Connect with us


Grades: Several A+ Performances for America’s Greatest Homecoming, But Big Plays Still an Issue for Defense

On Ollie, the O-line, defense, homecoming and uniforms



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Oklahoma State capped America’s Greatest Homecoming with a 45-13 win against Cincinnati on Saturday night.

With an event that special and a performance to rival it, there were plenty of good grades to hand out, but there are still some needed improvements before Bedlam. Here are grades from OSU’s homecoming victory.

Ollie Gordon: A+

I’ve avoided including Ollie Gordon in my grades because it seems too obvious, but holy Barry Sanders.

Sometimes there are students who ace every assignment and test, plus do all the extra credit, and they have that absurd 104% in a class. Ollie Gordon is that overachieving student, but instead of making a class look too easy, he’s doing that with Division-I football as a sophomore.

Gordon rushed for 271 yards and two touchdowns, while averaging 10.8 yards a carry, on Saturday night. I struggle putting up numbers like that when I play NCAA Football ’14.

Right now, Barry Sanders is the only other former running back Gordon is being compared to, as they’re the only two in OSU history that have rushed for at least 250 yards in consecutive games.

Offensive Line: A+

Again, these guys got the brunt of everything the last two years, but now, I believe they’re the biggest reason behind this dramatic turnaround for the Cowboys.

The OSU offensive line didn’t allow a sack again for the second game in a row and had only three quarterback hurries.

The O-line had its toughest task yet while blocking for Gordon against a stellar Cincinnati front but still dominated. The Bearcats entered the game giving up only 100.7 rushing yards a game — 18th best in the country — and hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Gordon nearly tripled that marker with 271 rushing yards by himself, and OSU had 315 as a team — averaging 8.5 yards an attempt.

Defense vs. Big Plays: B-

OSU’s defense giving up big chunks of yards on one play has been an issue all season, but it’s a problem that does seem to be getting better, or at least it was Saturday night.

The Cowboys gave up four plays of over 20 yards — two passes and two runs. The first was a 53-yard pass on Cincinnati’s first possession, but luckily for OSU, the drive ended with a missed field goal and no points.

Next game, the Sooners will convert plays like that into points nearly every time and also be able to execute deeper shots better with Dillon Gabriel behind center with plenty of weapons.

Both of Cincinnati’s touchdowns were from plays of over 20 yards — a 63-yard run in the first quarter and a 21-yard pass in the fourth.

A B- doesn’t seem bad, but with the same effort in Bedlam, a B- won’t be good enough and could take a drastic dip without any change.

America’s Greatest Homecoming: A+

My family took a trip to Stillwater on Friday night for Walkaround and experiencing homecoming never gets old.

I’ve now seen hundreds of house decks, and I’m still in awe of every single one I see. There were ones with working Paddle People, a mirror image of a picture our photographer Devin Wilber took and even odes to the O’Colly — where I spent most of my college days.

The Cowboys’ performance in homecoming games could also earn an A+, and it was obviously no different in 2023, as OSU won its third homecoming matchup in a row.

It’s an event even the ESPN2 broadcast continually raves about and flashes to throughout the game. The specialness of America’s Greatest Homecoming isn’t just based on biasness and attending OSU.

Tri-Color Uniforms: B

This may be the first uniform combo of 2023 that I wouldn’t give an A+ for, which is why I haven’t included uni grades. But this tri-color homecoming getup just didn’t do it for me and was my least favorite so far this season.

Tri-color combos are something someone either loves or hates, and they have to be executed almost perfectly. I was a fan of the tri-color road combo at West Virginia, but the white-orange-black Saturday felt off. It was actually the first time ever that OSU went with this combo.

I loved the helmet and throwback Pete logo, and honestly like every piece of the uniform, just not all together. There’s still no way any OSU uniform combo could get less than a B because they’re all at least above average. It’s always better than wearing crimson-crimson-white or crimson-white-white every game.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media