I’m still reeling, you guys. Four hours of sitting in a press box not being able to emote anything but what was seeping out my fingers onto my keyboard was almost too much to handle.
I don’t know if I can do that again.
OSU rolled mightily with the defending champs tonight, though, and it was everything the orangest orange fan could have thought it would be coming in.
A couple of plays go differently — specifically the last Walsh fumble — and we’re talking about 8-0 as a real thing for this squad. I couldn’t have been more impressed with what transpired.
Let’s get to the thoughts.
1. The reins are secure: Mike Gundy can walk all the way up I-35 with the crazy arms dance tonight if he wants because he’s made magic from the most depleted roster in the country. If Kliff Kingsbury is making $3.5 million, Gundy should be making $6.5 million.
You could sort of tell in his post game presser that he had higher expectations than he let on coming into the game. He knew that if he got anything from any of his freshmen and sophomores he could at least throw a game at FSU and he got way more than he expected.
I thought this season would say a lot about all three coaches and if Game 1 is any indication Gundy’s going to be dancing all the way to Stillwater National Bank (or wherever he banks).
2. The Freek wasn’t overhyped: I don’t know how to explain Tyreek Hill other than to say that both his speed and JW’s arm are utterly breathtaking in person — and not for the same reason.
He tossed a cool 278 all-purpose yards at his teammates who threw just 292 combined back at him. Print the t-shirts, (re)name the children, sell the jerseys. We have ourselves a world-class offensive performer.
3. The defensive front is borderline special: I’m trying as hard as I can to not let the hyperbole engulf me but that was an All-Big 12 defensive front from OSU tonight.
All four of them.
Florida State starts not one, not two…but five seniors on an offensive line that didn’t see a score closer than two TDs until the title game last year and OSU made them look, at times, quite soft.
Couldn't be more impressed with Oklahoma State's D-front. That's 5 seniors on FSU's O-line and they've taken it to them.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 31, 2014
Emmanuel Ogbah treated Jameis Winston like I treat my eight-month-old (however he wanted) and Jimmy Bean threw in two tackles for a loss of seven total yards.
This was a recurring theme:
Here’s a different look:
Here is Emmanuel Ogbah being an absolute boss: pic.twitter.com/1NflNUs2bi
— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) August 31, 2014
The only problem? I’m just not sure I know how to live in a world where OSU’s defensive line is a stalwart and its quarterback play is shakier than Michael J. Fox after a venti at Starbucks.[1. It’s okay, he jokes about it, too. Not too soon.]
4. Pistols Firing acquired exclusive footage of Glenn Spencer’s agent: This is what he was doing tonight after the game:
Spencer took four seniors (one of whom was playing in the Big 10 last season), four juniors, and three sophomores and just threw haymakers at the Heisman winner and his cast of characters all night.
Winston didn’t even throw a TD until his 39th pass of the night and a FSU team that averaged 4.25 points per drive last season was held to 2.0 per drive on Saturday night. Not a masterpiece but considering the pieces involved, pretty dang close.
5. Special teams was crushing: Let’s recap (or skip to No. 6 if you actually enjoy life).
1. Missed 42-yard FG in the first quarter
2. Botched punt that led to a turnover at midfield and FSU TD in the third quarter
3. Kip Smith catch-and-run punt like he was playing rugby in the fourth that led to another FSU TD
Gundy said in his presser something I never thought I’d hear from him.
“Our inability to punt the ball like we needed to, based on just proper execution, is what — really what cost us the game.”
6. Let’s talk about JW for just a second: I want to break this out into a separate post because I’m feeling all of the things but one thing I know is that JW Walsh had the JW Walshiest game in the history of JW Walsh games.
15/27 for 201 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT is his forever line. Throw in 11 rushes for 51 yards, 2 TDs, and a fumble and you have the holy grail of Walsh lines.
The problem — and I promise we’ll talk about this more later on — is that when Walsh plays you automatically take away some of your biggest threats on offense (Ateman, Seales, Sheperd, and the rest of the deep threats). That’s a problem.
He did run hard and make plays at the end but the offense becomes so closed off that I almost feel bad for the vitriol Yurcich receives because of it.
I said in the first half it was like watching a F4 fighter jet being flown by a nine-year-old.
7. The trust OSU has in finding its in-game rhythm is amazing: I’m not going to lie here. I freaked out when FSU went up 10-0 on the pick-six in the first half.
What OSU fan didn’t?
And yet nobody on OSU’s team hit the panic button. Not Gundy, not Yurcich, not JW, and definitely not Spencer. That’s a program culture thing and Gundy has built the trust necessary for such a thing to take place.
Because of it OSU can play ball with any team in the country — really an incredible thing when you think about it.
8. Florida State ain’t Savannah State: All I saw from OSU folks in the first half (and for part of the second) was about how stupid the play calling was and how OSU should doing this and that and MY GOSH THIS FSU TEAM HASN’T LOST IN ALMOST 21 MONTHS!
They’re the champs! The best team in the country two years running!
Being on the field before the game I was aghast at how much bigger and faster they were, too. I mean they were built like what you imagine title teams are built like. OSU looked like a peewee squad by comparison.
So for the Cowboys to go out and roll and take shots and nearly pull off what would have been just the first takedown of a defending champ since 1998, well, it would have been immense.
Since 1990, only one defending national champ (Michigan in 1998) has lost its season opener.
— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) August 31, 2014
I know nobody is into moral victories and you can call it whatever you want but that was [Les Miles voice] a dang good football team I watched in all black on Saturday in Arlington.
9. It’s hard to overstate the Tyreek feelings: I sat up top in the press box during the game by a bunch of national writers just trying to keep my mouth shut and my OSU feelings inside my body so I overheard a lot of National College Football Guy Chatter.
The majority of it was something along the lines of “holy crap the things Tyreek Hill is going to do to Kansas and Iowa State are going to set all the alarms off at the FCC and as a result all future OSU games are going to be rated NC-17.”
He couldn’t have been any more perfect.
10. The freshmen did not freshmen: By my count here are the 14 freshmen or redshirt freshmen who played:
Justin Phillips (LB)
Taylor Lewis (CB)
James Washington (WR)
Dylan Harding (S)
Jerel Morrow (S)
Tre Flowers (S)
Gyasi Akem (LB)
Chris Lacy (WR)
Ramon Richards (CB)
Juwan Offray (CB)
Dawson Bassett (TE)
Kaleb Smith (LS)
Vincent Taylor (DT)
Vili Leveni (DE)
I loved what Gundy said afterwards about his youngsters.
“There was not any fear in any of their eyes. We had tremendous leadership from our veteran players, and our freshmen played. They played hard. And they made some mistakes, but they made mistakes going full speed. And that’s the future of your program.”
“The guys didn’t have the deer-in-the-headlights look at all. You know, we played a great football team. But they stood toe to toe.”
The way he said it, I thought I was going to jump out of my seat and start doing pushups in the media room which would have been as unprofessional as it gets but I nearly did it anyway.
11. Win or lose, I freaking love that game: I said it before the game and I’ll say it again after — I’ll take that loss to FSU 100 times out of 100 over a 84-0 win over Savannah State.
Gundy looked like he was ready to win the Big 12 after playing with the Noles so it’s hard to imagine this not being a springboard for what could be a surprising, outstanding season in Stillwater.
Do you have issues? Does Brandon Weeden have a good arm? Yes, you have issues but the confidence your freshmen and sophomores got from banging Jameis around for 70+ plays and coming within a possession of going to OT with the best college football team on the planet[1. By record only right now.] is immeasurable.
What a game.
What a night.
What a season?
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