BRYAN TERRY, NEWSOK
Josh Stewart's 218 yards of total offense and West Virginia's special teams bailed out an otherwise predictable and sluggish Monken game plan to lead the Cowboys to bowl eligibility.
OSU was outgained.
Lost time of possession battle.
Gave up over 400 yards passing.
Had 10 penalties for 100 yards.
Only had one receiver catch more than 3 passes.
Had another interception, receiver's fault, that was basically a pick 6 (defender pushed out at the 1 yard line. WV scored on the next play.)
And mananged to eek out a 21 point win.
If there was ever a game that I felt like they were never in control of until late in the 4th quarter, this was it. West Virginia controlled the play in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but couldn't capitalize.
The Cowboys struggled at times against what was supposed to be a sketchy Mountaineer defense, but 2 costly special teams muffs handed points to OSU at critical times.
Oklahoma State only had 3 drives go more than 6 plays. Fortunately, those 3 drives accounted for 17 points. OSU was also the beneficiary of 2 short field TD's, one off of 1 of the aforementioned special team muffs, and another after a turnover on downs.
The Cowboys' defense played really well at times, but was also the recipient of some horrible throws by Geno Smith. Have we ever seen a Heisman favorite fall so far from glory?
Chelf threw for the quietest 292 yards ever. He was high on almost every throw until the 4th quarter, and was obviously locked in on Stewart. His 13 receptions were 10 more than the next closest WR. (Side note...Lunt AND Walsh were available to play.)
The running game, if you take away the 46 yard reverse to Stewart (a TD), had a grand total of 105 yards rushing. They were continually stuffed by a West Virginia defense that, like so many others we have faced, dared us to beat them with the pass. One of the worst defenses in the country held one of the best offenses in the country over 100 yards under their average, AT HOME. We even saw the "Wildcat," but all it did was remind me of the failed 4th down attempt with Walsh at Arizona.
The wind did play a roll, but OSU's offensive line was abysmal. The Mountaineers got consistent pressure on Chelf for most of the game, and Randle/Smith did not often find open running lanes.
While getting beat on a couple of throws, and getting caught in his usual 10 yard cushion coverage, Justin Gilbert actually made several plays, including a couple of touchdown saving deflections. Oh yea, and his 96 yard kickoff return TD blew up my 2012 prediction that he would have ANY this season. Was it just me, or did he go from 1st to whatever the fuck gear that was faster than anyone EVER in pads?
Overall, it's a win, and the precursor of several firsts...
- Bowl eligible for a 7th consecutive season
- Now going for 7 consecutive WINNING seasons for first time in school history
- One more win will make 10 of the last 11 seasons with 7 or more victories
What a great era of Cowboy football.
And also one of the STRANGEST seasons EVER at Oklahoma State.