The Oklahoma State football team made such an impression on ABC announcers Bob Wischusen and Rod Gilmore that late in the Cowboys' 21-3 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon that they already were talking about them playing in the national championship game.
That's likely jumping the gun considering Mississippi State is only a middle of the pack SEC team and it's just the season opener.
Wischusen noted OSU's final four games included three home games against Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma and a road game at Texas.
“This could be an undefeated Oklahoma State team very realistically with those three games at the end of the season,” Wischusen said. “You still got to go to Austin,”
Gilmore expected the Cowboys would move up in the poll. “They're 13 now. They have a chance to get into the top 10, and if they get to those three games at the end, they'll be in the discussion.”
Gilmore, who initially said he wasn't a fan of a two-quarterback system, said J.W. Walsh had wrapped up the top spot at least through the first four games with his strong showing Saturday in relief of Clint Chelf.
Gilmore noted that OSU coach Mike Gundy wanted to settle on his starting quarterback by the conference opener against West Virginia on Sept. 28. “The next two games (UT-San Antonio and Lamar) are easily winnable so Walsh should be the quarterback. There's not going to be anything in those games that will open it up for Chelf.”
He noted Walsh spurred a surprising run-oriented offense with his rushing skills in the option attack. “His athleticism has made the difference for Oklahoma State … Who says the Big 12 can't play physical football? It's a rush-oriented attack.”
Early on it wasn't pretty as the Cowboys and new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich struggled and Yurcich was shown in the press box,
“You think he is feeling a little pressure,” Gilmore said. “Here's a guy who went from making $50,000 a year at Shippensburg (University) to hitting the lottery and making $400,000 at Oklahoma State.”
Gilmore was impressed with the Cowboys' defense under new coordinator Glenn Spencer. “I haven't seen a defense this physical at all in Gundy's whole time. They are going toe to toe.”
After OSU stopped the Bulldogs on a third-and-2, Spencer was shown jumping up and down in glee.
“Hopefully he was this happy on his wedding day as well,” said Wischusen, noting that Spencer married ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards in July.
OU DEFENSE IMPRESSES
The OU defense earned high marks from announcers Ron Thulin, Dave Lapham and sideline reporter Chad McKee on the pay-per-view telecast in shutting out Louisiana-Monroe 34-0.