Alright everyone you can breathe out now. It wasn’t spectacular by any means and there were head-scratching moments, but the Oklahoma State Cowboys are Camping World Bowl champions.
Going into the half, the Cowboys led 13-7 after Justice Hill punched the ball in from the 1 yard line. Marcell Ateman hauled in a 50 yard reception to take the Cowboys down near the goal line.
Meanwhile, the Hokies gave Glenn Spencers’ defense fits all day. The first two possessions took 14 minutes off the clock and the slow, methodical drives nearly put 14 points on the board. However, a fumble on the Oklahoma State 1 cost the Hokies as Ramon Richards came up with the huge recovery and ultimately the momentum-swinger.
The second half was a different story. After forcing a Hokie 3-and-out to start the half, Mason Rudolph went to work, going 79 yards on eight plays in only 2:25. Dillon Stoner made a spectacular sliding catch in the end zone to put the Cowboys up by 13.
Remember when the Hokies were about to go up 14-3 and fumbled?— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) December 29, 2017
Since then Oklahoma State has 231 yards and 17 points. Virginia Tech has 52 yards and no points.
Tech answered right back to pull the game back to within six, but the high-powered offense connected on what was undoubtedly the most emotional score of the game. Rudolph found James Washington streaking up the left sideline and hit him in stride for a 65-yard touchdown. The score not only extended the lead, but it made Washington the all-time leading receiver in Oklahoma State history.
After the two teams traded turnovers-on-downs, Darius Curry made a huge play, picking off Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson and returning it 30 yards to nearly midfield. The Cowboys were unable to capitalize, turning it over on downs again.
A potential game sealing INTERCEPTION by the Cowboy defense! Virginia Tech pisses away another possession pic.twitter.com/9V1mOKM91S— Barstool OK State (@BarstoolOKST) December 29, 2017
Tech got their touchdown on a QB keeper and gave the Cowboys the ball back with nearly six minutes left. This put the Cowboys in a quandary - do they play the up-tempo offense that they are good at or try and slow the game down? The first half of the drive was up-tempo, but after a Hill draw play that ended up going for 30 yards, they tried to slow down. The drive ended up stalling, but Matt Ammendola just got his third field goal of the day to go through the uprights to extend the Cowboys’ lead to two possessions with 2:34 left in the game.
The Guido Torpedo, Matt Ammendola, squeaks his 3rd field goal throw the uprights! Oklahoma State leads 30-21 pic.twitter.com/Mk9n47ecOE— Barstool OK State (@BarstoolOKST) December 29, 2017
The Hokies turned the ball over on downs to end the game, and the party was on.
Washington ended with 126 yards and a touchdown - all in the second half. Ateman also broke the 100-yard mark reeling in five of his six targets for 107 yards. Hill crossed the century mark on the ground, rushing 23 times for 120 yards and a score.
However, it was Rudolph who claimed the MVP trophy. The 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner was 21-of-32 for 351 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
VT’s Jackson was 22-of-41 for 248 yards, one touchdown and one interception on the night. He also utilized his legs to the tune of 50 yards and two more scores. Deshawn McClease rushed 18 times for 124 yards and Eric Kumah led the Hokies receivers with 72 yards and a score.
Congratulations to Mike Gundy and the Cowboys. Thank you to all the seniors for everything you have done for the program.