Oklahoma State Cowboys

OSU football: Discussing Wallace’s breakout performance, offensive line’s solid play, Cornelius solidifying his starting spot

OSU football: Discussing Wallace’s breakout performance, offensive line’s solid play, Cornelius solidifying his starting spot

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace (2) jumps across the goal line while evading Texas defensive back Brandon Jones (19) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

STILLWATER – Tylan Wallace had made a name for himself around Stillwater before a matchup with No. 6 Texas.

It wasn’t until Saturday that the country knew who he was.

Wallace torched Texas’ secondary, catching 10 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns in OSU’s 38-35 victory. In the best game of his career, the sophomore dominated.

He leaped above Longhorn defender’s outstretched arms, he caught short passes and made tacklers whiff. Even on poor throws, Wallace found a way to soar and snag the ball.

He became the ninth receiver under coach Mike Gundy to amass 200 receiving yards in a game. Some other names on the list include Justin Blackmon, Dez Bryant and James Washington.

“I thought he was excellent,” Gundy said. “When we needed to make a play, those guys were able to make plays. It’s interesting with young kids. When we played Iowa State out here, he dropped one that he would’ve run in the end zone. Everybody said, ‘You’ll get another chance and you got to make a play.’ And that’s what he did.”

Wallace said he had extra motivation coming into the game. A Fort Worth, Texas, native, no Power 5 schools in Texas offered him a scholarship coming out of high school.

“I kind of take the Texas schools personally when we play them,” Wallace said. “Especially being around in that area and not even receiving an offer from them. I take those personally and go out there and do what I do.”

Offensive line strong through shakeups

A weak spot through the first seven games, OSU’s offensive line was stellar against Texas.

Even after Shane Richards went out with an injury, the line played its best game of the season against the Longhorns (6-2 overall, 4-1 Big 12). Tevin Jenkins moved back to right tackle after the injury, allowing Dylan Galloway to come in at left tackle.

“I thought our offensive line was excellent,” Gundy said.

Gundy continued, saying he thought they were somewhat dominant in parts of the first half. OSU (5-3, 2-3) has lacked consistent play from its front five all season, but especially in the first half, OSU was able to call any run play and run it effectively.

Marcus Keyes, Johnny Wilson and Larry Williams remained in the interior for most of the game. On one drive, Deionte Noel replaced Williams at right guard, but Williams returned on the next series.

The 31-14 halftime advantage is a credit to the improved offensive line. Arlington Hambright, who started the first five games at left tackle, remained out with an ankle injury.

Cornelius silences critics, for now

Many fans speculated OSU needed to make a quarterback change to compete with the Big 12’s best teams.

Taylor Cornelius all but solidified his starting spot for the rest of the season on Saturday.

He was stellar under the lights, completing 23-of-34 passes for 321 yards and three scoring tosses. He added two rushing scores, including the game-winning 10-yard scamper with 5:44 left in the fourth.

Cornelius came out quickly, and his throw were on point. His effectiveness helped OSU score on its first three possessions, and it would have been five if Matt Ammendola wouldn’t have missed a field goal on the Cowboys fourth possession.

After the game when fans stormed the field, Cornelius was swarmed by fans and others, praising him for his successful night. Some of those fans were his biggest critics an hour before kick, but it didn’t matter after the game.

In the postgame interview, you couldn’t tell Cornelius had just completed the game of his life. He was mellow as always, win or lose, happy his team got the win but realizing there are more games to play and bigger goals to be had.

“We had two great weeks of preparation,” Cornelius said. “Give all of the coaches credit, too. They had a great game plan going in, and it worked out for us tonight.”

Other notes

– OSU beat Texas for the fourth straight time on Saturday

– The Cowboys didn’t force a turnover for the second straight game after having forced at least one in every game dating to 2015

– “I don’t give a rat’s ass about Twitter.” Gundy’s response to fan’s criticism of Taylor Cornelius

– Justice Hill (92), Chuba Hubbard (80) and Cornelius (23) all were effective running the ball.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Cameron Jourdan has covered Oklahoma State athletics since January 2017. He has written for The Oklahoman, The Tuscaloosa News and the Stillwater News Press, among others. Follow Cameron on Twitter: @Cam_Jourdan

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