September 15, 2007

Freaky Friday

Is it a stretch to say the game was over nine seconds in?

Perhaps, but that's when the bad mojo started for Oklahoma State, as Keith Toston lost a fumble, which led to a quick Troy score. That was only the beginning of the bad news for the Cowboys, who ended up joining fellow Big 12 member Missouri as BCS victims in Movie Gallery Stadium. The Trojans handed the Pokes a 41-23 loss Saturday night, the biggest margin of victory ever for Troy over a BCS conference opponent.

It was just an all-around bad night for OSU (1-2), as Troy's Omar Haugabook ate up the Cowboy defense like he was going through the buffet at Golden Corral. He passed for a career-high 371 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 49 yards and two scores for good measure.

The Pokes just never got on track in Alabama. After the fumble to start things out, OSU had chances to get in the game and never took them. An interception from Perrish Cox{/db] in the end zone with 11:28 left in the first quarter helped turn the momentum back the Cowboys' way, but they never capitalized on the turnover.

The Trojans (1-2), however, came out like a team possessed. It was their home opener for the season and it was a chance to knock off a team from a major conference, just like they did against Mizzou in 2004. And while the remnants of a tropical system delayed the start of the game by almost 45 minutes, it didn't postpone the game plan the Trojans had for the Pokes. They were able to move the ball pretty much at will against the defense, dinking and dunking shorts passes and using timely runs to keep things honest. In all, Troy put up 562 yards on OSU, which was more than what the Trojans had been allowing against opponents in their first two games. The Cowboys mustered only 432. "Only" because the Trojans had allowed 503.5 yards in their first two games against Arkansas and Florida.

The sloppiness of OSU was apparent. Early penalties connected to focus and five turnovers proved that. For the game, the Pokes were hit with 11 infractions for 102 yards. A major storyline going into this game was the rumored rise of [db]Zac Robinson as starter. While he played admirably at first, he ended up with plenty of mistakes, throwing two interceptions and fumbling a snap in the red zone to hand the ball back to the Trojans. On the night, he was 18-of-38 for 196 yards, one touchdown and the turnovers. The bright spot on offense was Kendall Hunter's 124 yards on 16 rushes (a 7.8 yards per carry average). After that, there wasn't much to write home about regarding the world's most dangerous - whatever you want to call it.

OSU's defense showed little improvement from the Florida Atlantic game the week before. The Cowboys had plenty of issues tackling against Troy, who seemed to move the ball pretty much at will. After taking an early 13-3 lead, the Trojans started to pull away in the second quarter, scoring 28 points in the second and third quarters to end the game early.

The Cowboys now limp into Big 12 play next week, taking on a Texas Tech team in Stillwater which does all the things Troy did to the Pokes this weekend - just better. That game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Fox Sports Net.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!