OSU report card: Cowboys run defense, first-quarter offense get high marks

BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Published: September 8, 2011
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The Cowboys won with ease, and several parts of their game were excellent. But there were enough problems to keep Mike Gundy's staff busy correcting next week.

FIRST-QUARTER OFFENSE: A

The Cowboys had 216 total yards and 11 first downs in the first quarter alone. Four plays into the second quarter, OSU led 21-0.

FULLHOUSE BACKFIELD: B

The Cowboys' “Cross” formation was effective much of the game. With Joe Randle lined up behind quarterback Brandon Weeden and running backs on each side of Weeden, the Cowboys scored two touchdowns, one on a fade pass to Justin Blackmon. The formation didn't always produce spectacular results but kept ‘Zona off balance. OSU would go from an empty backfield one play to a fullhouse backfield the next.

UNIFORMS: B

The black jerseys and black pants, fast becoming a Thursday night tradition, were sharp-looking, and the numbers were much easier to read. Big improvement over the grays of last week. But for the second straight week, it was the traditional white helmet. Time to see the new black or gray helmet.

RULES KNOWLEDGE: D

The Cowboys were penalized twice for illegal chop blocks, leading to 90 yards of penalties against OSU. Gundy admitted he and his coaches didn't fully understand the chop block rule. No excuse for that.

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