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Soft non-conference schedule has not done the Cowboys any favors

For the second straight season, OSU has played a dud game coming off its annual blasting of a Division I-AA opponent.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 29, 2013

You don't find out much about yourself playing UTSA, and you find out nothing playing Lamar.

* New offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was hired away from Shippensburg, which is a lot closer to Lamar's level than Lamar is to West Virginia or Mississippi State.

Maybe the transition will smooth out, but the start is rocky against real teams.

The Mississippi State game was funky because of the early switch in quarterbacks and apparent switch in offensive style.

The West Virginia game was merely awful. If conference games are so danged important, you'd think you'd want Yurcich to get baptized by someone tougher than Lamar and a third-year program.

Gundy likes to say that if you get caught with the wrong game plan, it takes a veteran quarterback to bail you out. And J.W. Walsh, while promising, is not yet a vet.

So were the Cowboys doomed from the start?

“Not really,” Gundy said. “It was more execution. When we have a game like that, what I think is important is for us to identify was it the plan that failed, and the players didn't have a chance? That has happened before. That wasn't the case here.”

OK. But OSU went into Big 12 play with a coordinator who in his entire life had gameplanned exactly one game against major-conference talent.

The Cowboys don't have to play a murderer's row. But playing against teams that can fight back is more than just moral and entertaining. It's the best thing for the OSU football team.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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