Oklahoma State Game Rewind


Losing to Oklahoma State isn’t a big blow. As Big XII favorites, they were supposed to win the game – it would’ve been a big win for MSU, but it was never better than a 50% chance. Still, MSU could’ve made a better showing, particularly on offense. There are also some things the Bulldogs did well…it wasn’t a complete disaster. We’ll take a look at some of those things in this rewind…


  • The opening drive: 13 plays, 57 yards. Russell hit Hill, M. Johnson, Wilson and Perkins for 1st downs.
  • Geoff Collins defense forced OSU’s high-powered offense to punts on each of their first 5 possessions.
  • The inexperienced secondary held their own, only giving up 146 passing yards.
  • D’Runnya Wilson: 2 catches for 17 yards.
  • Dee Arrington and Zach Jackson stood out as a couple of unexpected guys who made some solid plays.
  • We blocked a field goal.
  • Baker Swedenburg had a pretty good day.
  • Josh Robinson: 8 rushes for 48 yards.
  • Dak Prescott moved the ball pretty well on two drives, however, it was 21-3 in the 4th quarter and OSU didn’t bring much pressure.


  • Joe Morrow with a holding call that killed the first drive in the red zone, forcing a field goal.
  • Throws to Jameon Lewis: 1st drive: Russell has a TD pass if he leads him, but it’s thrown behind him and nearly intercepted. 3rd drive: at midfield on 3rd & 7 Lewis is wide open across the middle but it’s thrown behind him falling incomplete. 4th quarter: Prescott throws a ball way behind him inside the red zone.
  • On Calhoun’s return of the blocked FG, he got to the 30 yard line and had 5 blockers – every one of them was looking at him running the ball and not looking for a man to block (it’s like, hey this is fun) THE OKLAHOMA STATE PLAYER PUSHES DENICO AUTRY OUT OF THE WAY BECAUSE HE’S WATCHING CALHOUN AND MAKES THE TACKLE. Also, Skinner had a clear path to clock the other OSU player who assisted on the tackle. That should have been a touchdown.
  • Jay Hughes, Tyler Russell, Jamerson Love and Justin Malone getting hurt.
  • 3rd down conversions: 2 for 16 – not gonna get it done.
  • Twice on 3rd and short Dak Prescott came in, but since everyone in the stadium knew what was coming he was easily stopped.
  • Devon Bell horribly shanks a 32-yard chip shot field goal.
  • State fell down at least 3 times in the backfield of their own volition.
  • The slobber all over Dan Mullen’s laminated play chart.

Game Changers:

  • Morrow’s holding call came on a play that looked to give MSU a 1st & Goal or 4th and inches, but instead pushed the offense back into a 3rd and very long.
  • On State’s second drive, Perkins was running all over the place (4 rushes for 48 yards) when Russell threw a poor pass that was deflected and intercepted. It was hard to tell whether or not he maintained control before stepping out of bounds – it could have gone either way.
  • With 6 minutes to go in the 1st half, State had the ball 1st & 10 on the OSU 46 after two big plays. The next play was a sack when the Cowboys brought a LB blitz, then a penalty for illegal substitution. That made it 2nd & 23 and the drive was effectively over. On Oklahoma State’s next drive, Walsh made some big plays with his legs and they broke through for a 7-3 lead.
  • After OSU scored their first touchdown Jameon Lewis responded with a 65 yard kick return, all the way to the 34 yard line. The offense stalled, however. Russell fell down in the backfield on 1st down and a holding call on Chales Siddoway on 3rd down. Drive ended on a turnover on downs.

Final thoughts:

Offense was the problem, plain and simple. The game plan wasn’t bad – State moved the ball pretty well on the first three drives but things stalled due to player execution rather than play-calling (inaccurate passes, INT, holding call). When Oklahoma State made defensive adjustments they had success and MSU didn’t follow suit with their own adjustments.

In particular, slow developing run plays killed drives. The two Dak Prescott runs stand out as everyone knew what was coming, and instead of getting to the line quickly he waited for things to develop and OSU’s D-line, which is pretty good, got into the backfield and stuffed the run. Perkins also was stuffed on a number of plays where a counter or draw was called allowing the Cowboys to penetrate and make a TFL. Outside of the 2nd drive (48 yards on 4 carries) Perk had 2 yards on 12 carries.

Perkins on the check down throw were the best plays of the day. He had 3 catches for 52 yards, each of them on 3rd down and resulting in a 1st down. We need to get the ball in our playmaker’s hands: Perk, Lewis, Holloway, etc.

As much as we can complain about the offensive play-calling, State had a chance to take this game to the wire but the execution was not there. The holding calls, poor throws, the blocked FG return, etc. There were plenty of chances to get points but it didn’t happen. You could make an argument that State could have won if they had executed. Still, you can’t expect the defense to play that well every game – the offense needs a combination of better execution and play-calling.

I’m pretty happy with the defense. You enter a game with a young secondary against what is supposed to be one of the best wide receiver corps in the country, then lose two players to injury during the game, and still perform exceptionally. They did have a rough 3rd quarter, but if a couple of long drives the entire game are all you’re going to give up against Oklahoma State then I’ll take it every time – and so would any other team in America.

There is some work to do for sure in the coming weeks. Alcorn State should be an easy win but look out as SEVEN FCS teams beat FBS teams this weekend including #25 Oregon State and Kansas State. So we’ve got to get better against them and be fully prepared for a HUGE game on the Plains. The Auburn game is a huge game every year, but with a schedule like the one State is up against this year, it’s even bigger.