Nov 6, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) runs out of the pocket during the second quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Eight sacks, defense power No. 11 Oklahoma State past West Virginia

Spencer Sanders passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns and the defense did the rest as No. 11 Oklahoma State stayed in the thick of the Big 12 race with a 24-3 victory over West Virginia Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.

Sanders completed 21 of 31 passes and had touchdown tosses of 6 and 12 yards to Tay Martin as the Cowboys (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) shut out the Mountaineers (4-5, 2-4) 14-0 in the second half. Jaylen Warren scored on a 13-yard burst up the middle early in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Oklahoma State’s defense posted a season-high eight sacks with linebacker Devin Harper and defensive end Brock Martin combining for half of them with two sacks each.

The Mountaineers managed only 133 yards in total offense with a net 17 rushing and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since a 42-6 loss at Iowa State in their 2020 regular-season finale. Oklahoma State finished with 285 yards.

Jarret Doege was 15 of 22 passing with an interception but for a season-low 109 yards and Leddie Brown, who had topped the 100-yard mark rushing in West Virginia’s wins over TCU and Iowa State his last two outings, managed only 24 yards on 10 carries.

Both defenses dominated early. The Mountaineers scored on Casey Legg’s 30-yard field goal on their first possession but had three-and-outs on three of their next four drives. They let time run out in the first half after running three plays on their final possession and finished with 61 yards in total offense, — minus-2 in rushing in the first two quarters.

The Cowboys weren’t much more productive with just 173 yards in the first half, 116 coming on Sanders’ passing. They punted twice and gave up the ball on an interception in the first quarter before scoring on Sanders’ first touchdown toss to Martin and Tanner Brown’s 34-yard field goal in the second to go up 10-3 at the break.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Jaylen Warren (7) runs the ball as Kansas Jayhawks safety Kenny Logan Jr. (1) closes in during the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Oklahoma State pounds Kansas in Big 12 mismatch

Spencer Sanders passed for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 53 rushing yards and a score Saturday as No. 15 Oklahoma State blistered Kansas 55-3 at Stillwater, Okla.

The Cowboys (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) rebounded from their first loss of the season a week earlier at Iowa State by holding the Jayhawks (1-7, 0-5) without a first down in the first half while rolling to a 38-0 margin.

Dominic Richardson paced the Oklahoma State rushers with 79 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. Tay Martin snagged five receptions for 84 yards and a score.

Sanders did not even finish the first half, going 12 of 19 before yielding to backup Shane Illingworth on the Cowboys’ last possession before halftime.

Illingworth also fired two touchdowns as Oklahoma State substituted liberally in the second half. The Cowboys remain tied for second in the Big 12 behind undefeated Oklahoma.

At halftime, Kansas had just 49 total yards on eight empty possessions and turned it over twice on interceptions picked by the Cowboys’ Jason Taylor and Kolby Harvell-Peel. The Jayhawks eventually managed seven first downs on the night.

Big 12 tackling leader Malcolm Rodriguez finished with five stops and 1.5 tackles for loss as Oklahoma State allowed just 143 yards, while gaining 535.

The victory extended the Cowboys’ win streak in the series to 12 games, their longest ever against one opponent. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks’ Big 12 road losing streak climbed to 56, a skid that dates to 2008.

Jason Bean managed a passer rating of minus-1.6 before being replaced by backup Miles Kendrick in the third quarter. Kendrick passed for 34 yards and led Kansas rushers with 32 yards.

When the Jayhawks finally recorded their initial first down on a Kendrick keeper with 9:16 left in the third quarter, the Cowboys had already generated 26 first downs and 400-plus yards.

A week earlier, Kansas carried a lead into the fourth quarter against Oklahoma before fading. The loss Saturday marked the six-month anniversary for Lance Leipold as the Jayhawks first-year coach. He arrived April 30 following the ouster of Les Miles.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (20) warms up before the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Oklahoma State faces Iowa State as unbeaten underdog

No. 8 Oklahoma State is undefeated and has passed every test to date. But the Cowboys nevertheless are seven-point underdogs heading into Saturday afternoon’s game at Iowa State.

The spread might be more of an indictment on the style of football the Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) have played more than anything else. Four of their six wins have been decided by eight or points or less, including last week’s 32-24 victory at Texas.

