LUBBOCK, Texas — The Oklahoma State Cowboys reached the end of the road out here on the lonely frontier that some say is the end of the Earth.
But the Cowboys can find some solace in their 56-20 loss Saturday night to mighty Texas Tech. Their defeat was a group effort.
Victors at Missouri and valiant in defeat at Texas, the Cowboys failed to retain such road-warrior status. Jones Stadium is a pit that can swallow even good teams whole, and OSU was consumed like so many Cowboy teams before them.
“We got dominated,” State coach Mike Gundy said. “We lost the game as a group.”
So very true. OSU’s defense disappeared, which is no big surprise against Tech, even in this renaissance season for Tim Beckman’s crew.
But OSU’s offense went bye-bye, too, which always is disaster against Graham Harrell’s magnificent men and their flying machine.
You’ve got to score to beat these Red Raiders and any others coached by Mike Leach. And after Harrell spotted OSU seven points 2 1/2 minutes into the game with a fumbled snap that led to an easy touchdown, the Cowboy offense went punt-punt.
Trying to play catchup against a hot Harrell is like trying to catch Tiger Woods. There aren’t enough holes and there aren’t enough possessions.
While Tech scored touchdowns on seven straight possessions, OSU scored just twice on its 10 possessions after the initial TD.
And so this season’s script is mostly written for the Cowboys. Good year. Very good year. But not a championship year.
Turns out the Cowboys aren’t a season ahead of schedule, after all. 2009 figured to be their year to contend for the Big 12 title, and such hope will have to suffice for now.