STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State ended that home losing streak to Texas in emphatic fashion.
The Cowboys scored more points than they ever had in 31 meetings with the No. 22 Longhorns as Mason Rudolph passed for 392 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in a 49-31 win.
Justice Hill rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown and Jalen McCleskey added 109 yards and two touchdowns receiving for the Cowboys (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), who had lost their previous eight home games against the Longhorns (2-2, 0-1).
“We needed to change the tune, change the trend,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “I had mentioned to the juniors and seniors that have accomplished a lot here together, ‘You need to be the group that stops this.’ So I think they took a little pride in that.”
The tune remained the same for Texas, and the pressure on coach Charlie Strong and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford increased. The Longhorns, who gave up 47 points to Notre Dame and 50 to California, had an extra week to prepare for the Cowboys. It didn’t matter, as the Cowboys rolled up 555 yards.
“It’s like anything else,” Bedford said. “When something’s going downhill, whether it’s good or bad, it’s hard to stop it. Right now, we’ve got to slow down and stop the snowball going in the wrong direction on defense.”
Now, special teams can be added to Texas’ problem areas. Oklahoma State blocked three extra points in the first half, matching a school record for blocked kicks in a game. On the first one, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor came up the middle for the block, picked up the ball and ran with it before delivering a perfect option-style pitch to Tre Flowers in stride. Flowers took it into the end zone for two points and, instead of a 14-all tie, Oklahoma State led 16-13.
“With Vince lateraling the ball, that’s something that we practice,” Gundy said. “You only hope that when you get in that situation, you can execute it.”
Rudolph passed for 310 yards and three scores and ran for a touchdown in the first half to help the Cowboys take a 37-25 lead.
Oklahoma State receiver James Washington was knocked out of the game in the third quarter after taking a hit to the head from Texas linebacker Malcolm Roach. Washington had three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys. Gundy said after the game that Washington was fine and that keeping him out was a precaution.
The Cowboys rallied without their star.
“James will be fine,” Rudolph said. “He’s a little soft for that (leaving the game) — we’re giving him a hard time for that — but he got hit pretty hard. I thought it should have been a penalty, but I think our guys did a great job stepping up.”
TEXAS: The Longhorns already had enough problems, and now their running backs are dinged up. Chris Warren III missed the second half with a knee injury. He ran for 106 yards on 10 carries in the first half. D’Onta Foreman left the game in the third quarter with an abdominal injury after rumbling for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Foreman said he expects to play next week against Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowboys bounced back from their loss to Baylor and now are in position to be a factor in the Big 12 race. Gundy said the team practiced well all week and had a good attitude.
“I’m not surprised that they played as well as they did,” he said.
Texas likely will drop out of the Top 25. Oklahoma State has an outside chance of getting back in, but the controversial loss to Central Michigan could prove costly here.
TEXAS: The Longhorns play Oklahoma in Dallas on Saturday. Texas can’t afford a loss to an Oklahoma squad that already lost twice in non-conference play and has fallen out of the Top 25.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, we’ve still got a long ways to go,” Strong said. “We’ve just got to continue to just work. We’ve got some work to do, and we’ve got to get it done.”
OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowboys will host Iowa State on Saturday. Oklahoma State could position itself as a front-runner in a conference that doesn’t appear to have a dominant team. The Cyclones will be coming off a last-second 45-42 loss to No. 13 Baylor.
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