The Cowboys (3-0) outlasted Boise State 21-20 despite finishing with just 87 passing yards. Oklahoma State scored all 21 of its points in the first half, which ended with a grand total of seven passing yards for the offense. For as bad as the OSU passing offense was, Boise State was equally bad on the ground totaling just 61 yards on 35 carries. No Bronco rusher had more than 27 yards. Oklahoma State was quite the opposite.
Jaylen Warren had a fantastic game on the ground, finishing with 218 yards and two scores on 32 carries. At one point, offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn resorted to calling 20 straight plays resulting in a run, and Warren was the bell cow for the Cowboys. Sanders was the only other rusher with more than four carries, finishing with 40 yards on the ground.
Boise State (1-2) jumped out to an early 10-0 lead before Warren ripped off a 75-yard sprint for six to pull within three. The Bronco lead quickly ballooned to 13 points after three straight three-and-outs for the OSU offense had OSU in a 20-7 danger-zone hole in the second quarter. Recognizing the offensive strength, Dunn dialed up nine runs on a touchdown drive aided by a questionable pass inference; that pulled the Cowboys within six.
A Bronco fumble on the ensuing drive led to a short touchdown drive for OSU. Sanders ran in a short score to take a 21-20 lead to the locker room and nobody would score again. The second half included a total of six punts, a missed field goal for each team, a Hank Bachmeier interception quickly followed by a Jaylen Warren lost fumble. It wasn’t pretty — it was even a “hard drugs” game, some might say — but a win nonetheless.
Bachmeier had himself a nice night, finishing with 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 22-for-34 passing. Dynamic receiver Khalil Shakir finished as the Broncos’ leading receiver with 78 yards on eight receptions. Davis Koetter caught Bachmeier’s lone touchdown pass, finishing with 56 yards on four catches.
Oklahoma State’s leading receiver was Rashod Owens, who caught two balls for 34 yards. It was truly the most bizarre game the Pokes have played in at least six seasons. Of course, the offensive was down three receivers including its best in Tay Martin, but a totally inept pass offense from OSU is something that is hard to understand. Maybe the most bizarre part of it all? — walk-on redshirt freshman wide receiver Cale Cabbiness iced the game with a 24-yard reception from Sanders. That’s how thin the OSU depth chart was at receiver for this game.
While the passing game hit the lowest point it has been at in some time, the defense was quite the opposite. That unit has been the bright spot of the season to this point and might be the only reason OSU is 3-0. Boise State ran for just 61 yards. Malcolm Rodriguez continues to lead the nation in tackles. The defense has not allowed more than 23 points in a game this season and has gotten stops when the offense needed it. But Big 12 play is coming and it won’t get any easier, especially because that defense is missing one of its best players in Tre Sterling for the rest of the season according to Mike Gundy.
Mike Gundy says Tre Sterling is done for the year.— Dylan Buckingham (@DylanBuckingham) September 19, 2021
Next up is Kansas State (3-0) in Boone Pickens Stadium next Saturday. Hopefully, the Pokes can hold off the sad yeehaw noises in front of the home crowd.