August 30, 2008

Cowboys solidly handle Cougars

A 26-point win on the road is a 26-point win on the road.

While it might have gotten off to a bumpy start, Oklahoma State managed to feel out Washington State and pick up a 39-13 win at Qwest Stadium in Seattle on Saturday afternoon.

Coming into the game, two of the biggest questions for OSU was how would the offensive playcalling go and how would the defense look?

The results were mixed on both, but there were largely more positives than negatives. In the early going, OSU's offense played it very conservatively, feeling out the Cougars to see what kind of a look they'd bring on defense. Later on, things opened up a bit and the Pokes got to moving the ball. They ended up with nearly identical yardage through the air and on the ground - 193 and 174, respectively. Kendall Hunter had a nice day, running for 107 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. As for Zac Robinson, he went 20-of-27 for 193 yards passing and an interception. On the receiving side, Dez Bryant reeled in seven catches for 90 yards and Brandon Pettigrew caught six passes for 43 yards.

The defensive unit fared pretty well. In the first half, they had the clamps locked down tight on the Cougars (0-1), pitching a shutout going into the half. The second half didn't fare much better for the WSU offense, as it was only able to muster two scores. For the game, OSU allowed only 196 yards. Quarterback Gary Rodgers had a very rough outing, completing 12-of-24 passes for only 82 yards with a touchdown and interception. The highlight from the defensive side was likely the safety forced by Jeray Chatham to put the Pokes up 12-0 in the second quarter.

The big difference-making moments in the game came on special teams. The OSU returners shredded Wazzu for a 42-yard punt return by Bryant and a 90-yard kickoff return by Perrish Cox. The Cougars had issues covering OSU all day long in this area.

So the Cowboys go on the road to open the season (again), but are able to come away with a pretty solid win. It's a good way to start the season off, as now OSU legitimately has a chance at a 4-0 start going into Big 12 Conference play in several weeks. The next test for the Pokes is Houston, the home opener for OSU. That game is set for a 6 p.m. start at Boone Pickens Stadium.

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