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SPORTS: Oklahoma State University

Bad News, Bears: Oklahoma State Obliterates Baylor

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Mike Gundy said in a pregame interview he felt good about the Cowboys' game plan and a knowing grin crept across his face.

For the next few hours, the entire country saw the validation of that confidence unfold in Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Oklahoma State coaching staff called a masterful game and their players executed the calls to perfection as No. 10 OSU dismantled unbeaten and fourth-ranked Baylor 49-17.

This was no fluke – this was complete, total domination in every phase of the game.

In addition to its thorough demolition of BU on the coaching front, Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) established the run and abused the Bears in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Clint Chelf had a career outing through the air and seldom-used Kye Staley had two TD runs. OSU received key contributions from everyone who set foot on the field and the Cowboys avoided penalties, as well as, errors on special teams.

And, last but certainly not least, Glenn Spencer's defense turned in a gem, making an otherworldly BU offense look decidedly human.

The Cowboys also got the job done in the turnover department. OSU won that battle 3-0, highlighted by a 78-yard fumble return from cornerback Tyler Patmon that put the final nail in the coffin in the fourth quarter by giving the Cowboys a 42-10 lead instead of BU (9-1, 6-1) being able to sneak closer at 35-17.

It was a massive momentum swing and represented this game in a nutshell -- this was the Cowboys' night from start to finish.

It all started when Baylor appeared to be waltzing in for the game's first touchdown when quarterback Bryce Petty tripped and fell untouched at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Shock Linwood fumbled and OSU's James Castleman pounced on the ball.

The Cowboys then went 99 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard Kye Staley touchdown blast. Momentum swung the Pokes' way and never swung back.

There were certainly big plays that kept "Big Mo" on OSU's side, but the third quarter is what sealed the deal.

Oklahoma State's 14-3 halftime lead was a nice building block and offered a dominating show from the defense, but that lead didn't leave much room for error against a Baylor offense that averages better than 60 points per game and leads the nation in virtually every meaningful offensive statistic.

Logic seemed to suggest that Art Briles and Co. would make adjustments and right the ship to get the Bears' offensive machine humming in the second half.

But in the third quarter, the exact opposite unfolded in what was arguably the best 15 minutes of football Oklahoma State has played in years.

The Pokes came out of the gate firing, as Chelf connected with Tracy Moore for a physical 56-yard touchdown strike. And, just like that, OSU's lead had swelled to 21-3 just one minute and 37 seconds after play resumed.

The defense immediately responded, forcing BU into a turnover on downs, which the OSU offense promptly took 80 yards in six plays for another Staley TD run: 28-3.

Whatever adjustments Baylor made at halftime, OSU's adjustments were better.

BU had four offensive drives in the third, resulting in three turnovers on downs and a lost fumble.

When OSU scored on a 4-yard Chelf run late in the quarter, it gave Oklahoma State three touchdowns and 225 yards of offense on five drives.

That 15-minute stretch turned what was still very much a contest at halftime into a full-on blowout at 35-3 heading into the fourth.

And if that wasn't secure enough, right as the Bears appeared to be finding a groove offensively, the Cowboys snagged a fumble snap in the red zone and took it 78 yards to the house.

Game, set, match.

This full-scale team effort didn't lack for stellar individual efforts, either.

Chelf was phenomenal on Saturday, completing 19-of-25 passes for a career-high 370 yards and three touchdowns while adding another score on the ground. And here's the crazy part, he added 48 yards receiving for good measure on a trick-play pass from Josh Stewart.

Tracy Moore had a massive game, too, with five receptions for 126 yards and a score. Jhajuan Seales added three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown, Charlie Moore had four grabs for 67 yards and a TD.

The list goes on and on. Everyone who played for the Pokes Saturday night played well, including struggling running back Jeremy Smith, who ripped off 71 rushing yards on 5.9 yards per carry.

And as dominant as the offense was, it would be hard not to give the game ball to the defense.

The defense forced three turnovers, scored a touchdown, held the Bears scoreless in the first-and-third quarters and limited BU to an uncharacteristic 453 total yards and its lowest scoring output of the season by 18 points.

All-in-all, in a game the Pokes were supposed to lose on paper and in the court of public opinion nationally, they turned in undeniably their most impressive performance in recent memory.

After a shocking loss to West Virginia, the preseason favorite for the Big 12 title became a footnote in the conference discussion. But with Saturday's win, the Cowboys moved back into first place in the conference title race and will have a chance to claim their second Big 12 crown in the past three seasons when rival Oklahoma comes to town for Bedlam on Dec. 7.

 

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