Oklahoma State Manhandles Missouri State in Season Opener

The Oklahoma State Cowboys came into tonight’s season opener as 41-point favorites, and they performed as expected as they destroyed the Missouri State Bears 58-17.

The Cowboys got off to a hot start thanks to Justice Hill as the junior running back ran wild for 122 yards and a touchdown on 10 first quarter carries. Included in his impressive opening quarter was a 93-yard run, which ranks as the fourth longest rushing play in Oklahoma State history.

Hill’s effort to start the game helped Oklahoma State to a 17-0 lead after the first quarter.

Just a few seconds into the second quarter, quarterback Taylor Cornelius found senior wide receiver Sione Finefeuiaki for a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-0. The touchdown was the first of Cornelius’s career, but it wasn’t his last of the night.

On the next possession, Cowboy safety Keneth Edison-McGruder would force a fumble, giving Oklahoma State fantastic field position, but Cornelius threw an interception for a touchback. Several possessions later, Cornelius would throw his second touchdown of the evening, this one a 21-yard dart to Tylan Wallace, giving the Cowboys a 31-0 lead.

With just a couple of minutes left in the first half, Missouri State would finally find their way onto the scoreboard as quarterback Peyton Huslig managed to cap off a 75-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Murray. At the half, the Cowboys led the Bears 31-7.

The second half was slightly less exciting, at least for Cowboy fans, as Missouri State managed to put some more points on the board. Cornelius also managed to find Jalen McCleskey for an 18-yard touchdown pass, giving Cornelius three passing touchdowns and McCleskey his second for the game.

Freshman running back sensation Chubba Howard then caught a short pass from Cornelius before scampering 54 yards for the touchdown to make it 45-17 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was all Oklahoma State as Taylor Cornelius threw his fifth touchdown pass of the night to Jalen McCleskey.

With the starters resting for the remainder of the game, backup running back LD Brown came in and broke off a 77-yard run to score the final touchdown of the game to make it 58-17.

3 Quick Thoughts

  • The Running Game is Legit: Only three times in the last 20 years has Oklahoma State rushed for over 400 yards in a single game, and tonight they racked up 436 on the ground. While Missouri State doesn’t exactly have a stout rushing defense, the Cowboys have a lot to look forward to, especially considering that Justice Hill finished with 122 yards on only 10 carries, and he did it all in the first quarter.
  • Taylor Cornelius Has Some Work to Do: It’s unfair to expect a guy to come in and immediately replace a Cowboy legend like Mason Rudolph. Taylor Cornelius had a solid night, throwing 295 yards and five touchdowns on 24/34 passing. He did throw an interception, and he nearly threw one or two more. He’s no Mason Rudolph, but he’s no slouch either. Cornelius also had a 32-yard run, proving he’s capable of some mobility if necessary, but he definitely has a few things he can work on moving forward.
  • The Defense Still Has Questions: The defense started off the game looking as good as I can remember a Cowboy defense ever looking as they held the Bears to single digits in total yards in the first quarter. Things looked a little shaky in the second and third quarters, but overall, Jim Knowles looks like he’s done some solid work so far as the new defensive coordinator. The Cowboys won’t see much of uptick in competition next week against the South Alabama Jaguars, but Boise State comes to Stillwater in a couple of weeks, and that will be a true test to see how much has improved.

Up Next

Oklahoma State gets a couple extra days of rest before the Cowboys host the South Alabama Jaguars on Saturday, September 8th. Kickoff is set for 7 PM CT and will be televised on FSN. The Cowboys defeated the Jaguars 44-7 in Mobile, Alabama a season ago, and a similar result is expected this year. South Alabama kicks off their season on Saturday against Louisiana Tech.

One Reply to “Oklahoma State Manhandles Missouri State in Season Opener”

  1. It was pretty much what I expected to see. The Pokes have great running backs and seem average at QB. I also feel like the o-line needs a bit of work.

    Defense was impressive!

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