Saturday proved once again that OSU football is not good for my health. The Cardiac Cowboys were back at it once again, coming back from 17 points down at the end of the 3rd quarter to beat Iowa State 38-31. This was a big victory for the Pokes, heading into the bye week at 4-2, still in the thick of the Big 12 Conference title race.
Through nearly 3 quarters, I had no idea what I was going to write about. With the way the game was going, I had no idea if any positive could be taken at that point. Once OSU started to come back, the answer started to become more clear. The offense stepped up big in the final 18 minutes, and so did the defense who got big-time stops in the same amount of time.
The biggest reason why the defense was doing so well was because OSU was winning to the field position battle. The person that put ISU in tough field position all game was the Cowboy punter. Zach Sinor was my unsung hero for this week’s game. Sinor punted nine times, and of those seven landed inside the 20, including six inside the 20 during the second half. Two of his punts went over 50 yards, including his long of the day of 57 yards. His ability to pin Iowa State deep was key for the Cowboy defense, especially in the fourth quarter. Not only was Iowa State deep in their own territory, they were backed up with the rowdy (once the comeback started) student section and Paddle People breathing down their necks. The combination of the noise and Cowboy defense being lock-down made life miserable for the Cyclone offense, who had success all game until that point.
Zach Sinor had a big impact in the comeback by being able to make the Cyclones start their drives deep in their own territory. Sinor acted as the 12th defender on the field for the Cowboys, as he had done all year. The Cowboys have a pedigree of having great punters in recent years, and Sinor is showing his name needs to be added to the list of OSU greats at the position.