STILLWATER - Oklahoma State lost a 37-31 decision to No. 1 Florida State on Saturday. A look at some of the final notes and tidbits from that game:
How it Happened
The Cowboys were 20-point underdogs to the reigning national champions entering the contest, but had the ball with a chance to take the lead on two occasions in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles jumped the Cowboys early and held a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but OSU stayed with its game plan and eventually cut the deficit to 20-17 midway through the third. After quarterbacks Jameis Winston and J.W. Walsh traded long touchdown runs, FSU held a 27-24 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Seminoles added a field goal and forced a turnover, then struck with a 50-yard Winston-to-Rashad Greene touchdown pass to open up a 37-24 lead with under four minutes remaining. A 46-yard kickoff return by Tyreek Hill set up a quick touchdown drive for OSU to bring the score to 37-31 with 1:55 remaining. The Cowboys attempted an onside kick, but it rolled out of bounds and Florida State ran out the clock to seal its win.
Standouts vs. Florida State
Offense: Tyreek Hill, ATH
Junior Tyreek Hill was electrifying in his Oklahoma State debut, rushing eight times for 44 yards and making six catches for 62 yards against top-ranked Florida State. Hill lined up as a running back, a receiver, a kick returner and a punt returner in the contest and gave the Seminoles fits all game, amassing 278 all-purpose yards and 12.6 yards per touch. Hill's 278 all-purpose yards were the 12th-most ever for a Cowboy and the most for an OSU player making his debut.
Special Teams: Tyreek Hill, KR/PR
Junior Tyreek Hill had two kickoff returns of 40 yards or better, including a key 46-yard scamper to set up a fourth-quarter touchdown, and averaged 16 yards on his two punt returns against top-ranked Florida State. Making his collegiate debut, Hill was a weapon with the ball in his hands all game, amassing a game-high 278 all-purpose yards and 12.6 yards per touch.
Third Down a Factor vs. Florida State
Oklahoma State held Florida State to four-of-14 on third down (.286 pct.). This is notable because Florida State ranked third nationally in 2013 by converting on .522 pct. of its third-down attempts. The Cowboys routinely put the Seminoles behind the chains, allowing FSU to have only four third-and-short (three yards or less) situations all game. Of those four third-and-short situations, OSU stopped the Seminoles three times. Conversely, when Oklahoma State had the ball, it found ways to be productive on third down, converting on eight of its 16 attempts. The Cowboys were particularly strong in third-and-short and third-and-medium situations, succeeding on seven-of-eight situations when they needed five yards or less to convert on third down. The Next Generation is Now
If not the youngest team in the country, Oklahoma State is certainly among the youngest. The Cowboys' opening day depth chart included 32 freshmen and sophomores (most in the nation) and OSU returned only 54.3 percent of its letterwinners from 2013 (the lowest percentage in the nation). In week one against No. 1 Florida State, 49 Cowboys saw game action - 14 freshmen, 13 sophomores, 12 juniors and 10 seniors. Of the 22 OSU players who started on either offense or defense against the reigning national champion Seminoles, 11 were making the first start of their collegiate career.
Defensive Line a Strength
The defensive line is one of the strengths of the Oklahoma State roster and the unit proved why in the opener against Florida State. Facing a Seminole offensive front that boasted five senior starters back from last year's national championship team, the Cowboy defensive line won more than its share of battles. Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean disrupted Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and the FSU passing attack, combining to record two sacks, four tackles for loss and two pass breakups. The defensive line was also effective against the run, as three of OSU's four leading tacklers on Seminole running plays were defensive linemen. James Castleman led the way with five tackles on running plays, with Bean and Ogbah doing their part with three tackles apiece on FSU rushes.