When one team beats another by 30 points, you’d expect to find quite a few plays that would vie for the coveted “play of the game” designation, but when the Oklahoma State Cowboys took down Colorado 38-8 in the Alamo Bowl, there weren’t that many stellar plays to choose from.
We’ve already given a recap of the game, and most of the plays that would be considered as the play of the game were noted.
It’s rare that a play in the early stages of the second quarter would be the most memorable of the night, but the double toss for the long gain did much more than just pick up some yards.
Coming into the Alamo Bowl, questions abounded as to how Mike Gundy and his staff would erase the conservative stigma that had plagued them since Bedlam. Would we see some gadget plays or would the percentages win out, providing a more conservative gameplan.
Gundy decided to try go for it.
Only leading 3-0 with a 2nd and seven from the Colorado 34, Mason Rudolph received the snap and turned to his right, tossing the ball (backward) to Chris Carson, who grabbed the pass and then heaved it back across the field to Rudolph. The quarterback then turned and scampered 25 yards to the ten.
The play wasn’t a touchdown, but it became the pivotal moment in the game, demonstrating to some beleaguered fans that this one wouldn’t be won with a stale, methodical offensive showing. No, these Cowboys came to play and to have some fun doing it.
It was certainly the play of the game, but it wasn’t the only memorable moment.
kevinmcguire: Oklahoma State rolls out a double pass to set up a TD. #A… ESPN Alamo Bowl: O… https://t.co/xdXqrTq3XG pic.twitter.com/7TpSpApvb6— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) December 30, 2016
In the final game of his Cowboy career, Jhajuan Seales showed what has made him an important part of OSU’s offensive attack, especially with the loss of Marcell Ateman.
With the Pokes already leading 24-0 near the end of the third quarter, Seales caught a 22-yard pass from Rudolph at the back of the endzone, making sure to drag his back leg across the orange turf in bounds. It was a beautiful play that extended the lead and officially closed the door to any Colorado comeback hopes.
But Seales’ best play came midway through the second quarter as the Cowboys drove deep into Buffalo territory holding a 10-point lead. On 2nd and 15, Rudolph hit Blake Jarwin crossing the middle. As Jarwin neared the edge and turned upfield, Seales came from the endzone and laid a tremendous block that allowed Jarwin to gain a few extra yards. OSU would eventually score on a James Washington reception.
Defensively, the Pokes were able to limit the vaunted offensive attack Colorado was expected to unleash. The team forced six punts and saw the Buffaloes miss a field goal, while only giving up one touchdown late in the game.
samechols: What a block! Absolutely rocked him! ESPN Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Colorado https://t.co/cXL1CMU6W8 pic.twitter.com/pg1vaBSof9— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) December 30, 2016
But with Steven Montez subbing for an injured Sefo Liufai, Colorado was able to convert a 3rd and 25 and eventually made its way to the Cowboy 38. On the next play, Montez and the offense decided to get tricky. After a handoff and a pitch, Montez heaved the ball downfield but left it short, and it fell into the hands of OSU senior corner Ashton Lampkin. The play ended the biggest scoring threat of the first half for the Buffs and preserved a shutout that wouldn't be undone until late.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the evasive action Gundy took to avoid the victory bath awarded as the clock wound down. As players approached with a full cooler, Gundy looked back and dodged the downpour, safely avoiding a dousing to the famed mullet.
samechols: Mullet Man running down the far side of the field. ESPN Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma Sta… https://t.co/FI58tLBatW pic.twitter.com/uy3XvOhVFP— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) December 30, 2016
Look back on this game and remember the big plays and the fun plays that made it special. And then look ahead and realize many of these players will be returning in 2017.
Perhaps the Alamo Bowl is just a start.