CNHI News Service
The first-ever sellout crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium saw the Oklahoma State program take another step closer to winning its second Big 12 Conference championship in three years.
Led by one of the top defenses in the country, the 10th-ranked Cowboys did something nine teams before them never could do — slow down the explosive fourth-ranked Baylor Bear offense. With it, OSU rolled to a 49-17 victory and needs just to beat Bedlam rival Oklahoma on Dec. 7 in Boone Pickens Stadium to clinch the Big 12 title.
“It feels pretty good. Being able to control your own destiny, there’s nothing like it,” OSU senior receiver Tracy Moore said. “You don’t have to sit around and wait on other teams, you just have to go out there and get to work and come out swinging.”
Coach Mike Gundy tried to set the tone early with a gamble that looked like it could backfire.
The OSU offense gave Baylor, which has not won in Stillwater since 1939, a short field early in the game, going for it on fourth-and-1 from the OSU 46-yard line. The run up the middle by Desmond Roland was stuffed and the Bears took over on the Cowboys’ side of midfield.
Baylor nearly took advantage with Bryce Petty came up short of a 30-yard touchdown run when he tripped over the 7-yard line to set up the Bears at the goal line.
“That turf had a big tackle. I’m just glad it was on our side,” OSU linebacker Caleb Lavey said.
Two plays later, James Castleman came up with a heads up play to prevent Baylor from benefiting from the short field. With Baylor at the goal line, running back Shock Linwood tried to stretch the ball into the end zone while on the pile — at which point Castleman swiped the ball loose and recovered the ball at the OSU 1-yard line.
The turnover proved to be a big momentum swing for Oklahoma State, as the Cowboy offense went 99 yards to score the game’s first touchdown on a two-yard run up the middle by Guthrie native Kye Staley.
“That was a huge momentum swing because I remember being in there and was right there and was just like ‘did he just trip at the goal line?’” OSU cornerback Kevin Peterson said. “I felt things just had to be in our favor. After that, the offense just fed off of it and we turned it up from there.”
The Oklahoma State defense continued to slow the explosive Baylor offense, allowing the OSU offense to put another touchdown on the board late in the first half.
With Chelf on point in the passing game, the Cowboys went 80 yards on five plays with Chelf finding Charlie Moore on a 12-yard pass over the middle to give Oklahoma State a two-touchdown advantage.
Baylor did manage one big play in the first half on a 53-yard pass in the final minute, but the OSU defense held up in the red zone and forced the Bears to settle for a 29-yard field goal.
The Cowboy offense made quick work of things on its opening drive of the second half with Chelf, who finished 19 of 25 for 370 yards and three touchdowns, finding Tracy Moore on a third-and-three play — staring down the blitz by the Bears and going over the top for a 56-yard touchdown after a broken tackle by Moore.