Still, the Cyclones (4-2, 2-1), fresh off a 33-20 win at Kansas State, are starting to round into the form that caused AP voters to place them No. 7 in the preseason.

“This will be a big challenge for us,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “Statistically, arguably, whatever comment you want to make, (this is) the best defense we have played or could potentially play based on what people say. They’ve been good for a number of years; they’re starting to come around, in my opinion.”

Iowa State is giving up league lows in points per game (16.3) and yards per game (251.3). Defensive end Will McDonald has forced three fumbles and recorded 5 1/2 sacks. Fellow defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike has four sacks, and linebacker Mike Rose is the top tackler on the team, averaging 7.2 per game.

And after a slow start to the season, running back Breece Hall has sprung to life with four straight 100-yard performances, including last week’s season-high 197 yards and two touchdowns.

“No. 28 (Hall) is very patient and runs a lot like Thurman Thomas used to run,” Gundy said. “He’ll wait and then hit a seam. He’s a very patient runner and productive at what he gets accomplished.”

The Cowboys bring their own offensive stars to the matchup in Ames, Iowa, with Jaylen Warren at running back (705 yards, six touchdowns) and Tay Martin at wide receiver (27 catches for 365 yards in four games), though as usual, the Cowboys will need quarterback Spencer Sanders to perform, too.

On defense, Cowboys linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez leads the Big 12 with 10 tackles per game and has forced a pair of fumbles. Oklahoma State is the second-stingiest defense in the Big 12, surrendering 307.2 yards per game.

“Very talented in the skill positions, very talented on the defensive side of the football,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “(They) have really become one of the standards on the defensive side of the football in our conference, and I think for years have been the standard on offense. (It’s a) really well-coached football team that we have a lot of respect for.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) runs for yardage in the red zone in the first half of the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylen Warren, No. 12 Oklahoma State use big 4th Q to top No. 25 Texas

Jaylen Warren rushed for 193 yards on 33 carries, with 118 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter, and Tanner Brown kicked four field goals as No. 12 Oklahoma State charged back for a 32-24 win over No. 25 Texas on Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 Conference contest in Austin, Texas.

The Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) dominated the game after the early minutes of the third quarter, scoring 19 unanswered points once falling behind by 11. After taking the lead with 4:37 left on Brown’s fourth field goal, Oklahoma State stopped the Longhorns on a fourth down and added a 10-yard touchdown run by Spencer Sanders with 2:18 to play.

Bijan Robinson ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns and added a TD reception as Texas built a 24-13 advantage. But for the second straight week, the Longhorns were outplayed in the final quarter, and had no answer for the Cowboys late.

Sanders (19 of 32 passing) also produced a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brennan Presley during the Cowboys’ comeback and finished with 178 yards through the air.

Casey Thompson passed for 179 yards for the Longhorns (4-3, 2-2 in Big 12) but threw two interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown.

Robinson plowed into the end zone on a 1-yard TD run on the game’s opening drive, culminating an 11-play, 75-yard march. Oklahoma State got on the board with a 21-yard field goal by Brown at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter before Cameron Dicker countered with a 28-yard FG for the Longhorns on the ensuing possession.

Texas expanded its lead to 17-3 with a 13-yard scoring pass from Thompson to Robinson with 8:36 to play before halftime.

The Cowboys’ Jason Taylor II flipped the script on the game with an 85-yard interception return that brought Oklahoma State to within 17-10 at the 5:13 mark of the second quarter. Brown added a 39-yard field goal with 8 seconds to play in the half to bring the Cowboys to 17-13 at the break.

Robinson got the Longhorns back on track with a 38-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. Brown answered with another 21-yard field goal for Oklahoma State with 4:49 to play in the quarter and then then put Oklahoma State in front for good with his fourth FG of the game.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Tay Martin (1) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Kansas State Wildcats in the second quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 Baylor, No. 19 Oklahoma State prepare for ranked showdown

Saturday’s Big 12 dustup between No. 21 Baylor and No. 19 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., could determine which of the undefeated surprise teams will have the staying power to be contenders for the conference title.

Then again, the battle might also be an early weed-out game to figure out if the Bears or Cowboys are mere pretenders. Such is the week-to-week gauntlet of play in the Big 12.

