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CFN Analysis: Oklahoma St Blows Out Arizona
Posted Sep 9, 2011

The CFNers give their thoughts on Oklahoma State's win over Arizona

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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It’ll be an interesting storyline as the season goes on: Did Dana Holgorsen set the wheels in motion to make the Oklahoma State offense a powerhouse, or was he just the driver of a phenomenal car?

OSU head coach Mike Gundy is a tremendous offensive mind, and part of the job as a head coach is finding the star coordinators to make everyone up top look good. Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator last year of a dominant Cowboy attack, and he parlayed the success into the head coaching job at West Virginia. In steps Todd Monken, and after two games the offense is even stronger.

Louisiana-Lafayette isn’t LSU, but it’s not McNeese State or Northern Colorado, either. It’s a living, breathing FBS school, and last week Oklahoma State came up with 458 yards through the air and 208 on the ground for an evil 666 yards of nation-leading offense.

Remember when Arizona used to play defense?

Supposedly, the Wildcats still haven’t gotten the right pieces in place under Mike Stoops, who’s allegedly a defensive head coach – save your speech about “improving facilities” – but they still play in the Pac-12. Arizona has a team good enough to make some noise in the new South division. Oklahoma State didn’t care, coming up with 594 yards of total offense while allowing America to devote its undivided attention to the phenomenal New Orleans – Green Bay game.

The Cowboys will put up 600 yards on Tulsa next week, and QB Brandon Weeden will start to be compared to Chris Weinke and will be up in the mix of Heisman candidates, and then comes the real test at Texas A&M.

For now, no matter what happens going forward, Monken has proven that great players help make great offensive coordinators. Now it’s Holgorsen’s turn to prove that coaches have something to do with it, too.

In case you were wondering, West Virginia plays Norfolk State this weekend.

By Matt Zemek
Let it be said up front that Oklahoma State has the makings of a very good team, an upper-tier team, an 11-win team. The key word in that sentence, though, is “makings.” The Cowboys aren’t yet “for real.” They did not announce themselves as a heavyweight with their Thursday night thrashing of the Arizona Wildcats. They did not separate themselves from the middle tier of a downsized Big 12. They simply played one very solid game on national television.

Make no mistake, this is not something problematic, worrisome or somehow negative for Oklahoma State fans. This was a quietly encouraging night, not a discouraging one; a value-positive experience, not a downer. The larger reason for applying the brakes to runaway praise in Stillwater is simple: A lot of early-September exclamations turn into so much fine powder by the time mid-October rolls around.

Remember how Taylor Martinez and Denard Robinson were viewed as runaway Heisman favorites and, in Denard’s case, historically great quarterbacks after five weeks of – for the most part – running wild against tomato-can defenses? That’s what Oklahoma State coaches are trying to guard against… fans should come along for the ride.

To gently underscore the point, this was not a formidable and fear-inducing foe Oklahoma State foiled on Thursday. Arizona was without playmaking wide receiver Juron Criner, and much of the Wildcats’ defense was dinged up. It was plainly apparent that Arizona’s offensive line lacks the heft and quality needed to keep Nick Foles at ease in the pocket. The Wildcats are just one of many Pac-12 South teams stumbling out of the gate in 2011, making Larry Scott’s league a Stanford, Oregon, and the 10 dwarfs production.

Could Oklahoma State become great? This game tips the scales more to “yes” than “no.” However, let’s allow the Cowboys to ripen into that greatness before declaring they’ve already attained elite status. That’s how people and organizations underachieve – when they’re given accolades or prizes they haven’t yet earned by the sweat of their brow.