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Four Quarters: Spencer Sanders, Tylan Wallace and Vanilla

Takeaways from Oklahoma State’s win over McNeese.

McNeese v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Oklahoma State Cowboys took care of business in its home opener Saturday beating FCS McNeese 56-14 in Stillwater.

No there’s not a lot to take away from a shellacking of an FCS team, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to.

Quarter One: Slow Start

Is McNeese’s defense better than Oregon State’s? Nah, but the offense didn’t come out nearly as clean as it did in Week 1.

Could that be first home game jitters? Sure. Could it be the fact that Oklahoma State’s average starting field position in the first half was their own 12-yard line? Of course. Could it have been the fact OSU was led by a redshirt freshman quarterback in Spencer Sanders in just his second start? Yup. Whatever the cause, it was awkward all around.

Fumbles, drops, miscommunications were abound in that first quarter.

The usually reliable Dillon Stoner got the ball stripped out of his arms one his way out of bounds.

Chuba Hubbard ran into an offensive lineman and fumbled the ball.

But to be honest, Sanders looked off. He was throwing guys high and behind a lot. No, it didn’t hurt OSU, but I said after Week 1, it will when the Cowboys face a better defense.

Look, I said it at the beginning; you can’t take too much away from a game like this. Sanders is still awesome and still the future. But they need to come out of the gate better moving forward than they did on Saturday, and that falls on Sanders’ shoulders.

Will they be better this week? I think so.

Quarter Two: Wallace isn’t human

Tylan Wallace isn’t human. At all.

A guy that was already as good as Wallace was last season has somehow gone Super Saiyan. He looks faster than last year. His body control shouldn’t be humanly possible, yet he continues to make catches through two games that are just ridiculous. He’s turning nice passing plays into massive catch and runs.

Last season Wallace had issues with drops. This year he’s making catches that just leave you saying “WOW!”

After two games Wallace has 10 catches and five touchdowns (and really should have 12 catches for seven touchdowns). That’s stupid.

It’s awesome that we’re getting to enjoy this. And I’m glad non-OSU fans and media are also paying attention.

I’m going to say this repeatedly all season; enjoy it Cowboy fans. He’s not likely to be in orange and black for much longer.

Third Quarter: Brown debuts

Forget the conspiracy theory; there was a quarterback competition this offseason.

Sure it’s an FCS team that’s tired, but Dru Brown wasn’t playing with Hubbard and Wallace, and he looked good. The touchdown throw he made to Braydon Johnson in the third quarter was a BIG BOY throw. The offense didn’t miss a beat, and again, that’s with back-up linemen, backs, and receivers.

Plus, he may not be as fast as Sanders, but Brown can run, meaning OSU can swap out QBs and not have to change the offense at all. That’s huge.

Speaking of running, Sanders is going to run. And according to the Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson, he’s not going to slide. That means — and I hate to even write this — there’s a high likelihood that at some point this season Brown is going to come into a game at a key moment, not in mop-up duty. After Saturday, I feel pretty confident Brown can not only keep the offense going, but not miss a beat.

Fourth Quarter: I Love Vanilla

The word “vanilla” is used negatively when it comes to sports. It’s time for the “vanilla” slander to end. I love vanilla. It’s delicious when I just want something simple.

The offensive play-calling on Saturday was vanilla. Simple. Just football. And that’s all OSU needed to do. And it was perfect.

No, I didn’t love all the designed quarterback runs for Sanders, but what we saw was receivers making catches, then making a guy miss and turning the play into looong touchdowns.

Same thing on defense — though the question there is if that was because of the opponent or out of necessity — where despite not getting all that wild, the team forced two turnovers, a couple of sacks, and six TFLs (my favorite stat).

We’re going to get something more on par with Neopolitan and Chunky Monkey moving forward. But seeing Vanilla work so well, gives me hope for when they start throwing in the nuts and cookie dough into in the mix.