On a warm late-August evening, the only thing on the collective mind of Oklahoma State fans was victory. Crushing, unrelenting victory.
Many thought it would be obvious that Oklahoma State would come out and make it a point to not repeat what happened last year. They made it a point, time and time again.
Oklahoma State scored 59 points, racked up 640 yards of offense, and it looked like they didn’t break a sweat. Mason Rudolph was out of the game by the fourth quarter, young running backs were breaking free in the open field, and the scoreboard reflected a game that somehow looked closer than it actually was.
Make no mistake. This was a total domination of an inferior team; exactly what Cowboy fans wanted to see. After a nine-month angst-filled wait, I’d say it was worth it.
No, it wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t have to be. With the most talented offense the program may have ever seen, I’m not sure they’ll ever have to be perfect. They dropped a 59 spot and made it look unbelievably easy.
The Cowboys were one of two top-25 teams on national television tonight. With Ohio State and Indiana not starting until 7:15, the Cowboy offense had 45 minutes to show the entire country it meant business. They didn’t even need that long. They dropped 21 points before the Buckeyes and Hoosiers had even kicked off.
The first seven Cowboy drives went like this:
- Touchdown (2 plays, 52 yards)
- Touchdown (2 plays, 75 yards)
- Field Goal
- Touchdown (1 play, 77 yards)
The Cowboy offense had an edge to it. They came out and looked like they were ready to make a statement. The defense was better than advertised. All in all, it was an important night, and a golden opportunity for Oklahoma State. They took full advantage.
- Before we get off the topic of the Cowboy offense, I have something to ask opposing defenses; “Who ya gonna guard?” The wide receivers created opportunity elsewhere, while reaping the benefits when the ball came their way. I don’t know how Big 12 defensive coordinators can sleep at night, knowing that whatever you throw at Oklahoma State might still not be enough. I’m obviously thinking rationally tonight.
- Tyron Johnson is absolutely electric. A truly different breed of athlete. The way he comes off the line and accelerates down the field on this play is the stuff of a professional football player. And the catch! “By Gosh, that’s Tyron Johnson’s music!”
WATCH: Welcome to the SEAson of Orange! Rudolph to Tyron Johnson to start the night for #OKState! #MA2ON pic.twitter.com/lAutT6MuwB— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) August 31, 2017
- Two first half turnovers that directly resulted in ten points for Tulsa told a different story on the scoreboard. Oklahoma State absolutely dominated the first half, and yet the score at the break was only 38-17. Without those two awful turnovers, it’s 38-7 at worst at the half. Clean that up, and we’re talking crazy talk.
- The offensive line looked really good. Not only that, but the addition of Sione Finefeuiaki on the edge could make a difference in the running game. Justice Hill and J.D. King had plenty of room to run on most occasions tonight.
- I thought the offense would be elite, but it’s somehow better than advertised. I thought the passing attack would make for chunk plays on the ground, but I didn’t know those chunk plays would look like this.
This kid can run #JDKing pic.twitter.com/Cu8fjMEcg1— Boone Pickens State (@BP_State) September 1, 2017
- I even thought the play calling was vanilla for most of the game. Aside from an inside screen to Justice Hill, I didn’t notice much creativity on the offensive end. Any time you can put up 59 points without showing much of your playbook, you’re gonna have a good time.
- Mason Rudolph played the part of a Heisman Trophy contender. Aside from the boneheaded interception, I thought he was absolutely stellar. Near-perfect. The way he steps into this throw and flings it into a basket is immensely special. If he gets this kind of time to operate, we may be watching QB1 in The Big Apple come early December.
Rudolph to James Washington TD pic.twitter.com/m1BoSB0Ar5— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) August 31, 2017
- Michael T. Gundy is a national treasure. No further comment needed.
Gundy rocking his hater blockers with the sun fully down. pic.twitter.com/Zv3XNm8eeo— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 1, 2017
Mike Gundy says he needs to hurry up the press conference, because he’s going “dove hunting” in the morning.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 1, 2017
- A.J. Green had a pretty solid game. I made note this on Twitter, but he was rarely, if ever, out of position. For a true sophomore, that’s really all you can ask. Once you get that down, then we can start talking about an elite cornerback. But for now, knowing where you’re supposed to be and actually being there is enough. His potential is through the roof.
- Throw most of the young corners in that conversation above, too. Most of them all stayed in position, and the only time one got beat (Madre Harper), the ball was overthrown. Those corners should have a lot of time and opportunity to gain confidence before conference play starts.
- The outside narrative on Tulsa changed faster than Mike Gundy into his duck waders tomorrow morning for a hunt.
OU fans on Wednesday: "Tulsa is much better than you think."— Cade Webb (@CWebb_CRFF) September 1, 2017
OU fans tonight: "They had to replace a ton on both sides."
- The freshman running backs were great tonight. L.D. Brown and J.D. King (all of the initials!) both had runs over 70+ yards to go along with a touchdown. The exciting thing about both of them is that they contrast each other so well.
WATCH: Hail to the King! J.D. King goes 71 yards to put #OKState up 28-7! pic.twitter.com/ME0UqldbbH— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) September 1, 2017
- I noticed quite a few people discussing their frustrations with the third down defense from Oklahoma State this evening. Tulsa went 14-24 (not great, at all), while the Cowboys gave up just over 400 yards on the day. Tulsa ran for 235 yards (55 of which came on one carry) on 58 attempts. Take away that garbage time touchdown run, and the Golden Hurricane were held to under 3 yards per carry. Tulsa was a team that ran the ball incredibly well last season. My advice to those worried about the defensive line: relax.
- The helmets were beyond outstanding. I was skeptical as to how they would look from the picture that was tweeted out, but I thought they looked incredible on TV. There was a throwback vibe to them, and I am #HereForThem. Also, after I saw this tweet, I couldn’t unsee it.
#okstate pic.twitter.com/0h8ImEiuVC— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) August 31, 2017
- Mason Rudolph moved into third all-time in the Oklahoma State passing touchdown category tonight, ahead of his coach, Mike Gundy. Rudolph had this to say:
Mason Rudolph on passing Gundy's TD total: "I passed him there but I'm still behind him in the hair game." #okstate— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) September 1, 2017
- Did we watch a College Football Playoff-caliber team tonight? This team is closer than I thought they would be. Yes, there are still questions on the offensive line and in the secondary. Overall, however, I thought the Cowboys looked far-and-away more talented than the Golden Hurricane (who won ten games last year). As for those questions at the key spots, I think the strengths in other areas can cover them up ... but if they improve there? Hoooooooo, boy.
Here are the highlights.
What a start! @CowboyFB defeated Tulsa 59-24 to start the #Big12FB season.— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) September 1, 2017
Highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/MWgff5HWkc
Up Next: @ South Alabama, Friday 9/8, 7 PM