Thursday night football? You betcha. I’m on board.
You get to watch an absolute thriller between Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, take a day to catch your breath, and then its time for OU/Texas. What’s a meal without an appetizer? Thursday games may drive coaches nuts because their weekly routine gets messed up, but its a treat for the fans and the schools can’t argue with the national TV exposure. All eyes were on Stillwater last night.
Those that watched saw something of a schizophrenic OSU squad. Stumbling out of the gates, the Pokes look rattled early. Maybe they were trying to hard to prove something after taking criticism for beating three puffballs. Maybe they were too busy admiring themselves in those black uniforms. Those are solid by the way. Maybe the Aggies were just the looser, more prepared team.
No it wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Cowboys deserve credit. Anytime you win, the glass has to be half-full. Brandon Weeden proved he can face adversity, brush it aside, and play inspired football. Being 26 years old probably helps, but this was a game Weeden needed. When you start the game 6 of 13 with two interceptions, and finish by completing 22 of your last 29 with two touchdowns, you’ve earned the respect of your teammates and hopefully the respect of everyone in orange.
The OSU defense gave up 535 yards of total offense. Improvement is needed, no doubt. But Bill Young’s unit also came up with four interceptions, none bigger than Shaun Lewis’ pick with under a minute to play. As long as the Pokes can keep forcing turnovers, they can hang with the best.
Cardiac Cowboys has become a popular phrase in Stillwater. No question OSU has a flair for the dramatic. But Thursday night, Clutch Cowboys sounds a bit better. How else can you describe coming back from a 14 point halftime deficit, making a game changing play in the closing seconds, and connecting for a game winning 41 yard field goal? Clutch fits…for now.
We’ve seen this before from OSU. Last season the Cowboys started 6-1, then cooled off and dropped three of their last six games. In 2008, the Pokes jumped out to a 7-0 record, only to lose four of their final six contests. The 2006 Cowboys showed promise after starting 3-0, but faltered in three of the next four games. Only time will tell if the optimism generated last night can last for an entire season. The schedule gets much more difficult as OSU will play three of its next four away from Boone Pickens Stadium. But let’s face facts here, the Big 12 South looks ripe for the taking. Oklahoma hasn’t exactly looked dominant, Texas has some serious chinks in its armor, and the Texas Tech offense doesn’t seem nearly as intimidating under Tommy Tuberville as it did under Mike Leach.
Way to early to crown any team, or make any bold prediction, but don’t sleep on these Cowboys just yet.