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Rapid reaction: Oklahoma State outmuscles Mississippi State 21-3 in the opener

by Anthony Slater Published: August 31, 2013
Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh (4) celebrates a touchdown run in the second quarter during the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Mississippi State University Bulldogs (MSU) at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh (4) celebrates a touchdown run in the second quarter during the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Mississippi State University Bulldogs (MSU) at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State beat Mississippi State 21-3 in Houston in the opener on Saturday. Here’s some rapid reaction:

Turning point

Late in the first half, it looked like OSU’s floundering offense was heading toward a halftime shutout for the first time since before Brandon Weeden was quarterback. But deep in his own territory, J.W. Walsh, who entered the game a few drives earlier, broke free down the left sideline for a huge 46-yard run on third down. Plays later, Walsh scooted in for a three-yard touchdown, giving OSU its first points of the game right before halftime.

It was over when…

…Jeremy Smith rumbled in for a pair of second-half touchdowns, the 26th and 27th of his career, in the second half, padding a lead that didn’t really need padding. Not with the way the Cowboys defense was playing.

Star of the game – OSU’s defense

What a performance. After giving up an extended 13-play drive and eventual field goal on the opening possession, Glenn Spencer’s crew stiffened up, stoning what was supposed to be a physical SEC offense and dominating the rest of the game. Here’s a look at Mississippi State’s drive chart:

Non-starter of the game – J.W. Walsh

This may be the last time we can refer to Walsh as a ‘non-starter’. After watching Clint Chelf struggle through the first two drives, Mike Gundy quickly yanked back his senior’s short leash, inserting Walsh and his unique dual-threat skill set. It took Walsh a little time to get going

Stats of the game

-Oklahoma State averaged 3.3 punts per game last season. The Cowboys punted on their first five possessions on Saturday, but finished the game with only six (one on their final eight possessions).

-Mississippi State’s offense went 2-of-16 on third downs.

-OSU had more rushing yards (286) than passing yards (146). That only happened twice last year.

Video of the game (GIF from OSU)

Hey, Glenn Spencer, what’d you think of your defense’s performance in your debut as a coordinator?

Photo of the game

Kye Staley was rocking a pretty sweet Pistol Pete haircut (photo via OSU athletics)

Up next

The Cowboys remain on the road next weekend (in San Antonio), but face a more appealing opponent in UTSA. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Fox Sports 1.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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