Four Quarters: Chuba, Knowles, and Dru Brown

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Phillip discusses his thoughts on OSU’s 34-16 loss in Bedlam

For the fifth year in a row, the Oklahoma State Cowboys find themselves on the losing side of Bedlam. Only, this was arguably the worst one, with OSU falling 34-16 to the Oklahoma Sooners.

We’ll get to the four quarters in a minute, but I want to start with this:

I understand Oklahoma State fans’ frustrating. I watch every game. Hell afterwards I have to stay sober enough to write about them and then turn around a day later when I’d rather not think about it, and talk about the game for a podcast. Trust me when I say what’s coming; I hate losing in Bedlam.

But you can’t just lump every year with all of the others. Oklahoma State came into this game without Tylan Wallace (which showed), without Spencer Sanders and the quarterback run game that was so vital to this team’s four-game winning streak. Ignoring those facts, and the fact that Oklahoma is one of the 10 best programs in the country, is just ludicrous.

I know the statement “it could be worse” doesn’t make anyone feel any better, but it’s true. You could be Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. How would you like to have Top-15 recruiting classes… and still lose every year to you biggest rival? How would you like to be Arkansas right now, who had to fire a coach because he kept getting blown out by mediocre G5 teams?

I’m tired of losing in Bedlam so often. I wish this series was closer under Gundy. But I’m not going to run him out of town because he can’t win one game. I’m not firing coaches after Saturday’s performance.

Instead, I’m getting excited about a bowl game for a 14th straight season. I’m getting excited about a team lead by a more experienced Spencer Sanders and an even more improved defense next season. I’m excited for an offensive coordinator in his second year that showed some really fun stuff in year one. I’m excited for an offensive coordinator that worked wonders this year, in year two. I’m getting excited that maybe, just maybe, the best is yet to come for this Oklahoma State program.

Maybe I’m crazy. But so be it. I bleed Orange.

On to the four quarters.

First Quarter: Chuba is something special

I had a friend who’s an OU fan text me during Oklahoma State’s first drive of the game; “Dayum Chuba fast.”

It reminded me how much fun it’s been to see him all year, mostly because not every college football fan has had the pleasure to do so. In fact, most haven’t. I know Oklahoma pretty much bottled him up after the first quarter, limiting him to a total of 104 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

But man, as sad as I am that he didn’t hit the 2,000 yard mark during the regular season (thanks Gundy!), I’m more sad that we likely have just one more game to admire and enjoy the Canadian Wonder in America’s Brightest Orange.

Seriously. The guy hit second place in single-season rushing yards in Oklahoma State history in the second quarter, and will finish there with 1,936 yards plus whatever he earns in the bowl game. The only one who has done it better was Barry Sanders, and there is NO ONE better.

There’s still one game to go — and destination and opponent are still VERY much up in the air — but I’m going to cherish the upcoming bowl game and look back on this season with a smile all because of that speedy Canadian.

Second Quarter: You had to see it coming

If someone walked up to you and said “I’m going to punch you in the face,” you would do something to protect yourself right?

Well, OSU got warned and then stood there like a dummy.

OU has a lot of plays, but one they run more than any other, the GT (guard-tackle) pull. OSU knew that coming in. It’s a bread-and-butter of the Oklahoma offense. They have run it all season.

All. Season.

OSU had no answer all night.

It’s not just being told once that something is going to happen, it’s having 11 game-tapes worth of examples, and still having no response or answer what-so-ever.

A lot of things happened in this game, but that might be the one thing that cost OSU more than any other. More than kicking field goals when you needed touchdowns. More than forcing the ball to Chuba when the OU defense was daring you to throw. More than anything.

Credit to the defensive players. I know the tackling got sloppy at the end of the game. That’s understandable. I understand it’s hard to tackle Jalen Hurts. He’s a bulldozer of a man. But to be honest, they performed well.

The knock here goes to the defensive coaching staff and Jim Knowles. I’m not out on him, he’s shown a ton of growth this season and is a big part of why OSU will finish the regular season 8-4. But tonight was by far one of the Knowles’ and the rest of the defensive staff’s worst performances of the year.

Third Quarter: I want more Brown

This isn’t a comment about the 2018 season or a shot at anyone. It’s simply a statement of how I feel:

I really wish we got to see more of Dru Brown. He’s a nice QB with some ability who made some impressive throws the last two weeks.

He wasn’t perfect in this game. The interception that wasn’t an interception was completely on him. But he was 23/32 for 207 and an INT at the end of the game. There were some overthrows and he still bails on the pocket too early (though he stayed in a few times), but man, I kind of like him. That hurdle (I hate hurdles) was impressive.

I know Spencer Sanders has a chance to be healthy in time for the bowl game, but I hope they let Brown play. I know we joke about “loyalty” and “guys who stick around” a lot, but he deserves the chance to play one more game for Oklahoma State. I hope it comes in the bowl game.

Fourth Quarter: It’s Bedlam

If you listen to the podcast, or just listen to me at all, there’s one thing I always say about Bedlam; throw out the record books.

When these two teams face off, I don’t care what the stat sheets show for the season. I don’t care whose roster is better than whos. All I care about is the game, because we’ve seen weird stuff happen.

Oklahoma State came into the game tied for 49th nationally in turnovers gained with 17. They had zero. Oklahoma came into this game as the 126th rated team in the country in turnovers gained with just nine. They forced the only two in the game on Saturday, and nearly had a third.

Chuba Hubbard, WHO NEVER FUMBLES, had two in the game that were, luckily, recovered.

Dillon Stoner, the most sure hands on the receiving roster, dropped a perfect pass in the first quarter. Something he really hadn’t done since taking over the primary receiver role from Tylan Wallace.

It’s an Oklahoma team that, per my friend I mentioned earlier ,”picked the right week to play a complete game.”

That’s Bedlam.

It’s not an excuse, though some will claim it to be. It’s years of watching this rivalry. It’s enough instances of the two teams not playing like they normally do throughout the season.

This is Bedlam.

Overtime: I’ll say it again

I said it during the West Virginia game and I thought it over and over again during Bedlam; Oklahoma State REALLY missed the quarterback run. Yes, they were able to use it a few times with Dru Brown, but t never felt like the threat it was with Sanders.

It’s something I will enjoy having as a weapon again in 2020.

Second Overtime: It hurts (no pun intended)

Seeing how good Oklahoma is and how ahead they are of OSU just makes the run of games from 2009 to 2014 even more frustrating.

I will believe to my grave that Oklahoma State would have won Bedlam if Mike Gundy had started Brandon Weeden instead of “Weekend at Bernies-ing” Zac Robinson.

Oklahoma didn’t lead Bedlam until the end of overtime in 2012. OSU absolutely should have won that game.

You will never convince me that OU was a better team than OSU in 2013. Stoops just outcoached Gundy. Yet the Cowboys were a dropped INT on a cold day away from winning.

Now? Let’s be honest, OU is a more talented and deeper team with a better offensive mind running the show.

Again, it doesn’t mean I want Gundy run out of town. You show me the guy that is unequivocally better offensively than Lincoln Riley and we might have the conversation, but otherwise shut up. But it is frustrating to look back and feel like OSU’s best chances to win Bedlam are behind them.

Source: Cowboys Ride For Free