In The Wake Of Tragedy: OSU Comes Together To Top KU After Devastation
Playing in the wake of tragedy:
The team said there were discussions about whether to play the game in the wake of the tragedy. After deciding to move forward, OSU athletic director Mike Holder said, "We will be respectful."
Just before kickoff, the Cowboys gathered near their sideline on the east end with their head coach leading them in the Lord's Prayer. After honoring those affected and lost, a moment of silence took place.
“You could tell it was kind of different because the crowd was a little quiet at the beginning,” said Emmanuel Ogbah. “So, we just felt like we had to go out there and do what we can do.”
A few coaches and players like quarterback J.W. Walsh have dealt with the reality of playing a game under difficult circumstances, like four years ago at Iowa State after the plane crash that took the lives of head of omens basketball coach Kurt Budke and three others. Walsh's experience and leadership today helped in what was after all, just a game.
"We've had some tough situations here at Oklahoma State,” said Mike Gundy. “This one was as difficult as any we've ever had. They focused, went in and played and that's all we can ask them to do."
Stunned, subdued and saddened, the homecoming crowd cheered on their Cowboys but it wasn't the same.
"My message to them was that a decision was made to play the game so we need to play the game. After that, we need to do everything we can to help the people and the families involved," Gundy stated.
Fortunately, the players' focus was sharp, and they took control of Kansas early. The defense played dominant and the offense was efficient in building a quick 14-0 lead.
The first play of the second quarter summed up each team's season so far: a high snap, blocked punt and a Miketavious Jones touchdown for OSU.
Throw in a one-handed TD grab by James Washington and it was 35-10 at the half.
Just a little more than two and a half minutes into the third quarter, the Cowboys had scored two more touchdowns.
By the end, Mason Rudolph had thrown for 305 yards and a score. Walsh was five-for-five passing for 68 yards and two TDs. He also added three more on the ground in the 58-10 win.