STILLWATER — There won’t be a Sunday parade resulting from Oklahoma State’s Saturday night conquest of an FCS opponent.
Ultimately, Oklahoma State only did what it was supposed to do. Before a sellout crowd of 55,500, there was a 56-14 mashing of McNeese State.
There was no grand takeaway from this one. No indications Oklahoma State can or will contend in the Big 12.
No fortified belief Oklahoma State can beat Texas in Austin — again — in two weeks.
All you could really glean from the Saturday night home opener was that if OSU and McNeese were to meet 50 times, OSU would win 50 times.
OSU has weaponry for which McNeese had no answer.
There are various levels of success in contests like these.
First priority: Win.
When an FBS squad actually loses in one of these schedule-fillers, there’s hell to pay. Ask Tennessee.
Oklahoma State hasn’t always been impressive in these FCS exercises, but Mike Gundy now is 12-0 against college football’s light heavyweight division.
Second priority: Avoid injuries.
During a super-hot, super-steamy evening at Boone Pickens Stadium, there weren’t any significant health issues for OSU.
Third priority: Execute at an impressive level.
After a mostly poor first quarter, the Oklahoma State offense had 273 total yards by halftime and 580 by game’s end. OSU staggered the Louisiana visitors with a methodical, grinding, 91-yard touchdown drive and with huge plays by wide receiver Tylan Wallace.
During each of OSU’s two games so far, Wallace made a statement to Biletnikoff Award voters.
At Oregon State on Aug. 30, OSU’s junior wide receiver totaled five catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Against McNeese, there were five catches for 180. After having collected short throws from Spencer Sanders, Wallace scored on plays of 69 and 75 yards.
The fourth priority during a game like this: Score style points. Play clean, flashy football.
There was some of that on the Wallace TD plays, and when backup QB Dru Brown connected with former Union star CJ Moore and Braydon Johnson for big-yardage touchdowns, but for the most part this was a routine rout.
Surprisingly, after having been 352-yard good at Oregon State, OSU’s run game was only modestly successful against McNeese: 167 yards and 3.8 per attempt. Chuba Hubbard followed a 221-yard, opening-night masterpiece with a light workload (eight carries for 44 yards).
In its next two games, OSU visits the University of Tulsa and the University of Texas. The run defense of the Golden Hurricane and Longhorns is infinitely better than what was encountered in the Oregon State and McNeese games.
As Oklahoma State’s Jake McClure booted the opening kickoff Saturday, a longtime media friend asked what I would most intently be watching for during this match of OSU’s FBS Cowboys and McNeese’s FCS Cowboys.
My reply: “To see what Mike Gundy does with his quarterbacks.” I added, “After that, the offensive line — whether execution is as clean as it was last week.
“More than anything, though, I’ll be looking at ...”
If the sentence had been completed, it would have been this: “More than anything, though, I’ll be looking at the defense. It’s important for it to look a lot better than it did last week.”
The sentence wasn’t completed, however, because OSU’s defense scored a touchdown.
On the second play from scrimmage, a Cody Orgeron pass was intercepted by OSU cornerback A.J. Green and returned 27 yards for the score.
It was a nice start, and the overall numbers were decent as McNeese totaled only 318 yards, but absolutely nothing new was learned about the OSU defense. There may be no real enlightenment until Sept. 21 in Austin.
Fans seemed to appreciate a blowout experience in the first home game of the season, but there really was only one revelation: that Sanders does seem to have a tight hold on the starting quarterback role.
There also was a reminder: that Wallace is a tremendously gifted wide receiver.