Oklahoma State Football: Winners and Losers from Cowboys' Win vs. Missouri
This weekend the Oklahoma State Cowboys stormed into the state of Missouri and clobbered the home team Tigers 45-24. In a week that saw a few huge upsets, it was nice to see a squad as talented as the Cowboys go into a hostile crowd and get the job done.
This game was ripe with winners and loser from both teams, as well as for a few other schools in the nation. Who came out of this game as winners and who can we now call losers?
Read on to find out.
Winner: Oklahoma State's Backup Wide Receivers
Coming into this week, the Oklahoma State Cowboys had shown that they have quite a bit of depth at the wide receiver position, but hadn't shown they could dominate through the air without star receiver Justin Blackmon.
Anyone wondering about this was shown exactly how good this wide receiver corps is in the win against Missouri.
Blackmon had eight catches before halftime but was held out of second half action with concussion-like symptoms. Hubert Anyiam joined him on the injured list, as a broken foot sidelined him in the second half and will keep him out for the remainder of the season.
Even with those huge losses, OK State didn't slow down in the second half.
Tracy Moore had seven catches for 63 yards and Isaiah Anderson added five catches for 34 yards. The real star of the second string, though, was Michael Harrison, who had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.
With these guys proving that the Cowboys can be just as deadly without their stars, Oklahoma State fans can rest easy as the season progresses.
Loser: Oklahoma State's Starting Wide Receivers
As I said in the last slide, two of Oklahoma State's biggest receivers went down with injuries and couldn't play in the second half. Hubert Anyiam will be out for the rest of the year and Justin Blackmon was held out of the second half with concussion-like symptoms.
The loss of Anyiam isn't a huge deal because the Cowboys have proved their depth behind Blackmon and fellow starter Josh Cooper. However, Anyiam's play will be missed because he provides another big target for Brandon Weeden to throw to when Blackmon is covered.
Blackmon's injury could prove to be a huge loss for the Cowboys. Depending on how severe the injury is, the Cowboys could be without one of the best receivers in the nation for next week's game against Baylor.
If that happens, Oklahoma State will have a much tougher time staying undefeated.
Winner: Joseph Randle
Joseph Randle has been having a pretty solid season, but hasn't had as big of an impact for Oklahoma State's offense in the past few games. That all changed with his amazing game this weekend.
Randle ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns while adding another score through the air.
The crazy thing was that he did all that damage on just 14 carries. His 9.9 yards per carry against Missouri is ridiculous. If he can keep playing this well, it will be awfully hard for any team to unseat the Cowboys.
Randle should find plenty of holes to run through against Baylor next week, but he might find it more difficult to dominate against Kansas State and other teams on the remainder of the schedule.
Hopefully, he and fellow running back Jeremy Smith can continue churning out rushing yards and touchdowns at a high rate.
Loser: James Franklin
Up until he faced the ball-hawking Oklahoma State secondary, James Franklin was a having a fairly good year. The sophomore quarterback had ten touchdowns to only four interceptions and was able to find the end zone with his feet seven times.
Then he found himself on the other side of one of the best defenses in the country at forcing teams to turn the ball over. In the last five games alone they've forced 22 total turnovers, and Saturday's game was no different.
Franklin was pressured into three interceptions and a fumble, and never really looked comfortable. Oklahoma State needs to keep making huge plays on defense to get the ball back and let the offense rack up points.
Winner: Oklahoma State's Defense
As I said in the last slide, the Oklahoma State defense looked great against Missouri. They were all over quarterback James Franklin and forced him into four turnovers.
The star of the defense was linebacker Shaun Lewis, who had an interception and a fumble recovery.
Other players stepped up with big games, as well. Defensive end Richetti Jones picked off Franklin once and cornerback Broderick Brown had the Cowboys' third interception, which set up a Joseph Randle touchdown.
That interception marks Brown's fourth of the season, as he's made great strides towards becoming one of the defense's best players.
Oklahoma State's defense did give up over 400 yards to Missouri, but you can live with that when you're forcing turnovers at such a high rate. The defense is about to be tested by some of the best offenses in the Big 12 and it will interesting to see how well they can play.
Loser: Missouri's Bowl Chances
Missouri came into the season as a ranked team that may have had a chance to play for a BCS bowl, depending on how the season went. They started out fairly well, going 2-1 and only losing to Arizona State on the road in overtime.
Then they played the Oklahoma Sooners and after that the season hasn't been what Mizzou fans were hoping for.
They followed up the OU loss with a seven-point loss to Kansas State. They did rebound against Iowa State, but they have yet to win back-to-back games this season.
The OK State loss dropped them to 3-4, and will make it very difficult for Missouri to become bowl-eligible.
Their next game is in Waco against the Baylor Bears and the always-dangerous Robert Griffin III. They follow that up with games against Texas and Texas Tech before finishing the season against Kansas.
It's not crazy to think that Mizzou could lose three of their last four games and finish at 4-7.
Winner: Brandon Weeden
Even without his star receivers in the second half, Brandon Weeden continued to prove himself to be a dark horse in the Heisman race. He finished the game with 338 yards and three touchdowns, and those numbers would have been even bigger if his receivers could have held on to the ball early.
In the first quarter alone, Weeden went 19-for-25 for 214 yards and all six of those incompletions came on drops. With that kind of a sizzling start you'd expect Weeden's number to be astronomical, but he had to lean on his running game more as the game went on due to injuries.
Luckily, he did show that he can play pretty well without two of his top three receivers. It's currently unclear just how long Justin Blackmon will be out, but this team should be okay if they have to lean on their solid rushing attack and Weeden's veteran leadership.
Loser: Missouri's Home Field Advantage
The last two times the Cowboys have gone into Columbia they've ended Missouri's home winning streaks of nine games or more. This game was no different, as Oklahoma State ended the Tigers' 10-game winning streak at home.
The Cowboys were able to play very well early. That made the Tigers' crowd go silent and Oklahoma State never really let them get back into the game.
The Cowboys don't really have another big road test for the remainder of the year, but it's still nice to see them dominate a team on the road in this fashion.
Oklahoma State's last real road test is going to come against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a few weeks, and this game shows that they have what it takes to go down there and pick up another big victory.
Winner/Loser: Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners fell victim to perhaps the biggest upset of the college football season this weekend when they lost at home to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. OU's defense was absolutely shredded by Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege.
Most would say that this entire weekend was a huge loss for the Sooners, but they'd be wrong.
One of the most important games of the season is coming down the road, and that game is Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State in Stillwater. OU looks to be out of the national title picture, but if a few key teams lose, they could be right back in with a win over an undefeated Cowboys team.
While the prospect of crushing an in-state rival possibly leading to a BCS berth is music to a Sooners fan's ears, the fact that they are no longer the best team in Oklahoma is a huge blow to their collective ego.
For the first time in forever, the "Sooner State" isn't ruled by the Sooners, but by the Cowboys. That might be the best news of the week for the Cowboys.
They're better than the Sooners for now, and any Oklahoma State fan has to be happy with that.