OSU's best moment came late in the first half, leading 21-0. 'Zona had second-and-6 from the OSU 8-yard line. But two runs produced just three yards total, then safety Daytawion Lowe knocked down Foles' pass in the end zone.
After the game, Lowe couldn't even remember the play. But in the trenches, Nicholas knew what it meant.
“I just remember having two linemen on me and hearing (linebacker) Shaun (Lewis) yell, ‘Nope, they didn't get it,'” Nicholas said. “I couldn't help but get crunk.”
Said safety Markelle Martin: “You don't get to do that every game. That was a gutcheck.”
Gundy admitted after the game that his defense might be a little better than he thought. It's not any kind of historic defense; no nickname is headed these guys' way.
But if they can play tough and smart and disciplined (only one penalty, an offsides, Thursday night), they can hold opponents down and give Weeden and Co. plenty of elbow room to win with ease.
“Our defense played great,” Weeden said. “I looked up at the end of the third quarter, maybe the beginning of the fourth, and they had like 16 yards rushing. That's pretty impressive … when they play like that ... that's nice as an offense because you can get in a rhythm.”
This was a change for OSU on the marquee stage of Thursday night. In 2009 and 2010, the black-clad Cowboys beat Colorado and Texas A&M in high-scoring affairs with offensive rallies.
No such rally was necessary against Arizona, because the defense came to play.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.