STILLWATER – Coming off a difficult loss to Oklahoma last week, Oklahoma State was looking to get back into the win column against a struggling Texas Tech team on Senior Day in Stillwater. It was close early on and the Red Raiders made a late run, but the Cowboys' lead was too great as they hold on to win 50-44.
With the win, the Cowboys moved to 6-2 on the season and 5-2 in Big 12 play.
“That looked like a lot of the games we’ve played here over the last 10 years," said head coach Mike Gundy. "We got into the third and fourth quarter where neither team could slow the other team down other than a turnover. We were able to rally and make some plays and found a way to win. We had a few guys go out of the game who we had to replace with young players who came in and competed. It’s a good win for our team.”
The Cowboy offense was solid on the day as they put up 539-yards of total offense, 222 through the air and 317 on the ground. Quarterback Spencer Sanders finished the day going 19-of-31 for 222 yards with one touchdown and one interception, as well as 15 carries for 78 yards and one touchdown. In place of running back Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown, Dezmon Jackson got the nod and shined.
Entering this game, Jackson had just 18 carries for 135 yards and no touchdowns. On the day, Jackson finished with 36 carries for 235 yards and three touchdowns bringing his season total to 54 carries for 370 yards and three touchdowns.
“Dez competed and ran well," said coach Gundy. "He looked good out there once he settled in; it looked like he saw some of the cuts really well. I would’ve preferred he hang on to the ball late in the fourth quarter, but overall I was proud of the way he competed.”
After punting on the third drive, Sanders hit Wallace for an impressive and acrobatic catch for 40 yards that lead to Dezmon Jackson’s second touchdown on the day, this one from seven yards out. On the very next drive, Jackson picked up his third touchdown of the day, all in the first half, this one from seven yards out. With that run, Jackson brought his total to 12 carries for 64 yards and three touchdowns.
Texas Tech’s first two scores on the day came on big runs by SaRodorick Thompson. Oklahoma State loaded up the box and Thompson broke free around the right side for 59 yards and 24 yards.
Late in the third quarter, Tech’s Xavier White added to the Red Raiders big play column as he broke off a 70-yard run around the right end for a touchdown. That’s 153-yards on the ground on big scoring players for Tech.
Spencer Sanders threw an interception to open the second half looking for Tylan Wallace, but Malcolm Rodriguez forced a fumble on the very next drive that was recovered by Tre Sterling. However, the Cowboys weren’t able to capitalize on the next drive. The sequence was The Cowboys’ second turnover on the day and first forced turnover of the day.
Following a 48-yard touchdown pass from Alan Bowman to give the Red Raiders a 24-21 lead, Tech attempted an onside kick to try and get the ball back and keep the momentum. However, Cowboy defender Jason Taylor II had other plans. He recovered the kick following a dream hop and returned it 48-yards to the house for his second touchdown of the season. It also marked the first special teams touchdown for a Mike Gundy team in six years going back to Tyreek Hill’s Bedlam punt return in 38-35 win in 2014.
On the very next drive, Cowboy safety Tre Sterling picks off Tech’s Bowman and returned it 65-yards to the house and the score putting the Cowboys on top 34-24 following a missed extra point. At the start of the fourth quarter, Sterling recovered a fumble by Tech’s Myles Price after it was stripped by Jarrick Bernard-Converse. Sterling finished the game with nine total tackles, six of which were solo stops, two fumble recoveries with 1.5 tackles for a loss, one interception and one pass break up.
“He played really well," said coach Gundy. "He’s been beat up a little bit and hasn’t practiced much. He got two days this week and had been practicing one day a week. He’s a veteran guy who has seen a lot. On his interception for a touchdown, on the sideline he told the coaches if they run that same route concept again that he was going to intercept it and run it in for a touchdown. He went back out and did exactly what he said he was going to do. He’s a pretty savvy guy, and he is intelligent and has had a lot of reps so he is generally in the right place at the right time.”
Following the 70-yard touchdown from White, Spencer Sanders hit Tylan Wallace from 27-yards out in the back-right corner of the East end zone. It was even more impressive as Tech corner Demarcus Fields was draped all over Wallace. Following a review of the play, the score was confirmed giving the Pokes a 40-31 lead.
Spencer Sanders scored his first rushing touchdown on the day early in the fourth quarter as he dove into the right pylon after a nine-yard rush to give the Pokes the 48-31 lead and then the Cowboy defense came up with a safety on Alan Bowman on the very next drive to put the Pokes up 50-31.
Tech would score two touchdowns late to bring the score to 50-44 and also recovered a fumble, but it wouldn’t be enough as an onside kick would go out of bounds with 1:51 left in the game giving the Pokes the ball on the Tech 35-yard line.
Oklahoma State will travel to Fort Worth next weekend for a showdown with TCU on December 5. The game details have yet to be announced, but Pokes Report will report them as soon as they’re released.