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OSU Is Locked and Loaded

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Photo Attribution: KT King

I wish I could put on paper the string of words that sailed through my head the afternoon I found about the NCAA’s takedown of one Dez Bryant. But I try to keep things clean here on PFB and after ripping Todd Monken for making OSU look bad I suppose it would be rather hypocritical of me to do the same. Even though OSU has made it extremely clear that I am in no way (and never will be) associated with the program. I digress.

I knew that season was as good as over when Dez stopped playing. The well from which they were drawing game-changing go-routes and electrifying punt returns had dried up with one swift stack of litigious papers from the NCAA.

When Justin Blackmon suffered a similar fate (and by “similar fate” I simply mean he, too, missed the second half of the Missouri game in his junior year at OSU because that’s about where the comparisons end) last Saturday when he was (or wasn’t?) concussed, my first thought was, “oh, well I hope he’s back for Baylor, I’m looking forward to watching Isaiah Anderson and Michael Harrison play this second half.”

How far the program has traversed.

I’m not trying to say I’m excited about Blackmon missing games, only that it doesn’t drive a stake into your season like it once would have. After the Texas game, Mike Gundy said something that really intrigued me:

I said this to the team yesterday, we may be getting close enough so that everybody can relax and just go play. So many years, we relied on two or three guys making all the plays, and if they didn’t play well enough, you’ll get beat.

He’s right too. Now this team isn’t Bama-deep or Death Valley-loaded, but who is?

Lose your starting safety, starting corner, starting left guard, and #3 (or #4 or #5) receiver? No worries, just plug people in and the well-oiled machine of offensive production and defensive prowess keeps moving forward towards that finish line on Bourbon Street.

Take Justin Gilbert for example (I think my feelings on him are well-documented at this point). When you’re using players like Justin Gilbert to fill backup roles because of injuries, you’re moving in the right direction as a program. Hell, Gilbert would have been the best defensive player on about half of OSU’s teams in the 90s and probably a few in the early 2000s as well, and he wasn’t even starting at the beginning of this year.

Couple this unprecedented depth with Gundy having a plan and your all-continent quarterback and you’ve got something most fans would mildly injure their first-born for: a shot at a national title.

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