Oregon State Debriefing: Oklahoma State’s 2019 Season Might Just Be Fun

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. One question was answered, another still remains.Oklahoma State’s two biggest ❓❓ coming into 2019 were 1) Who will be taking snaps at QB? and 2) Can Jim Knowles’ defense show marked improvement in Year 2?We appear to have our answer to the former after freshman phenom Spencer Sanders burst onto the scene with an historic debut. The latter? I’m not sure we learned much more about OSU’s defense than that it has some young, promising potential.Allowing 36 points to what appears to be a bad Oregon State team is not ideal, but I didn’t walk away from this game feeling overly distraught over the defense. (Maybe I just have low expectations). I can chalk some of those allowed chunk plays to first-game jitters and needed adjustments. There is definitely time for improvement before OSU’s Big 12 slate begins against Texas in three weeks.Most importantly, Oklahoma State returned to Stillwater 1-0. Let’s debrief.The Short StoryDespite a fast start from the hometown Beavers, Oklahoma State’s offense proved to be simply too much for them, and that started with Chuba Hubbard. His four-carry, 55-yard opening drive ended with his first of three rushing TDs on the night. Chuba turned in a career-high 221 yards on 8.5 per carry.Not to be outdone, Sanders racked up 109 yards on the ground (8.4 per carry!) including his sack for a loss of 2. He had things going in the air, as well. His 79.2 completion rate was a top-8 game in OSU history, and he accounted for three TDs of his own while slinging it for 203 passing yards.And let’s not forget the Biletnikoff finalist from last year. Tylan Wallace had a cool five grabs for two scores and 92 yards. And he was just a few inches from another TD on his first target at the back of the end zone.OSU’s defense settled in early and forced three-straight three-and-outs in the second quarter before giving up a late end-of-half TD. But that 15-point margin was as close as Oregon State would get the rest of the way. The Cowboys just had too much firepower and too many highlight reel plays.Who Earned a Brand Sticker?Offense: The New TripletsYes, it was only Oregon State, and yes, it’s only one game. But it’s hard not to be optimistic about a full year of watching the New Triplets wear down and pick apart opposing defenses. Print the t-shirts!Spencer &Tylan &ChubaOn a more serious note, the debut of this trio, namely Sanders, was important because instead of dragging a QB battle through the nonconference and guessing who would take what snaps, Oklahoma State — and its fanbase — has someone to get behind and some real momentum to ride.If that comes at the expense of Dru Brown, that’s unfortunate. And maybe the wheels fall off in Austin or Lubbock. I have a feeling they won’t. But Sanders being THE guy sooner rather than later, and flourishing, was always the best-case scenario for OSU.Coming in, I was dubious that we would get this definite of an answer to the aforementioned QB question. Last season ruined me. But one game in, this feels like a whole new season and looks like it could be one hell of a ride.Defense: Trace FordI’ll dole out a helmet sticker to the true freshman who came right in an make an impact in first game.Ford has already shown a knack for using his length and his instincts as a defender. He had two (!) pass breakups and a QB hurry in his debut. There will surely be growing pains, but it looks like the buzz we heard about the in-state defender was well-founded and that OSU has a legit playmaker on its hands.Questions for McNeese StateThere isn’t a lot that Oklahoma State should worry about when it comes to the FCS Cowboys themselves. But the hosting Pokes will need to play a sound game and continue to get young defenders reps. The noncon is set up nicely for Sanders & Co. to continue to meld on offense and for the defense to gain more experience, but we probably won’t learn a ton this weekend. That is, unless OSU looks anything but crisp in its execution or struggles to put McNeese State away.Play of the Game: LOLTake your pick! There was an abundance of great plays on Friday night, but I settled on this one because it includes an already nice connection between Sanders2Wallace and because of the sick jab step by Tylan that set Twitter ablaze. Here’s to a long season with many more just like it.last_img