Death, taxes and Mike Gundy having a high-powered offense.
Orange was the new black on Friday night in Corvallis as Oklahoma State convincingly won the battle of ‘OSUs’ over Oregon State 52-36 in a terrific debut for the new look Cowboys offense.
Freshman Spencer Sanders got the nod as the starting quarterback and looked perfectly capable of executing what Gundy was calling in an impressive effort on the road in a hostile environment. He wound up throwing for 203 yards and a trio of scores while doing some damage with his legs to the tune of 109 yards as well. His dual-threat nature was a big reason why many considered him the favorite for the job over Hawaii transfer Dru Brown and the youngster from Texas showed enough to certainly raise expectations around Stillwater for what this team is capable of.
Of course, it helps to have a supporting cast as good as Sanders does and even more so when they ball out. Tailback Chuba Hubbard was a one-man wrecking crew on his way to 221 yards and three scores on the ground while star wideout Tylan Wallace found the end zone twice himself to go with 92 yards receiving.
All told it was an effortless 555 yard output on the night and a robust 7.3 yards per play average in the season opener for both sides.
That the Big 12 version of OSU beat up on the Pac-12 one isn’t too surprising given the state of both programs but there were a few encouraging elements for Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith. The team scored on their first two drives of the night and had a number of successful offensive series, with QB Jake Luton tossing three touchdowns and racking up 251 yards passing. Even backup signal-caller Tristan Gebbia came in and led an 80-yard trip to the end zone late in the game and wideout Isaiah Hodgins looks like a real threat after a 170 yard, two score outing.
Defense proved to be the real issue for the home team though given the number of coverage busts and missed tackles but at least linebacker Jack Colletto also scored a touchdown out of his specialized ‘Jackhammer’ goal line package.
The Pacific Northwest night belonged to the other version of OSU however as the Cowboys proved to be just too much. We’ll see if the game was ultimately a bit of a mirage given the level of competition but, so far, the early returns are still trending positive for Oklahoma State and their mullet-clad head coach who certainly knows a thing or two about cooking up a high-flying offense.