The Taylor Cornelius-Tylan Wallace connection giveth, the Taylor Cornelius-Tylan Wallace taketh away.
In last week’s near upset of No. 6 Oklahoma, the pair hooked up 10 times for 220 yards and two touchdowns but could not make the one that counted in a 48-47 loss. On Saturday against No. 9 West Virginia, Cornelius again found Wallace for a touchdown, but the pair also combined for three first-half turnovers to push Oklahoma State to a 31-14 halftime deficit in Stillwater.
The first turnover came with West Virginia already leading 14-7 late in the first quarter. Cornelius hit Wallace for a 13-yard gain to the Oklahoma State 40, but Wallace fumbled the ball over to the Mountaineers. Taking over in opponent territory, West Virginia quickly capitalized as Will Grier hit David Sills V for a 22-yard touchdown pass to put WVU up 21-7.
Oklahoma State quickly answered by knifing 60 yards in five plays, scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Cornelius to Logan Carter. The Cowboy defense forced a West Virginia punt on the ensuing possession, allowing Oklahoma State to take over with a chance to tie the game, but Cornelius was intercepted, as Toyous Avery, Jr., punished him for forcing a 3rd-and-9 throw to Wallace.
Taking over inside Oklahoma State territory for the second time in the first half, West Virginia drove to the OSU 5-yard line but Grier was stuffed on a 4th-and-1 keeper.
Though West Virginia did not immediately score off the turnover, it did successfully allow WVU to play the game on Oklahoma State’s side of the field. After the teams traded three-and-outs over their next three chances, West Virginia pushed its lead to two touchdowns on a 3-play, 51-yard drive that was covered entirely by Kennedy McKoy‘s legs, racing for runs of seven, 14 and then 30 yards, the last of which crossed the goal line with 1:17 left in the first half.
Dashing to pull back within one score before the break, Oklahoma State crossed midfield into WVU territory, but Cornelius was again intercepted — while again looking for Wallace.
Taking over inside their own territory this time, West Virginia moved 39 yards in five plays and 61 seconds, setting up a 43-yard Evan Staley field goal on the final play of the first half.
On the whole, Wallace finished the half with three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown — and a total of three turnovers, either by him or to him.
While Cornelius was turning the ball over, Grier was 16-of-26 for 159 yards and two touchdowns and McKoy carried 13 times for 139 yards and two more scores.
Oklahoma State will receive to open the second half.