Oklahoma State Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Kansas Jayhawks Game

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2012

Oklahoma State Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Kansas Jayhawks Game

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    The Oklahoma State Cowboys went to Lawrence, Kansas this weekend and braved more than just the Jayhawk defense.

    Oklahoma State was met with terrible weather and a game delay due to lightning, which seemed to cause the offense to sputter more than expected.

    That said, a win's a win, especially in those conditions. Let's look at how the starters graded out against Kansas.

J.W. Walsh, QB

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    Final Grade: B+

    As a passer, Walsh's grade probably drops a few points because he was off-target throughout much of the game, especially on deep balls.

    That said, he was able to run the ball effectively and made enough easy throws to get the Cowboys the win. I'm also giving him the benefit of the doubt on some plays due to the weather.

    All in all, a solid day at the office for the young quarterback.

Joseph Randle, RB

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    Final Grade: B-

    Randle only averaged 2.9 yards per carry this Saturday. 

    That's a terrible number, especially for someone with Randle's ability. However, there was almost no space for the back to run through and the Kansas Jayhawks were stacking the box early and often.

    Look for Randle to bounce back next week after a less-than-stellar game this weekend.

Tracy Moore, WR

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    Final Grade: C

    Coming into the season, Tracy Moore was targeted as the most likely candidate for the next great Oklahoma State receiver.

    He's delivered on the promise in some games while being pedestrian in others. The Kansas game was mostly the latter. 

Charlie Moore, WR

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    Final Grade: A

    The revolving door that is the Pokes' top receiver continues to spin as Charlie Moore led the team in yards this week.

    Oklahoma State lacks the big-time receiver it's had for so long, but when so many different guys are stepping up each week, it's hard to complain.

    Moore comes out as a the best wideout this week, but next week, it will likely be someone else.

Isaiah Anderson

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    Final Grade: B-

    That lack of accuracy on deep balls I talked about earlier is the reason Anderson's grade isn't higher.

    He beat his man deep on multiple occasions, but J.W. Walsh just couldn't get him the ball consistently.

    Anderson only had one catch, but he was breaking open ofter on Saturday and probably should have at least two or three 20-plus yard catches. 

Josh Stewart, WR

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    Final Grade: B+

    Commentators for Oklahoma State games won't stop reminding us that Josh Stewart and J.W. Walsh were high school teammates, as well as roommates after Walsh's family took in Stewart.

    It looks like that connection has translated well to the field, as Stewart looked to Walsh's bailout option on many plays. He might've not put up the flashiest numbers, but he was always where Walsh needed him to be.

Parker Graham, OT

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    Final Grade: C-

    There was something wrong with the offensive line against Kansas. Maybe it was the conditions or maybe it was the Jayhawks loading up the box, but something was off.

    Graham anchors the side of the line that usually opens the biggest holes, but he just didn't do it this week. Hopefully he forgets this game quickly, because he was often out of place. 

Jonathan Rush, OG

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    Brandon Rush: C-

    Rush's grade is much like Graham's in that neither opened many holes.

    I did see one or two larger holes come from the left side, but more often than not, Rush and Graham lost their battles at the line of scrimmage. 

Evan Epstein, C

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    Final Grade: C+

    Along with the rest of the line, Epstein didn't have his usual great game.

    That said, the few times I thought Randle had a chance to break off a big run came from holes opened by Epstein and Lane Taylor. It's not much, but it's enough to see his grade raise a bit.

Lane Taylor, OG

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    Final Grade: C+

    You can basically copy and paste everything I said about Evan Epstein over to Taylor's page to sum up his day.

Daniel Koenig, OT

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    Final Grade: F

    Daniel Koenig was average most of the day, much like his fellow linemates, but a few plays drastically dropped his grade.

    The first was a blown gadget play that saw him completely miss a defender, which led to a big tackle for loss.

    The second was a play wherein he completely missed a blitzing linebacker and let his QB take a huge hit that could've easily been avoided.

Cooper Basset, DE

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    Final Grade: C+

    Bassett was mostly invisible against the Jayhawks this weekend, but he forced a terrible pass that got Kansas off the field late in the fourth quarter. 

    He was active throughout, but didn't make any other big plays.

Nigel Nicholas, DT

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    Final Grade: A

    Nicholas was a force throughout the game against the run. He recorded seven solo tackles, and most of those were to stop a runner before he could get started.

    He also had a big sack that came right after an Alex Elkins sack that really energized the Pokes late.

Tyler Johnson, DE

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    Final Grade: B

    The converted linebacker was very active in all aspects of the game this weekend. 

    He recorded five solo tackles and a tackle for loss in what can only be described a solid performance for the Cowboys. 

    I'd like to note that another guy who contributed on the line was Ryan Robinson, who made some big plays, but also gave up a costly face mask penalty.

James Castleman, DT

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    Final Grade: B

    James Castleman only made three tackles this week, but he was very active in the running game. He made quite a few plays late in the game to stand up the back at the line.

    Now obviously, you'd like to see him do more, but it was an effective performance from the run-stuffer.

    One quick mention of Calvin Barnett, who also did a good job of stuffing the run.

Shaun Lewis, LB

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    Final Grade: B-

    Lewis didn't make as many big plays as he did his last time out against Texas, but he was still a force to be reckoned with.

    He broke up a pass and had multiple plays that killed drives for Kansas. He continues to show that he is the Cowboys' best linebacker.

Alex Elkins, LB

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    Final Grade: A

    I realize that I just said Shaun Lewis is Oklahoma State's best linebacker, but Elkins had one of his best games ever this week.

    He made big plays all over the field, racking up a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Add in six total tackles, and you have arguably the best defensive performance of any Cowboy player.

Caleb Lavey, LB

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    Final Grade: C-

    Lavey had a single tackle for loss, but other than that, was basically nonexistent. 

    Also, the Cowboys gave up quite a few big runs late, and many of those came up the middle, right through Lavey's territory. 

Broderick Brown, CB

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    Final Grade: D+

    Brown didn't really do much against Kansas this weekend. Sure, he had four tackles, but he wasn't very active in the passing game.

    He often times found himself out of position, and I'm beginning to wonder what happened to the great player that wore the No. 19 jersey last year.

Justin Gilbert, CB

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    Final Grade: B

    Unlike his cornerback counterpart, Gilbert was very active in the passing game, nabbing two passes defended.

    Outside of a few missed tackles, Gilbert played a great game, although you'd like to see an interception or two.

Shamiel Gary, S

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    Final Grade: C+

    I really want to make Gary's final grade higher than a C+ because the young man is a playmaker who is always around the ball. 

    However, he still finds himself out of position way too much for me to put his grade any higher. To give you an idea of his up-and-down play, here's an excerpt from my notes on Gary:

    "Good coverage, almost got a pick. Got beat badly. Terrible position on rushing TD. Came up and made stop on 3rd down."

Daytwaion Lowe, S

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    Final Grade: B

    Gary kind of reminds of Lowe last year with the way he flies to the ball, but is often caught out of place.

    Hopefully, Gary takes the next step to becoming as good as Lowe, because right now, he's the best man in the Cowboys secondary.

    He makes big plays in the running game and can drop back into coverage as well as anyone else. Look for him to continue to improve as the season moves along.

Quinn Sharp, K/P

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    Final Grade: A+

    Quinn Sharp can do no wrong (outside of a missed 52-yard field goal). He was booming in big kicks all game, punting the ball 70-plus yards with regularity and booting kickoffs out of the end zone every time he took one.

    It just doesn't get much better than this for special teams players.