Both teams jumped into the AP Top 25 after wins at home last week over ranked conference opponents.

Baylor (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) outlasted No. 14 Iowa State 31-29, stopping the Cyclones on the deciding 2-point conversion attempt in the waning seconds and beating a ranked opponent for the first time since 2015.

Gerry Bohanon passed for 164 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score, and Trestan Ebner scored on a 98-yard kickoff return to lead Baylor to the win. Isaiah Hankins’ 34-yard field goal with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter ended up producing the winning points for the Bears.

In the first half, the Bears racked up 212 yards and 21 points on a team allowing fewer total yards and points coming in while running out to a seven-point lead. Ebner’s kickoff return and the Baylor defense did just enough after halftime to finish off the upset.

“The guys are a confident bunch,” Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. “There’s a good, healthy amount of ego there, and there’s a good amount of love for their brother. Whatever is in front of us, we’re going to try to knock it down. For us to be able to take the next step from this is to be able to do the little things with really strong discipline.”

The Cowboys (4-0, 1-0) moved into the rankings after a definitive 31-20 victory over No. 25 Kansas State. Spencer Sanders passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns and added another on the ground, and Jaylen Warren amassed 204 total yards (123 rushing, 81 receiving) in the win over the Wildcats.

Like Baylor, Oklahoma State dominated the first half, racking up all of its points and 295 of its 481 total yards before struggling in the final two quarters. The Cowboys have not scored after halftime in their past two games.

The Oklahoma State defense held Kansas State to minus-6 yards of offense in the final quarter while producing three consecutive three-and-outs to secure the victory.

“I told the team I was proud of the way they continue to play together as a unit,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “This team plays together more than any team I can remember since I’ve been the head coach. The defense played well, and offensively we played much better, and the first half looked like what we have been the last 15 years.”

Saturday’s contest will be the 40th overall meeting between Oklahoma State and Baylor in a series that dates to 1914. The Cowboys hold a 21-18 all-time advantage, including a 13-7 edge in games played in Stillwater.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Boise, Idaho, USA;  Boise State Broncos safety Rodney Robinson (4) gets a stiff arm from Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Jaylen Warren (7) during the first half of play  at Albertsons Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

RB Jaylen Warren, Oklahoma State rumble past Boise State

Jaylen Warren rushed for a career-high 218 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Oklahoma State to a 21-20 victory over Boise State in a nonconference game Saturday night at Boise, Idaho.

Jason Taylor II tipped a 36-yard field goal attempt by Boise State’s Johan Dalmas to protect the victory. Taylor’s right hand caused the low attempt to go wide to the left with 2:05 remaining.

Spencer Sanders added a rushing score for the Cowboys (3-0). Malcolm Rodriguez forced a key fumble to set up Oklahoma State’s go-ahead touchdown late in the first half.

Sanders completed 6 of 13 passes for 87 yards and rushed for 40 yards on 14 carries as the Cowboys won for the 19th time in their last 20 nonconference games.

Hank Bachmeier was 22-of-34 passing for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Boise State (1-2). Cyrus Habibi-Likio rushed for a touchdown and Davis Koetter had a scoring reception.

The Broncos gained just 64 yards in the second half and were outgained 333-303

Warren lost a fumble at the Oklahoma State 41-yard line and Boise State’s JL Skinner recovered with 3:22 left. The officiating crew blew the play dead while Skinner was running toward the end zone and asserted Warren was down before he fumbled but a replay review showed that his knees weren’t down when he lost the ball.

A short time later, Dalmas’ field goal was blocked.

Boise State led 20-7 after a Dalmas’ 36-yard field goal with 6:26 left in the first half. At that point, the Broncos had run 46 plays to Oklahoma State’s 13.

But the Cowboys drove 60 yards on 10 plays with Warren scoring from 6 yards out with 2:10 left in the first half. Rodriguez then forced Boise State’s George Holani to fumble and Oklahoma State’s Devin Harper recovered at the Broncos’ 21-yard line with 1:58 remaining.

Five plays later, Sanders scored on a 1-yard keeper with six seconds left as the Cowboys led 21-20 at halftime.

At the outset, Dalmas booted a 40-yard field goal and Bachmeier tossed a 27-yard scoring pass to Koetter for a 10-0 Boise State lead with 5:10 left in the first quarter.

