Oklahoma State made a statement on Saturday with an authoritative 43-13 drubbing of UT-San Antonio in Boone Pickens Stadium in a matchup where many had put the Cowboys on upset alert. Stay tuned in for full game coverage coming soon.
Positive Takeaways: Oklahoma State's defense was back in its Week One form with a largely dominant performance against UTSA on Saturday. Two of UTSA's scoring drives came to be mostly because of special teams mistakes handing the Roadrunners free points, not sustained drives. OSU's D made life exceedingly difficult on a solid Roadrunners squad, particularly in the first half. After the first two quarters of play, UTSA had managed just 84 total yards and three points. OSU's defense ended the game with a fitting exclamation point with a 50-yard pick-6 touchdown return from corner Ashton Lampkin to put the icing on the 43-13 final. Another big plus came courtesy of Ben Grogan. The sophomore kicker has been wildly inconsistent in his career so far but he was 3-for-3 on field goals on Saturday, including a 47-yarder that rang true off the post as time expired in the second quarter to give OSU a 24-3 lead. He was also 4-for-4 on extra points.
Negative Takeaways: Daxx Garman was not overly impressive but he was far from bad. He continued to struggle to adjust to live-action game speed and routinely failed to get through his check downs with efficiency but it's common sense that it has a lot to do with not starting a game in five years. Yes, he has a big arm and it was put on display often on deep balls but his mid-range passing game is up-and-down at this point, which was probably why he had such a bright green light to chuck it deep. On the bright side, Garman had a strong finish in the fourth quarter and started to look more comfortable with his short-field options. The OSU offensive line was also spotty and, in fact, bad for stretches of the game and it has become a theme through the past two games, particularly in run blocking, and it will need to be addressed.
What It Means: UTSA isn't as good as most people thought but the Cowboys had a lot to do with that. The Roadrunners had won six out of their past seven games coming in but they looked very much like a team in their fourth year of existence against the much deeper, much larger Cowboys. OSU's defensive front was dominant and continues to show it might be one of the country's best front lines. It's a good win with some big positives but there are some glaring things to address before Texas Tech strolls into town.
Oklahoma State Defensive MVP: Michigan transfer Josh Furman was solid in his first two games for OSU but Saturday was easily his best performance. Furman was all over the place in the UTSA backfield, hauling in six tackles and a team-best two sacks. He also added a pass breakup. This fifth-year senior's experience and maturity is evident as he has taken almost no time to get up to speed in Glenn Spencer's system.
OSU Offensive MVP: Desmond Roland was a workhorse in his first game back from injury, carrying the ball 21 times for 95 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Making his effort more impressive was the spotty passing game and iffy run blocking he had to support him, resulting in a lot of his yards coming after contact. Roland wouldn't go down without a fight.
Up Next: The Cowboys have a week and a half off to prep for their Big 12 opener against Texas Tech on a nationally televised Thursday-night showcase on Sept. 25. The Red Raiders dropped to 2-1 on Saturday with a 49-28 loss at home against Arkansas.