Uneven opening for OSU
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, October 04, 2009
10/05/09 at 12:30 PM
In August, four college football teams — Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State and Ole Miss — were identified by Sports Illustrated as potential Bowl Championship Series "party crashers."
By October, each of the "party crashers" had been defeated.
The Cowboys followed a momentous conquest of Georgia with a 45-35 home loss to Houston, a ragged victory over Rice and a predictably dominant performance against Division I-AA Grambling State.
Each of four prominent OSU players — quarterback Zac Robinson, wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Kendall Hunter and cornerback Perrish Cox — has been affected by injury.
The Cowboy offense, hailed by many in the national media as being an elite unit, has not performed at the expected level. Against three I-A opponents, OSU has averaged 33 points, 163 rushing yards and 364 total yards per game. The 2008 averages were 41 points, 246 rushing yards and 488 total yards.
OSU's remaining schedule — including dates with Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma — is rated among the 10 most difficult schedules in college football. Can the Cowboys get healthy and reestablish themselves as an offensive force? Can their defense ascend to a higher level and stay there?
Can OSU recover from its sub-standard September, be a factor in the Big 12 race and secure a big-time bowl berth? Or will 2009 be remembered as a season of underachievement at Oklahoma State?
Bill Haisten 581-8397
OSU wide receiver Dez Bryant is consoled by teammate Noah Franklin following Bryant's fumble against Rice in the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium last week. STEPHEN HOLMAN/Tulsa World