It didn't start out the way we thought. It didn't start out the way anyone thought. After a 31-yard run play on the first play from scrimmage, Mahomes found his receiver deep for a touchdown. The first drive of the game lasted less than a minute and Tech was up 7-0 before you could even open your beer.
Oklahoma State got to respond on the next drive. But the response wasn't pretty. A third down 12-yard catch by James Washington put the Cowboys past the 50. However, on the next third down, Rudolph had another "oopsie" fumble while attempting to throw the ball, causing a fourth down. Thankfully for OSU, Zach Sinor is a god at punting and planted the Red Raiders within the 10-yard line to start the next drive.
Texas Tech didn't care, though. A 90-yard play from Grant on a short out rout put Tech at the four yard line and put Tech in position to score on third down to extend their lead to 14-0.
Things got ugly quick.
Rudolph's struggles continued as he threw an interception on the next drive, right to the Tech linebacker to give Tech a chance to extend it to 14-0. Then the defense decided to finally show up, after about 10 minutes of game time where they were still at the hotel. Holding Tech to no yards on a second and nine brought up Clayton Hatfield for a 42-yard field goal, and he made it to make it 17-0. Still not impossible at this point, but definitely not looking great. Tech had 186 total yards before the 10 minutes of game time passed.
Rudolph would get another chance, with 6:31 left in the first, the Cowboys started a drive that needed to end in a score. OSU got down to the 20 and threw a double pass. Austin Hays dropped the screen pass, but still threw it to Blake Jarwin, who was able to dive into the endzone for the Cowboys first score and make it 17-7 with 4:25 left, in the first quarter.
Grant returned the ensuing kickoff to the endzone, at least the defense got a rest? So the Cowboys would get the ball back, essentially erasing the touchdown they had just picked up.
OSU started the drive on the 18, got a first down in two plays, including a pretty good rush from Chris Carson, who hasn't looked good since the UTSA game. Then, Rudolph avoided a rush and completed a long pass, the kind of pass that makes everyone remember why they love him. The Cowboys put Walsh in a little earlier and he loses six yards on first down, forcing Rudolph back in.
Rudolph threw a beauty, a flag-corner route to Austin Hays that scored, though it was called no score even though Hays got a foot in. It was overturned in less than a few minutes, and that's the exact kind of play that makes me think he could be the best quarterback in the Big 12. Cowboys 14, Red Raiders 24, it hasn't been ugly but with 42 seconds left in the first quarter, it's as good as it's going to be, I guess.
Tech started it's next drive on the 35 and on third down, they were able to exploit the Cowboys coverage to end the first quarter with a first down. Again.
That ended the first quarter. I've written 581 words and that's one quarter. One question - is this Michael Hunter's fault? We also finished with no sacks.
Tech started the second quarter with the ball and continued doing whatever it wanted on offense. Including one third down conversion on the first third down of the quarter. Oklahoma State was looking bad on defense, missing a sack on third down and forcing Mahomes to gain nine yards on third and eight. At this point, they're in the red zone again.
On the next play, Jakeem Grant did what he does (at least today) and scored on a quick slant route, but was hurt. Could this be the first bright spot OSU has seen today? As Grant has torn this OSU team apart, Tech would need to look for someone else to pick up the slack. However, Tech stills cored and it was now 31-14 and Grant seems to be able to return soon.
It wasn't out of reach, though. OSU pulled out the old double-pass back to Rudolph on third and two, resulting in a first down.
Lot going on here. https://t.co/PnHRtNxFAd— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) October 31, 2015
Then, Washington dropped a pass right through his hands, and brought up another third and 10. Thankfully, Rudolph has had enough experience in these situations and pulled it out to put OSU on the Tech 38.
Tech then got a targeting call that I'm not so sure about but resulted in OSU having the ball on the 23-yard line. Walsh in, threw a pass to Chris Carson for a 19-yard gain and a first and goal. Cowboys hand it off to Raymond Taylor, who scored to make it 21-31. As I said before, the offense is looking good enough to keep OSU in this game.
The defense on other hand... it's not pretty.
However, the "refs being on OSU side" argument somehow made a come back. Tech got an unsportsmanlike conduct call, putting them on the 11 yard line. On second down, the refs gave another penalty to put Tech on the seven yard line and make second and twelve. Michael Hunter, the transfer corner, got a PI that was honestly nonexistent.
The defense, playing against the Red Raiders and refs, apparently, were able to force a third and long and make Mahomes throw it away. Cowboys start their next drive on their own 31.
On third and 12 in the next drive, Rudolph completed yet another pass to Austin Hays and would throw a pass to Brandon Sheperd in the end zone, which was called incomplete. The officials reviewed it and called it a Cowboy touchdown, so it's 31-28 wiht 3:37 left in the half. I'm at 1,102 words, in case you were wondering.
Here's the catch:
Pokes within 4. I need ❤️ medicine. https://t.co/AZCzd4MdvV— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) October 31, 2015
Tech converted on its first third down and a roughing the passer call put Tech on the 31-yard line, otherwise known as field goal range. Mahomes would sneak it in with a quarterback sneak that I'm not entirely sure he actually got in on. So it's 38-28 with 46 seconds left.
The Cowboys would try for it. Starting at the 25, Rudolph threw a pass to Glidden to the 44 for a first and then thew it to Chris Carson on the flat for a seven yard gain. Cowboys moved more than 20 yards in less than 20 seconds.
Fourth and one, Oklahoma State ran Walsh, and then he spiked the ball to stop the clock with 10 seconds left in the half.
On second down, Rudolph's pass was tipped so it's third and 10 from the Tech 45. The pass was incomplete but tipped into Glidden's chest and was incomplete. Halftime over, 38-28 and Cowboys receive to start the next half.
- Game is eerily similar to KSU. OSU offense worked in second quarter very well. Defense was asleep until about the seven minute mark in quarter two. Could we see the same ending?
- Defense is actually looking like last years.
- Rudolph in second quarter vs. Rudolph in first is huge difference.
- Offensive line is still very bad.
- It's very smart to squib kick it every time because Grant is not fair.
- I do believe this defense is rebounding and will be better next half.
- Mahomes is good. Let's not sit here and say he's not.
- If Tech has a defense, we're losing bad and they're one of the better teams in the country.
- Here's the targeting call