Oklahoma State rebounded well from last weekend’s Bedlam blowout as the Cowboys held on to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders 50-44 on Saturday afternoon.
The game was close through the majority of three quarters, and it looked like it was going to be a classic Big 12 shootout, but the Cowboy special teams and defense stepped up and assisted the offense in finding the end zone. As a result, Oklahoma State was able to put up their highest-scoring affair of the season on a Senior Day where a number of seniors had outstanding performances.
No Chuba? No LD Brown? No Problem.
Both Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown were out with injuries for the matchup with Texas Tech, but Dezmon Jackson, a JuCo transfer who had seen action in just 5 games in his career coming into today, picked up the slack for the depleted Cowboy backfield.
Jackson had a productive day as he racked up 235 yards and 3 touchdowns on 36 carries. He also could have scored another touchdown, but with less than a minute remaining, he downed himself inside the 5-yard line to allow Oklahoma State to run the clock out.
I’m not entirely sure what the rest of the season holds for Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown, but with a backup like Dezmon Jackson, I’m not really worried about it.
Sanders Finds His Groove
Spencer Sanders has had a season full of ups and downs, but mostly it’s been full of downs. He’s not played consistently well at all, showing flashes of brilliance with moments of utter disgust sprinkled in. Today, however, he was pretty dang good.
Aside from an ugly interception on a 3rd & long on the first possession of the second half, Sanders did a solid job both through the air and on the ground. He finished the day completing 19-of-31 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and he was only sacked once.
Stat line aside, Sanders was particularly outstanding at extending drives with his legs, and helping the Cowboys score. While he did not score much himself, he without a doubt was the engine driving Oklahoma State into the end zone.
Scoring From Unconventional Places
The Cowboy offense had plenty of success in the first half, but after a slow start in the third quarter, it was the special teams and defense that helped Oklahoma State put some points on the board.
With a 24-21 lead and all the momentum after scoring on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Alan Bowman to Erik Ezukanma, the Red Raiders decided to onside kick the ball to the Cowboys. Fortunately for Oklahoma State, Jason Taylor II was up front and ready to go as he grabbed the ball off a nice bounce and returned the kick 52 yards to put the Cowboys back on top.
On the very next possession, Texas Tech was once again in Cowboy territory, but Tre Sterling stepped up and picked off a pass from Alan Bowman and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown to put Oklahoma State up by double digits.
Tre Sterling recovered a fumble later on, and Calvin Bundage was in the midst of bringing Alan Bowman down in his own end zone before Bowman was forced to try to get rid of it, resulting in intentional grounding and a safety.
Oklahoma State’s offense has desperately needed help elsewhere for a lot of this season, and today they got it right when they needed it.
Superman Can Still Fly
Spencer Sanders has had a favorite target for a couple seasons now, and Tylan Wallace firmly held his position against Texas Tech.
Wallace is the favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver, and with good reason. He had several spectacular catches on the day, and he finished with one of his classic stat lines: 7 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown.