OSU quarterback has no answers for '98 Tulsa game

Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla.-Two years later, Tony Lindsay still isn't sure what happened the night he and Oklahoma State stunk up the joint against Tulsa.

"It was just one of those nights," Lindsay said. "You have your good nights and your bad, and that just happened to be bad."

Awful is more like it.

Lindsay fumbled the ball away on Oklahoma State's first possession, somehow letting it slip out of his hands as he ran in the open field.

Later in the half, he missed the center exchange although the Cowboys recovered the ball. On the first series of the second half, with Oklahoma State trailing 21-0 and trying to get something going, Lindsay lost another fumble.

"I remember going into halftime, the team was completely shocked," tight end Marcellus Rivers said. "Everyone was like, `This is not supposed to be happening.' "

The Cowboys trailed 35-0 before finally scoring a touchdown late in the third quarter. But their points were just window dressing; they lost 35-20 in a game that was never that close.

"I know everybody who played in that game wants to erase that game like it never happened," Rivers said.

That may be especially true for Lindsay, although he won't say as much. He does say it was probably the worst game of his college career, and the stats back him up _ 5-of-13 passing for 47 yards, one interception, four fumbles.

Just a week earlier, he had thrown for 110 yards in a victory over Kansas. He followed the Tulsa game by going 11-of-17 for 201 yards and running for two scores in a victory over Mississippi State in which the Cowboys totaled 561 yards.

"He doesn't have fond memories," coach Bob Simmons said. "He wanted to perform well and he didn't. He's slipping and falling, he's putting the ball on the ground. Then he came back the next week and played 100 percent better.

"A lot has to do with what you think people are going to do and how they're going to play. Nobody rolls over for you, especially that ball game because that is an emotional ball game."

Lindsay didn't get a chance to even the score with Tulsa last year. While the Cowboys were winning 46-9, Lindsay was watching from the sideline with an injured knee.

Now about to begin his senior season, Lindsay showed his scrambling ability this week by deflecting reporters' questions about the '98 Tulsa game. Sure, he said, a victory Saturday night in Tulsa would be big, but no bigger than any other road victory. He has thought about that game, he said, but doesn't dwell on it.

"It's pretty much gone as far as I'm concerned," he said. "It's over, so I don't make a big deal over it. It was bad. I didn't play as well as I wanted to play. Everything went wrong that day.

"But I can't just sit back and think about it, because all it's going to do is bring me down."

Saturday night, he gets a chance to redeem himself, although he said he isn't looking at the game that way.

"I think it's pretty much erased," he said. "It's something that's always going to be in my memory, but it's nothing I'll go back on and think about and say I hope it doesn't happen again."