OSU football: Five takeaways from the Cowboys' 50-44 win over Texas Tech
STILLWATER — Chuba Hubbard’s puffy gray jacket was both warmer and softer than the walking boot the Oklahoma State running back wore on his right foot Saturday. His backup, LD Brown, was in uniform, but like Hubbard, unavailable to play because of injury.
Enter Dezmon Jackson, an unfamiliar name who quickly became a Cowboy fan favorite on a wild Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Jackson rushed for 235 yards on 36 carries — none bigger than the fourth-down carry that sealed OSU’s 50-44 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Jackson scored three touchdowns, and could’ve had four, but slid to a stop after breaking free on that crucial fourth-down run. Rather than score the touchdown, he stopped short and allowed the Cowboys to kneel the ball and run out the clock.
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With the win, the Cowboys’ hopes for the Big 12 title game remain alive. OSU must win out and get some help in terms of other teams’ losses, but its chances are still breathing.
Here are four more takeaways from Saturday’s Cowboy victory:
Pokes hang on in wacky second half
With 7:15 to play in the third quarter, Texas Tech scored to take a 24-21 lead and had all momentum on its side with the OSU offense stumbling.
Tech coach Matt Wells decided to try a sneak onside kick, but it bounced into the hands of OSU sophomore Jason Taylor II, who had nothing but open space in front of him. He returned the kick 48 yards for a touchdown.
On the following possession, OSU safety Tre Sterling intercepted Tech quarterback Alan Bowman and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown.
The back-to-back non-offensive touchdowns gave the Cowboy offense some juice, responding with two straight TDs of its own.
Then the defense added a safety before Tech tried to rally. OSU hadn’t had two non-offensive touchdowns since achieving the feat against Southeast Louisiana in 2016.
Wallace over 100 yards by halftime
Receiver Tylan Wallace put on a show in his final game at BPS.
The senior from Fort Worth, Texas, went over the 100-yard mark for the 15th game of his career, and he got there by halftime. He added a highlight-reel touchdown catch in the third quarter, coming down with a pass in the back of the end zone and dragging his feet as he pulled the ball in.
Wallace finished with 129 yards and a TD on seven receptions. He was targeted 12 times and rushed once for 7 yards.
In the first half alone, he had six catches for 102 yards.
Quarterback Spencer Sanders spread the ball out well, completing passes to seven players and targeting nine receivers in all.
Injuries and absences
An injury-filled season continued for the Cowboys on Saturday.
In addition to running backs Hubbard and Brown being held out of action, starting right tackle Teven Jenkins did not suit up because of a back injury. Backup quarterback Shane Illingworth was out after testing positive for COVID-19, and backup defensive end Amadou Fofana was out as well.
Late in the first quarter, starting receiver Dillon Stoner left the game with an undisclosed injury, but he returned in the second half.
Also in the first quarter, senior cornerback Rodarius Williams suffered a lower leg injury and did not return.
Hubbard saluted with seniors
Before the game, OSU recognized 21 players, many of whom were playing their final game at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday. Among them was Hubbard, the junior running back who has been widely expected to leave for the NFL Draft after the season. Saturday’s recognition solidified that expectation.
Seniors like Wallace, Jenkins and Williams are also bound for the NFL, while others will have a decision to make. The NCAA ruled that players would not lose a year of eligibility, regardless of participation in a sport in the fall of 2020.
Thus, the seniors retain their final year of eligibility and can return next fall if they wish.