Desmond Roland

No. 21 Oklahoma State wakes up to avoid upset

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The first half ended with a little bit of a break, but No. 21 Oklahoma State (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) came out locked in for the second half to pull away from Iowa State (1-4, 0-3 Big 12) Saturday afternoon in Stillwater. Oklahoma State pulled away from Iowa State for a 37-20 victory.

Oklahoma State benefitted form a bizarre end to the first half that saw the special teams come up with a free ball inside the Iowa State 20-yard line and a video review overturn a goal-line play from no score to a touchdown. Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland looked to be stopped short of the end zone, which was the ruling on the field on the final play of the half, but a video review overturned the ruling. As a result, Oklahoma State managed to go to the half with a 13-6 lead in a poorly played first half.

The second half was quite the opposite. Oklahoma State started the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Tyreek Hill. The Cowboys later added 10 more points in the third quarter after Iowa State got in the end zone. Up 30-13 heading to the fourth quarter, Oklahoma State put the game away with a Roland touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma State improved to 4-1 on the year, with the lone loss coming on a neutral field against Florida State. The Cowboys are now 2-0 in Big 12 play with a road game at Kansas coming up next week. Oklahoma State may have been in a need to consider a change at quarterback, but Daxx Garman played better in the second half for the Cowboys. He ended his afternoon with 271 pass yards and one touchdown, but he was picked off twice by Iowa State.

Iowa State will step out of Big 12 play next week with a home game against Toledo. Iowa State’s next Big 12 game will come the following week, at Texas. We can probably still count on Iowa State for one upset in Big 12 play. Could it come against the Longhorns, or will the Cyclones have some drama to show off at home against Oklahoma on November 1?

Upset alert? No. 21 OK State gets late gift on video review at half

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It takes a lot of guts to go for a touchdown with no time remaining if you miss it. It looked as though Iowa State held firm on the goal line, but a controversial video review ruled Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland had crossed the goal line for a touchdown as time expired. The score gave Oklahoma State a 13-6 lead at the half in bizarre fashion.

Iowa State opened the scoring with two field goals in the second quarter. Oklahoma State responded with two field goals of their own. Following Ben Grogan’s second field goal to tie the game at 6-6, Oklahoma State recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Iowa State 11-yard line. You sort of had to see it to believe it, as Iowa State’s kick return let the ball fall on the ground in an open spot on the field. It was pretty much a disaster of a situation, but the Cyclones defense nearly held strong and prevented it from hurting.

On a third and goal from the two-yard line, Oklahoma State opted to go all in on the late gift of a possession instead of settle for a third field goal. Roland pushed forward up the middle of the line and appeared to be stopped short by Iowa State. A video review was summoned and it was determined Roland did in fact cross the goal line. Considering the ruling on the field was he did not cross the line, and seeing the video replays shown on TV, it is awfully difficult to see which angle provided what had to be indisputable evidence to overturn the scoring play.

Whatever the case, Oklahoma State’s offense needs to wake up. Iowa State is not going to go away. If Oklahoma State continues to sleep through the second half, Iowa State could still grab the upset of the No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Missouri outlasts Oklahoma State in the craziest fourth quarter of the bowl season

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It started innocently enough with Oklahoma State kicking a 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to tie Missouri at 17-17 in the Cotton Bowl. Little did anyone who had watched the previous three quarters that the fireworks were about to be lit. Missouri and Oklahoma State combined for 41 points as Missouri came out on top with a 41-31 victory. Missouri’s Henry Josey rushed for two of his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help lead the Tigers to the win.

Missouri used both of their quarterbacks in the game. James Franklin started the game but struggled to find a rhythm against Oklahoma State’s persistent and determined defense. Franklin completed just four of his first 16 pass attempts before being replaced by Maty Mauk. Mauk provided a spark but the impact was short-lived in the first half. Franklin returned to the game and completed 11 of his 24 pass attempts since being replaced by Mauk, for 141 yards.

The first three quarters were more about defenses than anything else. Oklahoma State was kept off the scoreboard in the second quarter and went nearly 30 minutes between scores in a game that was supposed to be a shootout from the start. Perhaps the old Big 12 familiarity between the two programs crept in as a factor but the offenses took over in the fourth quarter to provide more of the type of game that was expected.The teams traded scores with Oklahoma State finally grabbing a lead with just over five minutes to play with a Desmond Roland touchdown run. Josey broke a 16-yard touchdown run two minutes later, and the defense of Missouri had the final laugh. Michael Sam rushed from the right side of the pocket and hit Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf to knock the football loose. Misso Shane Ray picked it up and ran down the right sideline for 73 yards and a double-digit lead just as the Cowboys were putting the pressure on. Chelf passed for 377 yards and two touchdowns, but he also was picked off twice and had the costly fumble.

Missouri may not ave won the SEC Championship Game, but the experiences from this season can help continue to grow the program to a perennial contender in the SEC East. The Tigers were aided by down years by Georgia and Florida, and they did lose at home to South Carolina and run out of steam against Auburn. The signs of progress were shown this season in Columbia, Missouri. Missouri fits in just fine in the SEC, and Friday night’s Cotton Bowl victory is the latest evidence to support that argument.

Missouri will look to continue to prove they are a contender in the SEC East and SEC next season. The Tigers will have a favorable schedule without crossover games against Alabama and LSU, but they will make trips to Georgia and Florida. Both programs should be ready for a bounce back in 2014. Missouri also plays host to American and Fiesta Bowl champion UCF in mid-September, which should be an entertaining match-up as well.

Oklahoma State will start the 2014 season right in this same building. The Cowboys will face Florida State in the season opener at AT&T Stadium. They could be facing the defending BCS champions being led by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Unfortunately for Oklahoma State the Cowboys will be in a bit of a transition with their roster after losing a good number of seniors.