The Oklahoma State Cowboys came into week 11 needing three more wins to clinch their first Big 12 title since 2011. They faced conference foe, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Oklahoma State came into the game with a 7-2 (6-1 Big 12) record, while Texas Tech came into the game with a record of 4-5 (2-4 Big 12). After the two teams totaled 123 points in their 2015 meeting, another high scoring affair was expected. Now let’s take a look at the game recap and Oklahoma State’s week 11 takeaways.
The Cowboys would need a a quick start in the first quarter to get a win against the Red Raiders. They got exactly what they needed. Quarterback Mason Rudolph had two of the Cowboys three total touchdowns, for a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the Red Raiders came back with three touchdowns of their own in the second quarter, to take a 28-28 lead into halftime. The second half was just as close as the first. An 82 yard touchdown pass to James Washington at the end of the third quarter gave the Cowboys a 45-35 lead, and possibly seemed to seal the game. Yet, the Red Raiders would be the only team to score in the fourth quarter. But a missed extra point from Texas Tech kicker Clayton Hatfield would seal the 45-44 win for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State’s Week 11 Takeaways
The Cowboys are Winning Close Games
OSU’s week 11 victory against Texas Tech was their second straight victory that came down to the last two minutes in the fourth quarter. Their victory against the Kansas State Wildcats was arguably closer than the Texas Tech game. According to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, OSU head coach Mike Gundy has now won 11 of the Cowboys last 12 games decided by one point.
Mike Gundy has now won 11 of his last 12 in games decided by one score or less. The lone loss came against Central Michigan.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 14, 2016
That will be key for the Cowboys down the stretch, especially against the TCU Horned Frogs this Saturday. However, it is a bit worrying for Cowboys fans that they are having so much trouble beating middle of the road Big 12 teams.
Justice Hill and Chris Carson are Coming Alive
Oklahoma State running backs Justice Hill and Chris Carson played great against the Red Raiders. Hill led the Cowboys in rushing with 126 yards on the ground and one touchdown. It was Hill’s fourth game this season with at least 120 rushing yards. Carson added another 75 yards and two touchdowns rushing, including a truck and kneel to end the game. Carson is now averaging more than seven yards per carry and has six total touchdowns since his return from injury on October 22nd. The Cowboys will continue to need big play out of their top two running backs, especially against the Horned Frogs strong rushing attack.
The Cowboys Live and Die by Mason Rudolph
Rudolph had himself another big game on Saturday. He threw for 395 yards and had three total touchdowns. Furthermore, he did not turnover the ball a single time against the Red Raiders. The Cowboys needed a big performance out of Rudolph considering they had to keep up with Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Rudolph’s home stats this season were fantastic. He threw for 18 touchdowns and only one interception at Boone Pickens Stadium this season.
The Cowboys have two more tough tests this season against TCU and Oklahoma. Rudolph will be relied upon to keep his hot streak alive to lead the Cowboys to another Big 12 title.