The first part of the Texas-Oklahoma State series was highlighted by a series of major Texas comebacks. From 35-7 in 2004. From 28-9 a year later. From 35-14 in the fourth quarter in 2007.
The second part of the UT-OSU series is what’s happened this decade. Oklahoma State entered Saturday winning six of the eight meetings in the 2010s, and those wins tilted the series such that the Cowboys, who entered Saturday night a dead team walking, can now survive such comeback efforts.
The Longhorns trailed 31-14 at the half and by the same score late into the third quarter, but Texas got two Sam Ehlinger touchdown passes and then forced a Cowboys punt to take over the ball with a chance to take the lead. But Zach Sinor boomed a 57-yard blast, which Texas’s Brandon Jones fielded near his own end zone and was tackled at his own 2. Oklahoma State forced a punt and took over inside Texas territory, but still Texas had a chance to force a field goal on a 3rd-and-goal from the 10 with just under six minutes left.
After a timeout, Oklahoma State dialed up a zone read keeper for Taylor Cornelius, who shed two tacklers to get in for the deciding touchdown, putting the Cowboys up 38-28 with 5:44 left.
Texas surged 75 yards down the field for the answering score — but it took nearly four minutes.
An onside kick with 1:46 left went straight to OSU’s Dylan Stoner. On a 3rd-and-6 with 1:37 left, Cornelius again kept the ball and picked up the crucial first down to allow Oklahoma State to hold on for a 38-35 win.
Of course, there was the story of how Oklahoma State built that 31-14 halftime lead in the first place. The Cowboys, a that gained only 311 yards in a 31-12 loss Kansas State its last time out, rolled up 378 yards in the first half.
Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) accepted the ball to open the game and rolled 68 yards in four plays, scoring on a 40-yard pass from Cornelius to Tylan Wallace, who hauled in 216 yards in the first half alone.
After a Texas (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) touchdown, Oklahoma State answered with a 75-yard march in nine snaps, as Cornelius found Jelani Woods for a 16-yard score.
The Cowboys’ next two drives — 59 and 58 yards — ended in two Matt Ammendola field goal tries, one good from 24 and another hooked from 41.
Oklahoma State followed its first empty possession with a 10-play, 64-yard touchdown drive, scoring on a 1-yard Cornelius sneak.
After their first punt, Oklahoma State moved 70 yards in 10 plays for another Cornelius-to-Wallace touchdown. The Cowboys converted two fourth downs en route to the score, on by drawing an offsides on a 4th-and-1 punt, and then the 36-yard touchdown to Wallace on another 4th-and-1.
Cornelius finished the game 23-of-34 for 321 yards and three touchdowns plus 23 rushing yards for two crucial touchdowns.
Ehlinger struggled in the first half but rallied to go 22-of-42 for 283 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 10 times for 47 yards and two scores.