Maybe it’s time we start calling Mike Gundy‘s crew the Cardiac Cowboys. Two weeks after rallying past Texas and a week after coming from behind to stun Kansas State, No. 21 Oklahoma State thwarted a second-half rally to find off West Virginia 33-26 in overtime.
The Cowboys led 17-2 at the half but watched as West Virginia – slowly – closed the gap throughout the second half. First it was a 29-yard scoring dash by Wendell Smallwood, then, after a J.W. Walsh touchdown pass that pushed the lead back to 23-9, a Skyler Howard 48-yard touchdown toss to Shelton Gibson and a 38-yard Josh Lambert field goal pulled the Mountaineers to within 23-19 with 13:50 remaining in the game.
The West Virginia defense, so great throughout September, stoned Oklahoma State at the goal line, forcing a 22-yard Ben Grogan field goal with 5:36 remaining. The Mountaineers then moved 68 yards in 10 plays, capped by a three-yard Howard stretch, to tie the game with 2:44 to play.
Oklahoma State opened overtime with an efficient, six-play touchdown drive, punctuated by a two-yard Walsh run on 4th-and-goal. That gutsy touchdown forced West Virginia to answer with a touchdown of its own, and the Mountaineers could not as Howard’s pass to Daikiel Shorts from the 11-yard line sailed incomplete.
Each teams suffered through a number of mistakes throughout a choppy game; West Virginia went home with a 4-3 turnover advantage. Mason Rudolph completed 20-of-40 throws for 218 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions, but he was bailed out by three West Virginia fumbles, including one by Howard that Emmanuel Ogbah pounced on for the Pokes’ first touchdown.
West Virginia (3-2, 0-2 Big 12) outgained Oklahoma State 443-362, including a 255-134 edge on the ground, but all they have to show for it, in the end, is their second straight loss with trips to Baylor and TCU waiting in the next two weeks. Gulp.
Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) quietly pushed its winning streak to eight games with Kansas coming to Stillwater after a bye week.