STILLWATER — Maybe we’re to blame. Perhaps the Oklahoma State offense is precisely what it should be. Too much was expected this season. We outsiders misjudged.
It was media and fans who caused the Cowboys’ bandwagon to overflow and capsize with last Saturday’s 45-35 loss at home to Houston. You buying any of this? Me neither, but perhaps we weren’t paying attention. Upon closer examination, the bad outweighs the good in Stillwater if you go back to the final half-dozen games of last season. OSU has now lost three of its last four games and five of its last eight, and by an average margin of 16.2 points. The Cowboys’ offense ranks 68th nationally in total yardage this season after going against a Georgia defense that surrendered 37 points to a South Carolina team that managed just seven points against North Carolina State one week earlier, and against a raw Houston defense that started three sophomores and two freshman defensive ends. These type results shouldn’t come from a bunch of coverboys ranked No. 5 nationally. OSU all-world receiver Dez Bryant is back from last season, as is dual-threat quarterback Zac Robinson. Nifty running back Kendall Hunter returned, as did Russell Okung, who many have proclaimed as the greatest offensive tackle in school history. How can something so good look so average? The Cowboys’ offense has gone from being a Ferrari to a Fiat, and we’re looking for answers. Some explanations why OSU has depreciated in value: — With Hunter sidelined pending further notice due to injury, there are now seven offensive players starting at different positions than a year ago. Bryant, Robinson, Okung and right tackle Brady Bond are at their usual spots with new starters at running back, tight end, two wide receivers, center and both guard positions. Andrew Lewis started at guard last season, but has moved to center. Having three new starters in the middle of the football field is like having a new catcher, second baseman and shortstop. It takes time to click. — The loss of first-round draft pick Brandon Pettigrew at tight end got even worse when replacement Jamal Mosley left the squad due to personal reasons. "He was tremendous, especially in the run game,” OSU offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer said of Pettigrew.