Warren exploded for a 75-yard touchdown run on Oklahoma State’s next play from scrimmage. Warren rushed for 150 yards in the first half.

Habibi-Likio scored on a 5-yard run to make it 17-7 with 10:07 left in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) is sacked by Tulsa Golden Hurricane defensive lineman Cullen Wick (91) as defensive lineman Jaxon Player (90) moves in during the second quarter  at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Long kickoff return helps Oklahoma State edge Tulsa

L.D. Brown returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and Spencer Sanders completed two scoring passes in host Oklahoma State’s 28-23 win Saturday against Tulsa in Stillwater, Okla.

Sanders, who missed last week’s season-opening win over Missouri State because he was in COVID-19 quarantine, completed 15 of 26 passes for 173 yards with one interception for the Cowboys (2-0).

After Tulsa’s 87-yard drive stalled and Zack Long made a 20-yard field goal to give the Golden Hurricane (0-2) a 17-14 lead with 10:56 left in the fourth quarter, Brown found a wedge in the middle of the field and returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.

The score gave Oklahoma State a 21-17 lead with 10:41 left.

It is the longest kickoff return for a touchdown for the Cowboys since Tyreek Hill’s 99-yard return against Kansas in 2014.

Sanders engineered a touchdown drive in the next possession that included his 37-yard run. Jaylen Warren finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run that put the Cowboys up 28-17 with 4:59 remaining.

Tulsa then went 75 yards on seven plays capped by Anthony Watkins’ 4-yard touchdown run with 3:06 left. Davis Brin’s two-point conversion pass was incomplete and Tulsa trailed 28-23.

Brin completed 19 of 27 pass attempts for 224 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Sanders completed a touchdown pass and also threw a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown for the only scoring in the first half.

Each team had four possessions that resulted in a punt before Sanders engineered an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaden Bray with 4:05 left in the second quarter.

On the second play of Oklahoma State’s next possession, Sanders threw an interception that was returned 55 yards for a touchdown by Justin Wright with 1:44 left before halftime.

The Golden Hurricanes’ offense put together its first touchdown drive that resulted in Deneric Prince’s 3-yard scoring run with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

Oklahoma State tied the game at 14 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Sanders completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Green. That play culminated a 13-play, 76-yard possession.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA;  Tulsa Golden Hurricane head coach Philip Montgomery watches a play during the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Tulsa won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

In-state rivals Tulsa, Oklahoma State to meet

Tulsa is coming off a loss at home to an FCS program while Oklahoma State survived a scare in Stillwater against another such program last week.

The in-state rivals will meet Saturday at Stillwater in search of answers for their struggles in those openers.

Tulsa (0-1) lost 19-17 to UC Davis of the Big Sky Conference without six players who were suspended for their part in a brawl against Mississippi State following the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, last December.

Among those not in uniform were four starters — safety TieNeal Martin, linebackers Treyvon Reeves and Justin Wright and offensive lineman Tyler Smith.

“It is what it is on that part of it,” Golden Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said. “We’ll have those guys all back next week and be ready to play.

“Like I told those guys earlier — we’re a different team. This is a new year. We’ve got to find our identity in who we’re going to be. Can’t live off last year. Veteran or not, we’ve got to go to work. We gotta come together as a football team and get ready to excel.”

Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 42-27-5.

Oklahoma State starting quarterback Spencer Sanders did not play in the Cowboys’ 23-16 win over Missouri State last Saturday because he was under COVID-19 quarantine.

The Cowboys (1-0) were outscored 13-3 in the second half.

Backup quarterback Shane Illingworth threw for 315 yards and was 22-of-40 passing.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was asked Monday if Sanders would return against Tulsa.

“I’d rather not talk about any injuries at this time,” Gundy said. “We’re hoping that he’ll be back. He’ll be fine. I really can’t say because you never know how those things will turn out, so I just prefer not to guess one way or the other.”

Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin, a fourth-year junior, is looking to improve after completing 15-of-28 passes for 201 yards with two interceptions.

Oklahoma State’s running game averaged only 1.9 yards per carry against Missouri State, and Illingworth’s completion accuracy declined from 65.2 percent in the first half to 41.2 percent in the second.

–Field Level Media