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Daily Bullets (Sept. 20): Shane Illingworth, Cowboys D Save the Day and Matthew Wolff is Your U.S. Open Leader

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We finally got some football but it wasn’t the game we all wanted or expected.

The Pokes were able to hold on — thanks to a strong showing on defense and a true frosh QB — and head into Big 12 play without a loss. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest headlines and interesting tidbits from an eventful Saturday.

OSU Bullets

Marshall’s 10 Thoughts were great. No. 1 really sticks out. We’ve spent so much time comparing OSU’s 2020 season to either 2011 or 2017, but its season opener recalled unwanted memories of 2014. The good news is that if Spencer is JW and Illingworth is Rudolph, Gundy may have found him much faster.

• The Cowboys secondary earned high marks in Berry Tramel’s report card for mostly containing a pretty talented group of Tulsa wideouts.

“Tulsa produced few yards after contact, particularly when OSU defensive backs were involved. Tanner McCalister, Tre Sterling, Rodarius Williams and Kolby Harvell-Peel made a variety of open-field stops. That’s one way to hold a team to 275 total yards and seven points.”

Shane Illingworth didn’t look like a true freshman who hadn’t practiced in two weeks. He was poised and confident, and that made the difference for OSU.

• OSU’s offensive line play was less than impressive and far from inspiring any confidence that it can hold up to Big 12 defenses starting next week as Bill Haisten pointed out.

During the summer, the Cowboys lost two returning offensive-line starters from the roster. Obviously, there was the potential for a downward turn in the quality of blocking, but, wow — this pronounced of a drop was not expected.

For most of the last seven seasons, while having a plethora of NFL-level performers at the skill positions, OSU has been below average up front. The first live look at the 2020 Cowboy line was not impressive. [Tulsa World]

• In other OSU news, don’t look now but Matthew Wolff is your U.S. Open leader heading into Sunday.

The former Cowboy will tee off at 1:30 p.m. along with Bryson DeChambeau in the final twosome of Sunday’s round at Winged Foot. He holds a two-stroke lead over DeChambeau.

 


Non-OSU Bullets

• How to declutter your digital world. [NYTimes]
• I loved this blog post discussing the things that divide us and the question we don’t ask nearly often enough: “Is that the most important thing?” [Seth’s Blog]

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