Oklahoma State threw everything it had at their Bedlam rivals tonight in Norman and came up just a missed extra point short, falling 48-47.
Taylor Cornelius deserves to be celebrated after this performance. He delivered for the Cowboys time and time again. He was accurate, even when he felt the pressure, and he moved well. He completed 34 of his 53 pass attempts for 501 yards, none bigger than a 24 yard pitch to Tylan Wallace to bring the Cowboys within a point with just over one minute left in a back-and-forth Big 12 scorcher that all but guaranteed the Sooners a place in the conference championship.
Wallace’s catch would have knotted the game at 48 a piece had Matt Amendola not missed a PAT earlier in the fourth quarter following a Chuba Hubbard touchdown run. Faced with the choice of going for the win or playing for overtime, Mike Gundy and Mike Yurcich opted to go big. It was the right choice that fit their team’s fighting spirit on the evening. Oklahoma State didn’t look like underdogs tonight and didn’t play like them either. The Cowboys went for two.
After coming through in the clutch all night, the tenacious fifth year walk-on couldn’t deliver one final throw. The two point pass attempt fell short and, after an unsuccessful onside kick attempt, Oklahoma was able to see out the clock and escape by the skin of their teeth for a second consecutive week. Kyler Murray accounted for 349 passing and 66 receiving yards for the victors.
But enough about Kyler. He just had one touchdown. Taylor Cornelius had three for 501 yards and three scores. Cornelius went toe-to-toe with a Heisman contender and held his own up until the very end. He hit each of his two star receivers on long touchdown throws, a 31 yard pass to Tyron Johnson in the first quarter, along with 49 and 24 yard tosses to Tylan Wallace in the second and fourth quarters, respectively.
Chuba Hubbard deserves a standing ovation as well. Fans have longed for Hubbard to have a larger role in Mike Yurcich’s offense and tonight he showed what he can do. Hubbard had 104 yards and three touchdowns on the ground along with 5 catches for 49 yards, although he had a costly fumble late.
In the end, it came down to three little errors: Hubbard’s fumble, Ammendola’s miss, and Cornelius’ short pass that kept the Cowboys from delivering a massive knockout and obtaining an elusive sixth win to obtain bowl eligibility. This team should hold it’s head high knowing that it can hang with the conference’s toughest teams and most high powered offenses. If Johnson and Wallace return next season, the Cowboys can keep improving and hopefully find themselves on the winning side next time around.