Oklahoma State Cowboys

OSU football: Red Raiders throttle Cowboys in Big 12 opener

OSU football: Red Raiders throttle Cowboys in Big 12 opener

STILLWATER – The orange slowly trickled out of Boone Pickens Stadium with every mistake the Oklahoma State football team made.

It started with a missed block leading to a sack. Then a muffed punt gave Texas Tech the ball deep in OSU territory. A late interception essentially sealed a game that was really over shortly after halftime.

The Red Raiders stormed Stillwater on Saturday, dominating the No. 15 Cowboys in every facet during their 41-17 victory. Although Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman threw two interceptions, OSU couldn’t muster energy nor momentum to find its way back into the game.

“It’s pretty simple: we got outcoached, outplayed and they were a lot tougher than us,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “I don’t know really any other way to put it. They had really good plans, much better than ours.”

After Justice Hill scored on a 13-yard run with 10:40 left in the second quarter, the Cowboys (3-1 overall, 0-1 Big 12) were shutout for the rest of the game. The Red Raiders tallied 27 unanswered points to win their first game against OSU since 2008.

Hill rushed only 12 times, though he gained 111 yards with the score. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said of Hill’s 12 carries: “That’s not enough for a great player.”

Quarterback Taylor Cornelius had his worst game since becoming the starter, completing only 18-of-38 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown, a 23-yard toss to sophomore running back J.D. King to open the scoring.

His interception came on a throw to Tyron Johnson up the left sideline with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter, and it capped the Red Raiders’ win. Texas Tech running back Demarcus Felton scored his second touchdown on a 17-yard run following the OSU turnover, which was one of two on the night.

Receiver Tylan Wallace, who had one catch after the first quarter, muffed a punt in the third quarter near midfield that resulted in a Texas Tech field goal.

Wallace had six catches for 109 yards in the first quarter, making him the first sophomore OSU receiver since James Washington in 2015 to tally three consecutive 100-yard games. He finished with seven catches for 123 yards.

“It means a lot to me, but I don’t keep up with the stats,” Wallace said. “When my number is called, I try to go out there do what I can. I really don’t think it’s a good thing when we come out with a loss.”

The Cowboys’ offense managed only 386 yards after coming into the contest sixth in the nation in yards per game (590). OSU’s offensive line struggled throughout the game, hampering its rushing attack and sequestering any chance OSU had to attempt a comeback.

Texas Tech (3-1, 1-0) led 24-17 at half, and it held the Cowboys to 91 yards in the second half, including only 29 passing yards on four completions. The last time OSU was held to less than 20 points at home was a 28-7 loss to Texas during the 2014 season.

Defensively, the Cowboys had no answer for the true freshman quarterback or a solid rushing game. The Red Raiders rushed for 224 yards on 46 attempts while throwing it for 397 yards on 46 attempts.

Dating to last season, the Cowboys continued their struggled at getting off the field on third down. Texas Tech was 9-of-14 on third down, continuing long drives that led them to double OSU in time of possession. In comparison, the Cowboys were only 3-of-13 on third down.

“I thought what we didn’t do well, which was certainly my responsibility, was getting ready to handle those punches that come from a powerful offense,” defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said. “You have to be able to handle adversity. I didn’t think I did a very good job at that.”

True freshman Jarrick Bernard, who has appeared in OSU’s first four games, snagged his first career interception in the second quarter that led to OSU’s final touchdown. He led the Cowboys with 13 tackles, drawing praise after the game from linebacker Justin Phillips and corner A.J. Green, who had the other interception.

Linebacker Calvin Bundage, who has been a terror coming off the edge this season, injured his calf during the game and had a heavily-taped left ankle. His limp was noticeable, and his impact was minimal because of his injury. He didn’t play much in the second half.

Gundy said Dillon Stoner also didn’t play much in the second half because of a “slight pull.”

In what was one of the lone positives, punter Zach Sinor returned from injury. He booted five punts for 248 yards, including a 67-yard rocket on his first attempt.

Gundy said he wants his team to get back to the basics after OSU lost its third straight conference opener.

“We’ve got to execute our running game,” Gundy said. “I thought the backs rushed good, they just didn’t get many opportunities. Then you get behind, we’re a balanced-attack team, when you get behind by two touchdowns like we were and some stuff we do is not as productive.

“They outcoached us, they out played us.”

Oklahoma State Cowboys
@Cam_Jourdan

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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