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Countdown to Kick-Off: Ranking Gundy’s 13 Season Openers

Gundy will coach his 14th season opener this season. Let’s look back at those that came before

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

We are now 13 days away from the start of Oklahoma State’s 2018 season. What better time to look back at the previous 13 season openers under Mike Gundy.

For the second year in a row and the third time in four years, OSU will open the season early, on a Thursday night. This year, the’ll face familiar FCS foe Missouri State.

It’s not the most exciting of opening games, but it might not be the worst. Let’s take a look at the the 13 previous season openers under Mike Gundy

13. Savannah State | 2012 | W

It was a season opener so it’s on the list, but I stand by this belief; this is the worst game Oklahoma State has ever played. Yes, it was a win, but good grief OSU had no business playing a team like Savannah State.

After one quarter, the Cowboys had 35 points while the Tigers had -15 yards. OSU would end the game with 84 points, Savannah State would end with 139 yards.

12. Montana State | 2005 | W

Win No. 1 for Mike Gundy, a 15-10 victory over the Bobcats, wasn’t pretty. OSU trailed 10-8 at half-time, but took the lead for good on a Donovan Woods to D’Juan Woods touchdown pass in the third quarter.

I’m kind of sad there aren’t any more Woods brothers on the team.

11. Southeastern Louisiana | 2016 | W

There is only one memorable moment from this 61-7 blow-out; Barry Sanders Jr.’s single greatest play in an Oklahoma State uniform.

10. Missouri State | 2006 | W

The start of Mike Gundy’s second season was much better than his first. Parrish Cox kicked things off with a 96-yard return for a touchdown, in route to a 52-10 win over the Bears. It was an unremarkable win, other than a nice way to start Gundy’s second season.

9. Louisiana Lafayette | 2011 | W

The opener of Oklahoma State’s greatest season was pretty unspectacular. Brandon Weeden threw for 388 yards and three touchdowns (and three interceptions) to lead the Cowboys to a 61-34 win. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored two of their touchdowns off Weeden’s interceptions.

8. at Central Michigan | 2015 | W

The Cowboys hit the road to open their 2015 season, traveling all the way up to Mount Pleasant, Michigan. It wasn’t exactly a spectacular showing, with the Cowboys trailing early in the 3rd quarter 13-10. They eventually earned a 24-13 win. It was a better outcome than what happened in 2016 at least.

7. at Washington State | 2008 | W

OSU kicked off their break-through season under Gundy with a 39-13 road victory over Washington State. OSU built up an 18-0 lead and never looked back. No, the Cougars weren’t very good, but at this point, no one knew the Cowboys were either.

6. Tulsa | 2017 | W

You could make an argument for switching No.s 6 and 7, but Rudolph’s performance moved it up for me. 20 of 24 for 303 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions through the air, and another TD on the ground. It was a great performance by OSU’s best QB in his final season.

5. at Georgia | 2007 | L

One of only two season-opening losses under Gundy. This one ranks this high, just because it was a road game at a ranked, blue-blood program. Beyond that, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant game, with the Cowboys getting thumped 35-14.

4. Washington State | 2010 | W

It’s funny looking back how low expectations were for the 2010 season heading into it. But after the Cowboys throttled Washington State 65-17 behind the new-look offense of Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter, and Dana Holgorsen, expectations changed dramatically. It’s still one of the most memorable years under Gundy, and it all started here.

3. vs. Mississippi State | 2013 | W

A neutral site match-up in Texas against an SEC team. What’s not to love. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the Cowboys came away with an ugly 21-3 victory. Any win over an SEC team is good time. It’s a pity we don’t play more like this one.

2. vs. Florida State | 2014 | L

Despite the loss, I don’t think there’s a single Oklahoma State fan who will tell you they didn’t; A. Love having this game on the schedule, and B. love watching it. Yes, we lost, but Oklahoma State wasn’t even supposed to be in this game. Yet, there they were giving the defending national champions a scare late.

1. Georgia | 2009 | W

Still one of the best games of the Gundy era. Unveiling the newly renovated Boone Pickens Stadium against a ranked Georgia Bulldog team in front of a sell-out crowd. It was a slow start for the Cowboys, falling behind 7-0. But after building a 10-7 halftime lead, the Cowboys never looked back finishing with a 24-10 victory. The next week, Dez Bryant’s leaping touchdown catch was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The season may not have gone the way fans had hoped, but for at least one week, it felt like the Cowboys were on top of the world. We need more openers like this.


No. 14 - The Changing of the Guard at OSU with No. 14 Taylor Cornelius