100 wins in the Mike Gundy era; where has the time gone?
It seems it was just yesterday Gundy gave that infamous press conference after a 49-45 win over Texas Tech back in 2007. You know, this one.
Yet, it almost feels like a different lifetime ago, considering how far this program has come since Gundy’s first win.
There’s just a different culture in Stillwater; a winning culture, and we can all thank Gundy for that (with some help from T Boone Pickens).
There isn’t a better man to lead this program than the one currently at the helms, and I think this video describes what Mike Gundy means to Oklahoma State better than I can.
Mike Gundy celebrating his 100th career win with the #okstate students is just as great as you thought it would be #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/v4F1puTU0j— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 29, 2016
Yet another 11 a.m. kickoff did not hold back the third largest crowd in Oklahoma State history (59,584), as a rowdy Boone Pickens Stadium cheered on Oklahoma State to a 37-20 win over No. 10 West Virginia on Homecoming. The best part about the crowd is the majority of them stayed the entire game.
Mason Rudolph put up big time numbers, but it was his poise that was really impressive today. He’s looked uncomfortable at times this season, but Saturday was vintage Rudolph.
QB1 threw for 273 yards on 26 of 36 passing and three touchdowns, while rushing for another. Rudolph also kept up with a season trend that is formulating. Rudolph threw his only two interceptions in the Central Michigan and Baylor games, while playing turnover free in all six Oklahoma State wins.
Rudolph was also able to get all of his receivers involved early, including James Washington — who was pretty much shut out last week at Kansas.
Rudolph had touchdown passes to Chris Lacy and Jalen McCleskey in the first half, leading the Cowboys to a 20-10 lead at the break.
But it was the Cowboys defense who stepped up in a big way, forcing three turnovers which resulted in 17 Oklahoma State points.
Vincent Taylor sacked West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard deep in their own territory, forcing a fumble in the process, and recovered by Cole Walterscheid. That resulted in a Rudolph five-yard touchdown pass to Lacy in the second quarter.
Ramon Richards found himself in the right place at the right time as a deflected ball fell into his hands late in the third quarter. Richards then ran all the way to his right, only to cut back all the way to the left, all while following his blockers to the West Virginia eight-yard line. The 59-yard interception return did not end with any laterals, so take it as you will.
You can watch both of those plays here:
Cowboys upset No. 10 West Virginia in a rowdy Boone Pickens Stadium. Check out the Top Plays! #GoPokes #okstate pic.twitter.com/OFanIy7qjf— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 29, 2016
The Cowboys took a 17-point lead with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter on a Rudolph read option, which he called his own number from two yards out. West Virginia came right back in almost no time with a touchdown, and scored a field goal on their next drive to cut the Oklahoma State lead to 27-20 in the fourth quarter.
But the Cowboys responded with a nine play, 67 yard drive, which was capped off by another Rudolph touchdown to Lacy on a well placed fade route.
Lacy only finished with three catches for 31 yards, but two of those catches were touchdowns.
Kevin Henry would go on to intercept Howard again in West Virginia territory, resulting in a Grogan field goal to complete the scoring.
The rushing game took a step back, but they did what they needed to in order to establish some sort of running presence. Justice Hill led the Cowboys with 54 yards on 19 carries, while Rudolph had the only rushing touchdown.
James Washington silently had a terrific game, hauling in six passes for 117 yards, while McCleskey had 11 catches and a touchdown. Rudolph was a perfect 11-for-11 when targeting McCleskey today.
Defensively, Chad Whitener had a monster game with 13 tackles (eight solo) and a sack. Taylor also was an animal on the defensive side, recording 2.5 sacks and an extremely vital forced fumble in the first half.
Oklahoma State moves to 6-2* (4-1 in Big 12 play), and is currently sitting in third place in the conference standings. The Cowboys have a dangerous road game in Manhattan, Kansas next week, as they pay Kansas State a visit. The projected start time for that one is 6 p.m. with the possibility of a 2:30 p.m. start.