OSU/TCU: Report card
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, October 28, 2012
10/28/12 at 6:22 AM
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B-: OSU scored 36 points and was 8-of-8 on red zone scoring opportunities. Sound good? It could have been much better. The Cowboys struggled to get anything going early in the game and left too many points on the board, settling for five Quinn Sharp field goals. OSU's inaugural first down of the game didn't come until three minutes remained in the first quarter. By then, the Cowboys were on their fourth possession. Held without a touchdown for two-and-a-half quarters, OSU got over the hump and put together five consecutive scoring drives in the third and fourth quarters to tuck the game away. Joseph Randle became the first running back to collect 100 yards against TCU this season. Wes Lunt returned from injury to make his first start since Sept. 15 and was 18-of-33 for 324 yards while directing the Cowboys to 471 yards. But Lunt also had a pick six on his first pass attempt (the ball bounced off intended receiver Josh Stewart) and he helmed an offense that was 5-of-16 on third-down conversions (including 2-of-11 through the first three quarters). OSU used trick plays in an attempt to kick-start the offense. A Randle-to-Blake Jackson touchdown on a halfback pass was negated by a holding penalty.
OSU has played 16 quarters of Big 12 football and opponents have scored offensive touchdowns in only six of those quarters. The Cowboys have blanked opponents for three quarters in each of the last three games. In the first of those games (at Kansas), the Cowboys pitched a shutout for the first three quarters and gave up two fourth-quarter touchdowns. "We really wanted to learn from that and build off that," defensive lineman Cooper Bassett said. TCU's offense scored only seven points against OSU. The Horned Frogs got another touchdown via an interception return. TCU was limited to 344 yards. The Frogs had seven three-and-out possessions and were 2-of-14 on third-down conversions, including 0-of-5 in the second half. Said defensive coordinator Bill Young, "We had great preparation and we've had it every week. Our players are really buying into things and the chemistry on the sideline was phenomenal. When we got down 14 points they were just playing hard and making plays."
Head coach Mike Gundy thought OSU's special teams won the battle for the first time since a season opener against Savannah State. Is he judging too harshly? Kicker and punter Quinn Sharp agreed with Gundy. Sharp outscored TCU by himself, kicking three extra points and matching Larry Roach's school record with five field goals. The field goals came from 22, 34, 30, 32 and 27 yards. OSU's defense was credited with red zone stops when TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom missed field-goal attempts of 52 and 31 yards. Sharp averaged 42.8 yards per punt despite a 29-yarder in the first quarter. Justin Gilbert returned a first-quarter kickoff 40 yards, but lost a fumble when he was stripped by Keivon Gamble.
OSU quarterback Wes Lunt, playing for the first time since suffering an injury on Sept. 15, threw for 324 yards and a touchdown in leading the Cowboys to a win over TCU on Saturday in Stillwater. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
OSU cornerback Daytawion Lowe knocks the ball out of the hands of TCU's Josh Boyce. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
OSU coach Mike Gundy questions an official's no-call during the fourth quarter. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World