Oklahoma State dominates Southeastern Louisiana
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was Barry Sanders’ teammate for the Cowboys back in the late 1980’s.
Now Gundy is coaching his son, and Jr. didn’t disappoint. Barry J. Sanders had 76 all-purpose yards and scored a rushing touchdown, helping the No. 21 Cowboys roll past Southeastern Louisiana 61-7 on Saturday at T. Boone Pickens Stadium.
It was the 11th time Gundy’s Cowboys scored 60 points in a game.
“That was a good day for us, and I thought we played fairly well,” Gundy said. “We were able to get a lot of players some quality work. We got some young guys, guys that are inexperienced, on video so that will be really good tape for us to teach with. I thought the guys that we would want to play well, the marquee guys, played well.”
Sanders was much more electric on special teams than on offense. He returned a punt for 57 yards and nearly scored before being brought down on the one-yard line.
“It was pretty neat,” Gundy said. “We all thought about him making plays, and he’s been tremendous. There is a lot of pressure on him, unjustified, but that’s the world we live in. It was good that he could make some runs, break some tackles and make some guys miss. Then obviously on the punt return, his dad returned a punt against somebody out here. It was about at that part of the field, and it looked a lot like that… (Sanders) made three or four guys miss. He’s been solid back there and trustworthy. There’s a role back there for what he does for our team.”
Junior quarterback Mason Rudolph completed 18 of 26 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns for the Cowboys, both of which went to Jhajuan Seales. The starters left the game early and much of the backups got some playing time in.
“You take away getting your backups some work so that was good,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “Little things, fundamentals. They gave us some different looks so there were a couple of different looks we had to adjust to. For the most part we played with good enthusiasm. We made a lot of plays. Guys were running out there and being physical so that’s a big part of it.“
The Oklahoma State defense dominated SLU. The Cowboys ranked ninth nationally with 28 turnovers forced last season and continued that trend by recording four takeaways against the Lions. They even kept the Lions’ point total within single digits after defensive lineman Vincent Taylor blocked their field goal attempt in the third quarter.
“It was great because that was just the first game and for me to get one with more games to come was really good,” Taylor said. “One of the things Coach (Joe Bob) Clements preaches to us is leading the nation in blocks so it was great to get that first one.”
Freshman cornerback Madre Harper recovered a fumble in the end zone on the Cowboys opening punt, scoring a touchdown on his first career touch. The last time an Oklahoma State defender scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery Emmanuel Ogbah last season at West Virginia.
Oklahoma State host Central Michigan on Sept. 10. The Cowboys defeated the Chippewas 24-13 on the road to open last season.
“We played them last year so we know a little about them, and they know a little bit about us,” Taylor said. “We know who they’ve got back, and we know who they have. This week we didn’t (use the full playbook) because of the type of offense that (Southeastern Louisiana) ran, but next week our playbook is probably going to be open.”
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