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10 Thoughts on OSU and UTSA

Tons on Daxx, that putrid offensive line, and what the future holds for this team.

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Oklahoma State came away with what Mike Gundy referred to late on Saturday night as a “sloppy” and “ugly” 43-13 win over the University of Texas.[1. at San Antonio.]

No argument here.

OSU was mediocre for much of the night and played more like a team about to lead its fan base through a wilderness of defibrillators and blood-thinning medicine for the next nine conference games than a team on the cusp of challenging Baylor and OU for the Big 12 crown.

Things can change, though, and they usually do with a large group of 18-22 year olds.

But enough about the future. Let’s talk about tonight. Oh and for those of you who had under 55 I am so, so sorry. Talking to you, Amilian.

1. Daxx is above average: That’s as good as I can do, honestly. He has a good arm, that’s not in question, but so does Jamarcus Russell.

The frustrating thing about Daxx’s night is that he never seemed to look in the -4 yards to 45 yards range on his throws. It was either throws behind Desmond Roland on the flare or as far as he could throw it downfield.

How about some more of this:

I’m not going to write him off after a game against UTSA but he didn’t make me change my opinion that a healthy JW would be better off for OSU than a healthy No. 12.[1. Especially against big boy teams.]

Gundy called him “very average” at halftime which I thought was probably about right — he got better at the end.

He’s like Chelf but if Chelf thought he had Weeden’s arm and never checked down. You can work with that, but you have a lot of work to do.

2. More disconcerting tonight was the offensive line: During Desmond Roland’s postgame interview with Fox Sports Southwest he said OSU’s offense needed to do a better job of keeping Daxx off his back.

The same could be said of Roland.

Gundy noted after the game that for the OSU offense to move the running game has to be much better. That starts with the big fellas up front because a 3.3-yard rushing average isn’t going to cut it.

Also, I’m team whatever team this is…

3. That defense: I’m sorry, just give me a moment. As a lifelong Oklahoma State fan I can’t get over the fact that OSU has a defense that’s going to keep it in every game it plays.

UTSA rushed 35 times for 73 yards tonight. Glenn Spencer walked the sidelines for most of the second half making this face:

4. Yurcich, though: One of my college roommates texted me during the second half and we had the following exchange…

Him: “If I was Spencer I’d constantly be pissed at Yurcich.”
Me: “He probably is.”
Him: “I can imagine Spencer looking over at Yurcich after his fifth 3 and out and Yurcich just shrugging his shoulders.”
Me: “Spencer probably thought about punching him.”
Him: “At least Monken would have given Spencer the finger.”

/and scene

On one hand I do feel bad for Yurcich — he had to follow Holgy and Monk, two of the most beloved figures of the Mike Gundy Era, and try to top what they did.

And now he’s trying to do that with a QB who hasn’t played since the first Obama administration and a new offensive line coach.

But on the other hand I don’t feel bad for him…

Side note: OSU had eight (!) three-and-out possessions tonight. It had 29 total in 13 games in 2011.

5. Is David Glidden ever not open? I saw some folks complaining about dropped passes in the first half but hey, that’s what you get when you’re one of the three fields in the country built going east-west.

Chris Lacy probably has a hole in his retina from trying to catch that TD pass but yeah, keep ripping on those WRs.

Anyway, back to Glidden — this is about as open as a receiver can get and it seems to happen to him 10 times a game.

I’m consistently stunned by the depth at WR and RB on this squad. Other than Todd Gurley and two other randomly selected humans (don’t even have to be men) is there a better three-person combo at RB in the country than Childs-Tyreek-Roland?

6. The Freek did not go: Anybody else concerned about the lack of production from Tyreek in the last two games? He had 13 touches for 53 all-purpose yards tonight and seemed to be limping around for a lot of the game.

I get that teams aren’t going to kick to him (four punt returns for 12 yards and zero kick returns) but Yurcich should be eschewing basically all of his other responsibilities (personal, professional, and otherwise) to figure out 10 plays a game where he has 5-6 yards of space around him.

Also, this was amazing (and you can tack on one more game to the total):

7. Different offense with Daxx: Amilian pointed this out to me but if you can somehow harness this offense with Daxx — because he feels completely out of control when he drops back sometimes — you can be competitive.

It’s certainly more wide open.

I was gasping for air on some of his first-half throws but I guess you’re better off having to work backwards from where Daxx is at than trying to feed JW Tom Emanski DVDs to get over that 20-yard hump.

8. The last two drives could be a harbinger: Daxx seemed to finally find his rhythm on OSU’s final two drives of the game.

You know, where he stopped trying to prove to the world that he can, in fact, throw it over Uncle Rico’s mountain, and started finding guys like Marcell Ateman, David Glidden, and Austin Hays on normal, basic 12-yard passes.

This is a boss throw, by the way.

This was me after that throw:

The first half of Daxx reminded me of the crazy guy in college who never played video games and when you played him in Madden he just ran his QB straight back for 25 yards and turned around and flung it as far as he could.

That’s fine against UTSA. Not so much against OU.

9. More Daxx! Hey, he’s the story. We know what the defense is, we know the running backs are good, we know the offensive line isn’t that good, we know OSU has more solid wide receivers than Bob Stoops has excuses for Joe Mixon — we don’t know about Daxx.

Here are the yards gained on each of his 16 completions:

36 | 8 | 17 | 33 | 32 | 18 | 19 | 4 | 43 | 43 | 22 | 8 | 5 | 7 | 14 | 6

A couple of things about that. First, as I said earlier, you can tell he settled in and stopped trying to throw the ball through Gallagher-Iba Arena late in the game.

Second, there have only been two games ever played by Big 12 QBs in which they completed 16 or fewer passes on 30 or more attempts for over 300 yards. Now there have been three.

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10. Non-conference play was a success: We can whine about Yurcich and talk the QB situation into the ground (and we do) but the reality is that OSU did exactly what it needed to do in non-conference play: Go 2-1 and play a good game against FSU.

The real season starts in 10 days against Aviators Boy and his cream puff run defense on a Thursday night (Throwback Thursday night, in fact).

This team, boring as it was in the last two games, is going to do some crazy exciting stuff and some crazy stupid stuff. As I told Carson Cunningham earlier this week, though, it’s a team that’s playing for a 2015 Big 12 title.

That’s important to remember, especially when it comes to quarterback play.

The 2-1 record will play, Seales, Sheperd, Ateman, Roland, Childs, and (especially) The Freek can get after it, and the defense is all kinds of fun.

I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen thus far and pretty fired up for conference play. This squad probably has one stinker in it and one monster upset lurking.[1. Dear football gods, let it be in Norman.]

I can’t wait to watch it all unfold.

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