OSU football journal: Injuries keep piling up for Pokes in loss at TCU
Injuries keep piling up for Pokes
Oklahoma State receiver Tylan Wallace had just made his biggest play of the day, a 55-yard touchdown catch that gave the Cowboys a one-point lead late in the third quarter.
But Wallace never returned to the game, sustaining what was believed to be a minor knee injury as he was tackled in the end zone.
His absence affected what offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn was able to call in the fourth quarter of a 29-22 loss Saturday at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“We didn’t run the ball efficiently in the second half,” Dunn said. “We have a lot of things that we create off the run game, and we just weren’t able to do it.
“When Tylan’s not out there, the safeties can load the box then.”
As a group, no position was hit harder than the defensive secondary. Two players who have previously dealt with ankle injuries — cornerback Rodarius Williams and safety Tre Sterling — went out again in the first half. Neither played in the second half.
The Cowboys were without starting running back Chuba Hubbard once again. Hubbard continues to deal with an ankle injury that he tried to play through for roughly a month before sitting out last week.
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Offensive lineman Teven Jenkins announced on Monday that he will sit out the rest of the season because of a back injury in hopes of getting healthy for next spring’s NFL Draft.
Placekicking a mystery for Cowboys
After going through seven games with only one missed kick — field goal or extra point — the Cowboys have fallen apart the last two weeks.
The source of the problem goes back to starter Alex Hale suffering a serious injury during warmups for the Bedlam game on Nov. 21.
While his replacement, Brady Pohl, was perfect against OU, he missed a field goal and an extra point against Texas Tech last week.
On Saturday, redshirt freshman third-teamer Ben Freehill was given the opportunity to kick the first two extra-point tries, missing the second.
Pohl returned to the job afterward, but missed two of the three field goals he tried.
Prior to his injury, Hale was perfect on extra points and 13-of-14 on field goals.
Scoop and score
Non-offensive touchdowns have been popular for the Cowboys of late, and they got another big one early on Saturday.
OSU linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez ripped the ball loose from TCU freshman Zach Evans, and Cowboy defensive end Brock Martin was there to pick it up. He returned it 42 yards for the touchdown with 10:48 left in the first quarter.
“I turned around, saw the ball on the ground, picked it up and started running,” Martin said. “I couldn’t breathe. Never really had the ball in my hands before. It doesn’t happen often for a guy like me, so I’m just blessed that I got that opportunity.”
Rodriguez, who has been longtime friends with Martin, was on the ground after stripping the ball out, but then tried to catch up to block for Martin.
“I was hoping he was gonna get in,” Rodriguez said. “He’s kinda slow, but he ended up getting in somehow, so props to Brock.
“You could definitely tell he had a little rust on his wheels when he got the ball.”
It was the fourth non-offensive touchdown for the Cowboys this season, and the third in a span of 2 1/2 quarters. In the third quarter last week, OSU scored on an onside kickoff return by Jason Taylor II and an interception return by Tre Sterling.
Scott Wright, staff writer