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OU, 41 OSU 13: Oklahoma's fast start and OSU's low scoring too much for the Cowboys to overcome

OU, 41 OSU 13: Oklahoma's fast start and OSU's low scoring too much for the Cowboys to overcome

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Courtesy/Oklahoma State University

NORMAN — Oklahoma State failed to win Bedlam for the sixth consecutive year and has now put its Big 12 title hopes in jeopardy.

OSU looked destined for a trip to Arlington about a month ago. The Cowboys were the sixth-ranked team in the country, knocking on the door of the College Football Playoff conversation before hitting a speed bump with an overtime loss to Texas and now a roadblock with Saturday’s 41-13 loss to Oklahoma.

Whatever hope was left for OSU’s playoff aspirations are gone and the Cowboys are now in a three-way tie for second place in the conference with two teams that own the tiebreaker against them. Texas and Oklahoma join OSU as the three two-loss teams in league play.

Iowa State routed Kansas State to hand the Wildcats their third conference loss and stayed ahead of the pack as the Big 12’s only one-loss team in the conference schedule.

“We lost to a better team today,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “They outcoached us. They outplayed us. You have to give them credit.”

The Cowboys played about half the game without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders after he took a sack late in the first quarter. OSU was already trailing 21-0 at that point.

Freshman Shane Illingworth stepped in and threw a 15-yard touchdown to Logan Carter on that same drive to cut the lead to 21-7. Sanders returned at the start of the fourth quarter.

OSU was fighting an uphill battle minutes into the opening quarter. The Sooners scored three touchdowns on their first three possessions and kicked field goals on the following two possessions. OU came out fast and the Cowboys couldn’t keep up.

The OSU defense has bailed out the offense’s low scoring several times this year. The Cowboys have won five of their six games by scoring 27 points or less with the defense scoring a TD in the 20-18 win over Kansas State two weeks ago. Only two of OSU’s eight wins last year were earned while scoring under that mark.

Scoring one touchdown wasn’t going to cut it against the No. 1 scoring offense in the conference. The Cowboys are used to getting stops on opening drives because they’ve done it all year. OSU allowed a combined 84 yards and forced six punts on the previous six opening drives for the defense this season.

The Sooners drove 75 yards in six plays to score their first touchdown on the opening drive Saturday. The offense responded with a flat three-and-out and the Cowboys couldn’t keep OU from scoring for the first 21 minutes of the game. Sanders threw an interception on the second drive that gave OU the ball on the OSU 20-yard line.

The defense eventually pulled together a string of stops after OU’s first five possessions. The Cowboys forced three punts and a missed field goal on the next four possessions. Two second-quarter field goals kept OSU within two touchdowns at halftime, but the Cowboys couldn’t generate any points in the second half while OU tacked on two more touchdowns.

OSU went eight consecutive games without allowing 300 passing yards heading into Bedlam but allowed Spencer Rattler to throw for 301 yards and four touchdowns. Illingworth and Sanders combined for 168 passing yards and one touchdown on 15-of-40 passing.

When receiver Tylan Wallace and running back Chuba Hubbard announced they would be returning for another year alongside Sanders, fans didn’t anticipate OSU would have trouble scoring. Injuries, especially on the offensive line, have helped make it difficult for the Cowboys.

Hubbard, who has been banged up for a few weeks, only had eight carries after having just six rushes against K-State. OSU came into the game averaging 190 rushing yards per game but finished with 78 yards. Wallace missed the last game but had four catches for 68 yards Saturday.

“We just never could get anything established in the running game to really stabilize them so we could get a little bit of flow on offense,” Gundy said.

View from the sidelines: 2020 Bedlam in Norman


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Sports Writer

I joined the Tulsa World as the Oklahoma State University sports writer in June 2019. I'm an Indiana native who attended graduate school at IUPUI after receiving my bachelor’s degree at Indiana University. Phone: 918-581-8387

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