OSU report card: Cowboys' Dan Bailey, specialty sidekicks get high marks
DAN BAILEY: A
Hard to top his game-winning field goal against Texas A&M, but Bailey's two 52-yard field goals and a 47-yarder were huge. No Cowboy has had two 50-yard-plus field goals in the same game since Luke Phillips against OU in 2001.
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Louisiana coaches completely outfoxed OSU's in preparation. In the first half, the Cowboy defense had no answer for the Cajuns' short passing game and the Cowboy offense was reduced to throwing the ball up to Justin Blackmon.
In 2005, Sports Illustrated proclaimed the food at ULL tailgates the nation's best, and the Cajuns were plenty hospitable to OSU fans in pregame revelry.
Kendall Hunter and Justin Blackmon got lots of help, particularly in the second half. Michael Harrison and Hubert Anyiam each had nifty touchdown catches, and Joseph Randle was productive on kickoff returns and on catches out of the backfield.
Mike Gundy's decision to onside kick after taking a 24-21 lead early in the third quarter was dubious. Andrew McGee's interception on the next play bailed out Gundy, but gambling at such a point showed little faith in the OSU defense.
With a threat of students storming the field to protest state academic budget cuts, Louisiana's finest were mostly on top of their game. A couple of yahoos ran around but were summarily apprehended and taken to the woodshed.
KICKOFF COVERAGE: D
The Cowboys ranked dead last (120th) in kickoff coverage and that doesn't figure to rise after ULL's Darryl's Surgent 97-yard return for a touchdown. On a night when big-legged Quinn Sharp had just two touchbacks on 11 kickoffs, OSU covered most of the kicks well. But you can't allow a touchdown.