Was it the toughest loss in Oklahoma State history? Does it mean we are still the program that will always come up short? Is this still part of the program building experience? Are our expectations of this program a little too high? Is Mike Gundy not a good big game coach?
Right now, I am still too close to answer those questions and to assign proper historical significance to this game. I will say that the game itself was one of the most enjoyable watches that I can remember, and that I am proud of myself as a fan for believing that we were going to pull that out until the failed onside kick recovery squashed those hopes for good. I will sort through what is all means throughout the week, answer all the questions above, and comfortably find what I believe the direction of the program should be moving forward. I am sure everyone else will be doing the same thing and maybe by Thursday we can meet up and share our differing opinions. For now, I will sit and be haunted by our third down defense (16 for 27!!!!), watch the replay of the Brown to Lewis interception a few more times, and probably spend the day disagreeing with Cincy Joe.
As for the game itself, it was the ultimate "Jeckle and Hyde" performance. Do you praise Justin Gilbert for the KO return TD, or do you scold him for the roughing the punter penalty? Do you admire Brodrick Brown for the two interceptions, or do you blame him for the loss after he blew the coverage on Cameron Kenney on the first long TD at the end?
Brandon Weeden looked confused for much of the game, the receivers weren't in the right places, and almost everything about the passing game was off. Everyone will question why Kendall Hunter only had 13 carries, and why the team only had 23 rushing attempts. The Sooner defense does deserve much of the credit as they did do a nice job of bringing guys up to the line then backing them into coverage once they were sure it wasn't a running play, and maintained good coverage while still applying pressure. They also kept baiting Weeden into throwing to a stationary WR who was 3 yards short of the 1st down marker, and Weeden kept falling for it.
Good performances were turned in by Andrew McGee who was repeatedly tested and was up for the challenge, and Shaun Lewis played a nice all-around game utilizing his speed to make a lot of big stops in the running game and, of course, came up with the two interceptions. Jeremy Smith provided some power that was needed to soften up that Sooner d-line, Josh Cooper was very reliable in the middle, and you have to give Justin Blackmon a lot of credit for managing 105 yards and a TD on one leg.
Royal will have much more in his recap... now I am going back to bed.
As always, for the Sooner side of things check out Crimson and Cream Machine.