including a 65-yard TD run off the shotgun option four plays into the game. Tannehill also completed several passes after scrambling. But OSU's defense got after Tannehill in the second half, with a better pass rush and containment. The Cowboys finished with two sacks and four turnovers, two of which were pass-rush induced interceptions.
Penalties and nonsense hurt the Cowboys all game long. OSU finished with 11 penalties, including five major violations. A chop block, a face mask, unnecessary roughness, excessive celebration and holding on a kickoff return that wiped out Justin Gilbert's touchdown. Plus, Justin Blackmon fumbled the ball at the 2-yard line going untouched into the end zone, and the ball went out of bounds for a touchback.
SHARING THE WEALTH: A
Never before in OSU history had more than one receiver had at least 10 catches. Saturday, the Cowboys had three – Josh Cooper and Blackmon 11 each, and Hubert Anyiam 10. Plus, Weeden threw to seldom-used tight end Justin Horton with barely two minutes left in the game and OSU trying to run out the clock.
RUN DEFENSE: B
The Aggies ran for 147 yards in the first half; Tannehill had the 65-yard TD run and tailbacks Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray averaged 6.2 yards a carry. But in the second half, A&M had just 15 yards rushing. Gray and Michael combined for 10 yards on five carries.