STILLWATER, Oklahoma – As a team that faced some serious setbacks in week one against Tulsa, the Oklahoma State Cowboys proved to be gritty and agile against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday with a 27-13 victory.
The Cowboys are now 2-0 to start the 2020 season.
All eyes were on true freshman Shane Illingworth as Spencer Sanders remained out for the Pokes after suffering a right foot injury against Tulsa. This served as Illingworth’s first collegiate start.
Illingworth completed 15 of 21 passes for 139 yards, but the West Virginia defense didn’t make it easy for him. The young quarterback also threw his first interception and was sacked.
A hot start for the Cowboys gave them a comfortable 20-7 lead going into halftime, but it wasn’t star running back Chuba Hubbard or wide receiver Tylan Wallace setting the pace early. Instead, the Pokes saw breakout performances from senior L.D. Brown who ran for a 66-yard touchdown to start the game.
The fire diminished coming out of halftime as the Pokes utilized their strong defensive efforts to hold off the Mountaineers little by little with the Cowboy offense going cold.
Sidelined for portions of the game, Hubbard returned to his dominance sealing the victory with a 23-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of the game.
Hubbard, who led the nation in rushing yards last season with 2,094, had a rough start on Saturday fumbling the ball twice and being caught early by the Mountaineer defense. Luckily, the offensive lineman were quick to recover the four fumbles OSU had or else this game could’ve become ugly easily.
Quarterback Jarret Doege and the Mountaineers moved the ball well on offense, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Winston Wright, but the Cowboys’ defense was quick to attack, and the Mountaineers were troubled by 12 costly penalties for 106 yards.
This is the sixth straight loss West Virginia has had to Oklahoma State dating back to 2014.
Although both games have come with bumps and head-scratching moments, the Cowboys continue to push through adversity and doubt to start the season undefeated and knock off their first Big 12 opponent.
It may not have been pretty, but a win is a win, and the Cowboys had more than just victory to celebrate on Saturday.
Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas, who remains OSU’s career leader in rushing yards (5,001), was honored on Saturday becoming the first member of the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. Thomas’ name and number were unveiled inside Boone Pickens Stadium during halftime.
Oklahoma State unveils Thurman Thomas’ Ring of Honor in Boone Pickens Stadium. Absolute chills. pic.twitter.com/ktvuxsaqIv
— Madysson Morris (@MadyssonMorris) September 26, 2020
Thomas played at Oklahoma State 1984-1987 when he was drafted to the Buffalo Bills in 1988 to begin a 13-year Hall of Fame career in the NFL.
To honor Thomas, the Cowboys wore replicas of the 1987 Sun Bowl uniforms where OSU defeated West Virginia and Thomas was named the MVP of his final game in an OSU uniform.
The Cowboys gear up to hit the road for the first time this season as their next matchup calls for the Kansas Jayhawks.
OSU and Kansas will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. in Lawrence on Oct. 3.