OSU football: Tylan Wallace keeps making the impossible routine
STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State offense was sleepwalking.
Through most of the first quarter Saturday, the Cowboys were doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, a whole lot of nothing good. There were miscues and mistakes a plenty.
Then, Spencer Sanders threw a simple screen pass to Tylan Wallace, and the Cowboys got a wake-up call.
Wallace delivered it.
The Cowboy receiver sprinted down the sideline, eluding one defender. Then two. Then three. Then four. They dove and lunged, but not a one of them kept Wallace from the end zone.
On a night the outcome was never in doubt — OSU throttled overmatched and outmanned McNeese State, 56-14 — Wallace was worth the price of admission. He was a year ago when he was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, and if it’s possible, he looks even better this season.
I know Oregon State and McNeese State do not a rough start to the season make, but Wallace is nevertheless wowing us.
Check out this stat line: five catches, 180 yards, three touchdowns.
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That’s 36 yards a catch, the kind of average that’s difficult to achieve against any opponent. But even more impressive is a guy scoring three touchdowns on only five catches. That's the kind of thing you don’t see every day.
It brought to mind a couple other performances in Cowboy history.
Back in 2002, Rashaun Woods had seven touchdown catches at SMU. It seemed like everything thrown his way went for a score. That wasn’t quite the case, but the Cowboy legend only needed 13 catches to score seven touchdowns.
Then in 2012, Isaiah Anderson had a three-touchdown game against Texas Tech. He did it on only four catches. The Red Raiders opted to cover him one-on-one, and with Anderson’s sprinter speed, all he had to do was make his man miss.
Two of his touchdowns were at least 60 yards.
So it was for Wallace on Saturday.
That first one went for 69 yards, and his third one, which came on the first play of the second half, went for 75 yards.
A 4-yard touchdown was sandwiched in between.
Through two games this season, Wallace has five touchdowns on 10 catches. Every other catch, a touchdown.
That’s not normal, folks.
Neither is Wallace.
He can turn simple plays into highlight catches. Take one of his non-touchdown catches Saturday. Late in the second quarter, McNeese State was drawn offsides and OSU had a free play. Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders knew exactly where to go with the ball; he lofted a jump-ball sort of pass toward Wallace.
The cornerback covering Wallace had good inside position. Looked like the defender would be able to bat the ball away and might even be able to snag it as it floated in.
Instead, Wallace went up, became something of a defender and disrupted the cornerback. The ball was batted around a bit, but Wallace came down with it.
What's more, even though the play happened right along the sideline, Wallace managed to avoid stepping out of bounds. Maybe it was luck — an official review showed Wallace was within a heel down of being out — but the more he does what seems impossible, the less it seems like luck.
And these days, Tylan Wallace is making the impossible routine.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK or follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok.