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Oklahoma State rallies to upset No. 25 Texas

Oklahoma State rallies from a 14-point deficit to beat the Horns in Austin.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State has won its’ sixth-straight game to open the 2021 season. For the sixth-straight game, Oklahoma State failed to score more than 25 points on offense.

The Oklahoma State defense racked up nine “3-and-outs.” Texas scored on its opening drive of the second half before four-straight “3-and-outs,” a four-play turnover-on-downs, and a one play interception to close the game. Oklahoma State scored 16-unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win it, 32-24.

Texas finished with just one yard in the fourth quarter after racking up 316 yards in the first three quarters. Jason Taylor II set the tone on defense with an 85-yard pick-six midway through the second quarter to make it a one-score game. A Tanner Brown field goal brought it to a four-point halftime deficit at halftime, but OSU gave up a quick score to give Texas a 24-13 advantage just after halftime.

This aptly sums up the OSU defensive performance.

With the offense looking dormant, the Pokes defense stiffened. That 38-yard Bijan Robinson touchdown run with 11:43 left in the third quarter was the last Texas score of the day. The offense found life in the fourth quarter, with Spencer Sanders captaining a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive ending with a short touchdown pass to Brennan Presley.

A nine-play, 51-yard drive resulted in another Tanner Brown field goal to give the Cowboys their first lead of the day. Another Texas three-and-out enabled Sanders to drive OSU down the field to increase the lead to eight. Tanner McCalister hauled in an interception to effectively end the game and cap off perhaps the most dominant one-half defensive performance against a top-25 at OSU in quite awhile.

Jaylen Warren had another fantastic game including a stellar fourth quarter. He finished with 193 yards on 33 carries, good for 5.8 yards-per-carry. Warren didn’t score, but did set OSU up in the red zone on solid runs multiple times in the fourth quarter.

Sanders may not have had his best game, but he did out-duel Texas quarterback Casey Thompson. The final tally for Sanders came out to 178 yards, one touchdown and INT on 19-of-32 through the air. Thompson tallied 179 yards, one score and two INT’s on 15-of-27 passing. Sanders completed a higher percentage of his passes than did Thompson.

Bijan Robinson had another great day for Texas, carrying 21 times for 135 yards and two scores, and added three catches for 38 yards and a score. Part of the problem for Texas is that Robinson accounted for all but three of Texas’ rushing yards. OSU did a great job of limiting Texas freshman receiver standout Xavier Worthy to just 28 yards on five catches.

Oklahoma State did everything it needed to do to win the game, even if it was ugly. The Pokes controlled time-of-possession (34 minutes to 26 minutes), ran the ball fairly well (220 yards and a touchdown), won the turnover battle (2-1), and forced plenty of “3-and-outs” (nine). Texas entered the game averaging 44.5 points and OSU held the Horns to 24.

Oklahoma State has now beaten three-straight top-25 opponents for the first time in school history with consecutive wins against Kansas State, Baylor and Texas. Next up is a trip to ever-challenging Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State. A win in Iowa would make Oklahoma State 7-0 entering OSU’s centennial homecoming celebration against Kansas.