It’s been nearly a week since the Cotton Bowl. But there’s still plenty to analyze, including Berry Tramel’s excellent, comprehensive look at the game here.
In going back through my notes, here are three plays near the end of that game that may have been overlooked, but made a big impact on the outcome:
DGB’s third-down catch
Dorial Green-Beckham was quiet for most of the night — James Franklin’s inaccurate arm had something to do with that — until he got free down the sideline on a third-and-9 play for a 27-yard gain. Tyler Patmon came up to press, but DGB used his strength to fight through the initial contact and then got behind Patmon to haul the ball in. OSU brought pressure, but Franklin got the ball off just in time once DGB broke free. The next play, Henry Josey got into the end zone from 16 yards out.
Marcell Ateman’s fourth-down catch
A positive sign for a Cowboy squad that will need new playmakers to emerge in 2014. On fourth-and-7 from the OSU 28, Chelf stepped up in the pocket and delivered an off-balance strike to Ateman in the middle for a 23-yard gain and a first down. Ateman had the awareness to find the hole in the coverage, and Chelf did a good job of moving well in the pocket and buying himself and Ateman an extra second or two for that play to develop.
Josh Stewart’s reviewed incompletion
On second-and-10 from the Mizzou 49, Chelf appeared to find Stewart in the middle of the field at about the 30. But play stopped momentarily when Stewart got hurt on the play and drew the attention of the OSU medical staff. Not only did that allow the Tigers to catch their breath — some of those defenders were clearly gassed — but it allowed the play to get reviewed and overturned. With the pace OSU was moving, would that play had been reviewed otherwise? Hard to say.