That was a twisting, bizarre, somewhat tedious (but never boring) win down in Austin for your 6-0 Cowboys. Here are my first ten (of many) thoughts from the game.
1. It looked like Weeden was trying to start a stalled car all game. I thought he forced a few throws to Blackmon and that the offense was sporadic (is that too generous?) at best. Yet, they still managed 38 points on the road against a top 25 team that had only once given up more than 20 this year. That’s pretty strong.
2. When’s the last time an OSU defensive line dominated (dare I say, won) a conference game for them? Has this ever happened? It did today. 8.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and a massive 4th quarter goal line stand…albeit because Fozzy fell down at the 1, but still!!.
3. Mack Brown was 13-0 after losing the Red River Rivalry. He was 70-0 when his team rushes for more than 200 yards. Both of those streaks ended today (h/t Ryan Oss).
4. The Gilbert kick return, my gosh. My wife probably thought a cat entered our home and I stepped on it with my baseball spikes on considering the noises I was making. I actually missed Fozzy’s answer because I was too busy replaying Gilbert going the distance (Dr. Saturday has both up on his blog right now). That TD ties the record for longest kick return TD in school with Barry Sanders. He did it three times.
5. Texas’ offense is like the antithesis of OSU’s. It feels like they’re always going in slo-motion. My buddy Sheets texted me in the first half and said, “I feel like Texas’s offense hasn’t accepted the fact that they no longer have Vince Young at quarterback.”
6. There were 2 points scored in the 4th quarter today. That HAS to be the weirdest stat of the game. Or how about the fact that there were only 5 total penalties. Or maybe that Texas had the ball for 39:18 and lost.
7. To the inevitable “but…but…but…we beat them by 40” OU backlash sure to come in the next few days, I have two things to say: 1. you didn’t go to Austin and torch them in their house (in fact, come to think of it, you’ve never done that) and 2. get back to me when you take your starters out with 5 minutes left in the first half of a conference game.
8. Caleb Lavey, Markelle Martin, Jamie Blatnick, and Gilbert combined for 40 tackles. Blatnick alone had 4 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. Overall, Ash was sacked 5 times and hurried 11. Is this an Alabama or LSU level defense? No, but it might be good enough to win the Big 12 and play for the national title.
9. Brandon Weeden was undefeated as a 26-year old, lost two games as a 27-year old, and is now undefeated as a 28-year old. I wouldn’t say he was great (by his standards) as 23-41 for 218 and 1 will probably convey, but he’s now 17-2 as a starter and that’s really all that matters.
10. Jeremy Smith was devastating. 7 rushes for 140 and 2 TD. A pretty strong showing in his first game over the century mark (and over 65 yards for that matter) all season. He did everything you wanted in the little time he had the ball. Somebody on Twitter asked me if I thought he would get moved up to the starting role. He won’t, but that’s not the point. The point is that when Todd Monken wants to give his Heisman candidate QB a break from throwing to his Biletnikoff-winning WR he can just let him hand it off to two All-Big 12 level running backs in the backfield.
11. (bonus) OSU is halfway to New Orleans. Mizzou, Baylor, Kansas State, Tech, Iowa State, and Bedlamgeddon. That’s it.
Tons more coming on the blog about this game in the next few days. Keep checking back or follow me on Twitter for updates.