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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KICKING GAME: C

The Cowboys committed three major penalties on kick returns, and Quinn Sharp missed an extra point (off a low snap) and a 42-yard field goal. Gundy termed the kicking game “terrible. That's not like us.” But Sharp's three punts averaged 54 yards, and four of his seven kickoffs were touchbacks, with no Arizona return going past the UofA 22-yard line. And don't forget Sharp's 23-yard run off a fake punt, which turned momentum.

PROGRAM COVER: D

The cover boys were senior safeties Markelle Martin and Johnny Thomas. Good idea – last week. But Thomas was ruled academically ineligible last week, and his appeal was denied this week. Because of the Thursday game, the program deadlines were expedited. Clearly, OSU officials were confident Thomas would be cleared to play. But it didn't happen.

RUN DEFENSE: A

Arizona tailbacks gained 41 yards on 19 carries. The Wildcats ran five times on third down but made just one first down.

PAC-12 PASSION: D

Arizona's fan contingent appeared to number less than 1,000. We keep hearing about a lack of football frenzy in the Pac-12. The evidence mounted that it's true.

SHARING THE BALL: A

Weeden completed passes to nine receivers in the first half alone. By game's end, 11 Cowboys had caught passes and 14 had either caught a pass or ran the ball.


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