What a terrible way for the Cats to end their season. Arizona fell to Oklahoma State 36-10 in front of 57,593 fans, most of whom were sporting the road hazard orange. Walking around San Antonio yesterday felt like being in Stillwater. The Oklahoma State faithful outnumbered the Cats fans at least 25 to 1 and maybe more. It wasn't a factor for either team as the Alamodome had plenty of empty seats and crowd noise was weak for both schools.
The Cats tried to make it interesting in the first quarter but the pick 6 early in the 2nd quarter buried any hopes of a comeback. It was exactly the way you draw it up if you are Stoops. Kickoff to Ok. State, stop them on three plays and then march down the field for a score to go up 7-0. Funny thing about fielding punts: we suck at it. Bug Wright muffed a punt after Oklahoma State was unable to get a second first down on their opening drive. After the fumble, Oklahoma State only needed six more plays before cashing in for 6. Arizona got the ball back, went three and out and promptly blew a coverage to allow Justin Blackmon to catch a beautiful pass in stride and take it 71 yards to the house for an early 14-0 lead by Oklahoma State. WTF? Crickets could be heard on our sideline.
Foles drove them back down the field and got us 6 on a great pass and catch to Criner to cut the lead. Unfortunately, Foles threw an interception that was returned for a TD early in the 2nd quarter and Oklahoma State never looked back.
This one was tough to watch. Foles was off. The running game was never around and the Cats missed Colin Baxter like crazy. The defense showed signs of promise but ultimately allowed Blackmon to take over and could never quite get anything going in the 2nd half. Coaching wise, I thought the plays called on offense were good at times; however, trying to establish the run against Oklahoma State became trivial and needed to be shelved. These were wasted plays in my mind. Defensively, our secondary was exposed again and Blackmon demanded a double team at all times. The blown coverage was a joke.
Congrats to Oklahoma State for exposing the Cats everywhere. This is a tough way to end the season for the seniors losing 5 games in a row. Let's hope for some new-hires quickly and continue to work on recruiting.