FINAL: #OKState falls at No. 16 Baylor, 35-24. pic.twitter.com/SyUl2cvgZt
— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) September 25, 2016
Oklahoma State walked into Waco pumped up and ready to take on 16th-ranked Baylor, but it didn’t take long for the Bears to find the end zone. However, as soon as Baylor put the points on the board, the officials called for a lightning delay, which ended up lasting nearly an hour and a half. The delay did not seem to affect either team very much, as both sides came out primed and ready to go. In the end, the Cowboys made too many mistakes and essentially gift-wrapped Baylor a 24-35 win.
The Cowboys looked really good at times, but four Oklahoma State turnovers were the primary reason for the loss. Mason Rudolph threw two interceptions and fumbled once, but the most costly of them all was a fumble by Freshman Justice Hill on the Baylor 1-yard line. Baylor immediately took 99 yards of field and turned it into a go-ahead touchdown.
Running Game Continues to Improve
This was by far the most impressive showing for the Cowboy rushing offense. The offensive line struggled at times, but ultimately, they gave the Cowboys a chance to run the ball which opened up the pass game. Despite Justice Hill’s egregious fumble, he seems to be the clear-cut lead rusher for the Cowboys. Aside from the fumble, he looked brilliant, rushing 20 times for 122 yards a touchdown. Also, Rennie Childs continued to pour in the touchdowns, scoring twice on 18 rushes for 35 yards. The Cowboys finished with 213 yards on 55 rushes, averaging a season-best 3.9 yards per carry, and three touchdowns.
Coming off a record day which involved a lot of tosses to James Washington, Mason Rudolph looked solid early, throwing with accuracy and precision early. Baylor took note of Washington’s incredible stats last week, so he was often double-teamed, which opened up opportunities for other receivers. Rudolph managed to get the ball to 9 different receivers as he finished 27/45 for 279 yards but with no touchdowns and 1 interception. Rudolph’s ability to share the ball will come in handy as teams will likely continue to put focus on Washington, but it was not enough to get the job done today.
The pass defense was just absolutely, unequivocally horrid. The Cowboy secondary allowed Baylor QB Seth Russell to throw 18/28 for 387 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception. Russell looked particularly impressive in the second half. At one point, he led the Bears on a 99-yard touchdown drive by absolutely picking apart the Cowboy defensive backs. Some adjustments need to be made, or it is going to be a long season for the Cowboy defense.