After playing for several weeks with an injury and sitting out altogether last week against Kansas, quarterback Spencer Sanders made his return to action in the second half of Saturday’s game against the Iowa State Cyclones. Trailing 14-10 at the time, the Cowboys had very little success on offense, despite the Cyclones having turned it over 5 times already, but Sanders was able to bring a different level of excitement to the game.
Spencer Sanders made his entrance late in the third quarter, and it took a couple of drives to get going, but then, he went to work. The drive began with 5 straight completions before an incomplete pass, and then Sanders rushed for 6 yards before finding Jaden Nixon on a pop pass for a 14-yard touchdown.
A couple of possessions later, Tanner Brown knocked in a field goal to give the Cowboys a 20-14 lead. Oklahoma State’s defense made a couple of big stops to wrap up the game, sealing the win via a Colin Oliver sack on 4th and 10 play, and the Cowboys home win streak stays alive at 14 consecutive wins.
The Defense Deserves Some Praise
Iowa State’s offense is not good. They might be downright terrible. Still, the Cowboy defense went to work on Saturday against Iowa State, and when Oklahoma State could not score, their defense stood up to the challenge to keep them in the game.
Entering the matchup with Iowa State, the Cowboys had only forced 9 turnovers all season. Against the Cyclones, however, Oklahoma State managed to haul in 3 interceptions and force and recover 2 fumbles. The Cowboys didn’t take advantage of the opportunities like they should have, but at the very least, it impacted what Iowa State was able to do with the ball, and that kept Oklahoma State in the game.
Whether or not this is a turning point in the defense is yet to be seen. The Cyclones have one of the worst offenses that Oklahoma State has seen all season long, so take today’s performance with that in mind. Still, any time you force a team into five turnovers, you have to be feeling good about what you’re doing. If the Cowboys are able to force turnovers at half this rate moving forward, then there’s a good chance they will be able to win out.
Early in the season, the annual Bedlam football contest between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma looked to be on track for a potential top 10 matchup between the Cowboys and the Sooners. Neither team has gone the preferred path, but nevertheless, it’s time for the rivalry game to be played.
The Cowboys will travel to Norman to take on the Sooners next weekend as OU is fresh off a loss to West Virginia and still looking to become bowl eligible. Kickoff time and TV channel have yet to be determined.