Oklahoma State Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 14 Game vs. Baylor
The final score may have only been 41-34, but the Oklahoma State Cowboys were never really that close, as the Baylor Bears' offense dominated throughout.
The Cowboys looked unprepared and seemed to lack focus in this one. You can't help but surmise that the team was still hung up on the game they gave away to the Oklahoma Sooners last week.
Don't get me wrong, though; Baylor is the hottest team in the Big 12 right now and fully deserved this win.
Head coach Art Briles had an answer for everything Ok. State tried to do and his offense was one of the most efficient I've seen all season.
Obviously, the Cowboys are the big losers here, as they lost pretty much any hope they had of a Cotton Bowl invite; however, this game was full of winners and losers on both sides of the ball.
Loser: Oklahoma State's Offensive Line
Oklahoma State's offensive line did a pretty good job in the running game, letting the backs loose for 218 yards.
It was in the passing game that they were lacking.
True, Clint Chelf wasn't sacked in this contest, but on almost every single big third-down attempt, there was pressure in his face.
The line gave up eight quarterback hits and, because of its inability to pick up defenders, Chelf was unable to pick up very many first downs in those 3rd-and-long situations.
It was a surprising performance, given the unit's steady play this season, but nonetheless, the offensive line really hurt the Cowboys' chances this weekend.
Winner: Art Briles
I want to give Coach Briles all the credit for how well his team has been performing of late.
After dropping five of six games in the middle of the season, it would've been easy for this team to lie down and call this year a wash.
However, Coach Briles didn't allow that and has his team playing inspired football, winning its last three. All of which came against teams that were ranked this season.
It's hard to say enough about how impressive this coaching staff has been since they knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation in Kansas State.
They had an answer for everything the Cowboys tried to do this week and looked like a force to be reckoned with this bowl season.
Loser: Justin Gilbert
This is a minor loser because it's not like Gilbert had a terrible game this weekend.
In fact, his spot in the loser column is pretty much based on one play, a dropped interception right before the half.
Did that play have much of an impact on the outcome of the game? Not really, but it pretty much summed up why the Cowboys' defense has been ineffective this season.
In 2011, Oklahoma State was one of the best defenses in the nation at forcing turnovers. In 2012, it's been the opposite, as seen by Gilbert's drop on an easy interception.
You can't be a good Big 12 defense (oxymoron if you've ever seen one) unless you force turnovers. Spread offenses are going to rack up yards and if you don't make big plays, you're going to get run over.
Winner: Quinn Sharp
I had to give the Cowboys a little love in this article, but let's get it out of the way early.
Disclaimer: Quinn Sharp is probably my favorite player in the nation and therefore I may not be rational when I talk about him.
That said, he's the premier special teams player in the country and there's pretty much nothing he can't do. Also, he should win the Heisman.
Okay, I went a little too far there, but Sharp continues to the Cowboys' steadiest player.
This week he hit a 43-yard field goal and averaged over 40 yards per punt. It's really a shame that he's not up for any postseason awards because he deserves at least one of them.
One quick note: Oklahoma State's defense deserves some love for its play in the red zone during the second half. They kept the Cowboys in it late with some key stops there.
Loser: Oklahoma State Coaching
Anytime a team comes out as flat and unfocused as Oklahoma State seemed to be this weekend, you have to place the majority of the blame on the coaching staff.
Mike Gundy has built this team into a contender for years to come, but it's obvious from this game that they still have a few things to learn before they become a national powerhouse.
When you play as emotional of a game as the Cowboys did last week against OU, it's going to be hard, but imperative, to come out as hungry for your next one.
That's something Gundy and his staff will learn how to do as they continue to have success in the Big 12.
Winner: Lache Seastrunk
Seastrunk had one of the gutsiest and most impressive plays of this NCAA season with his 76-yard fourth quarter touchdown that sealed the game.
Go back and watch that play. He pulls up with a hamstring injury about 25 yards to pay dirt and doesn't stop; scoring the TD that put Oklahoma State away.
I don't know about you, but the last thing I would want to do after pulling a hamstring is to run 25 yards with 200-plus-lb. defensive players trying to tackle me.
Simply an amazing performance by Seastrunk.
Loser: Blake Jackson
The Oklahoma State Cowboys' receivers all had a case of the drops this weekend, but no one made bigger mistakes than Blake Jackson.
In the very first drive, Jackson dropped a TD pass that he probably should have caught.
Yes, he was covered and interfered with a little bit. Yes, the ball was a little high. However, when you get two hands on the ball, you're expected to catch it.
Even if we gloss that over and give him a pass, he then went on to drop a wide-open TD pass from Josh Stewart.
When your offensive coordinator draws up a trick play to get you that open, you have to make the play.
I don't want to put all the blame on Jackson because this was a team loss, but those two drops accounted for a nine-point swing.
Winner: Nick Florence
Nick Florence is never going to be Robert Griffin III, but he did a pretty good impersonation job this weekend.
Florence passed for 296 yards and a score, while rushing for 71 yards and another TD.
He played one of his better games on the season and crushed the Cowboys with the read-option throughout the game.
The only knock you can make is that the Baylor offense sputtered a little bit in the second half, but part of that is because they slowed the game down a little bit.
Overall, Florence is the big winner from this game and gets an A+ grade.