Unranked Oklahoma State fell short of upsetting top-ranked Florida State on Saturday night in the Cowboys Classic, but the Cowboys earned a lot of respect from ABC’s new No. 1 broadcast crew of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.
“Nobody, except for their fan base, expected them to go 37-31 with the defending national champions,” Herbstreit said. “They used this as a springboard into the rest of their season.”
He said it should provide a lift for OSU coaching staff in motivating the team heading into Week 2. “I told you we’re young, but we’re going to have a great year.”
Fowler, who made his debut after replacing Brent Musburger as play-by-play announcer, said, “Give the credit to Oklahoma State. The roster of young, fresh faces has shown grit and fight tonight.”
Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback, spoke highly of OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh, who rallied the Cowboys in the second half.
“The kid is a gamer,” said Herbstreit after Walsh scored on a 24-yard run to cut the lead to 27-24. “The team has responded to him. He has been a leader all night.”
However, Walsh failed on an opportunity to drive his team for a go-ahead score when he fumbled and lost the ball after being hit by P.J. Williams. “That is a great hit,” Herbstreit said. “The Noles’ defense came up with the play of the night.”
OSU was aided by a 55-yard touchdown pass to David Glidden on botched coverage by the Seminoles, who appeared to key on speedy Tyreek Hill, who was in motion. “Nobody stayed with David Glidden,” Herbstreit said. “It was a simple bust.”
As for Florida State, Herbstreit noted its offense will need more diversity, and the Seminoles won’t have as easy time as some experts expected in attempting to reach the playoff.
Early in the game, OU sent out a Tweet noting that refunds would be given for viewers who had trouble watching the webcast on SoonerSports.TV.
Fox Sports Oklahoma spokesman Ramon Alvarez said it “affected only a small number of users” and the pay-pay-per view broadcast was not affected.
OU’s broadcast team of Ron Thulin, Dave Lapham and Chad McKee turned in a solid broadcast. Lapham, a former Cincinnati Bengals lineman, produced his usual colorful description in the Sooners’ easy win.
On Keith Ford’s 22-yard touchdown run for the first score: “He’s a violent, downhill runner. He runs in an angry state of mind. He reminds me of Corey Dillon.”
On Jordan Evans’ early ejection for targeting, Lapham agreed with the call: “He left his feet and with both feet airborne, went helmet to helmet. It’s definitely targeting.”
On the Sooners blocking a 51-yard field goal attempt: “That’s what happens on long field goals. A lot of times you lose trajectory. You don’t hit the wedge. You hit the 7-iron.”
After Alex Ross’ second touchdown run: “They’ve had two touchdowns runs where nobody has laid a finger on them, obliteration! The offensive line is dominating.”
During breaks, McKee was busy interviewing numerous OU coaches, including women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale, and athletic director Joe Castiglione.
Thulin expected OU fans would be wondering why starting quarterback Trevor Knight was in late in the game and noted that the Sooners had injury issues at quarterback.