It’s never a fun start for the Cowboys to enter a game without Chuba Hubbard. Especially for a team longing for a comeback, both from a sad Bedlam last week and a loss to this Texas Tech team last season.
A newcomer running back, and a veteran receiver stepped up instead, and stepped up big.
The game had over 1,173 yards combined between both teams, which doesn’t even include the onside kick return for a touchdown for OSU. While stats will help tell the story of this game, the twists and turns, particularly in the second half, means you needed to watch this to believe it all.
Even with a late touchdown from the Red Raiders, the Cowboys maintained the lead, leaving with a victory at home, 50-44.
First Takeaway: Supporting Stars Save The Offense
Dezmon Jackson, you have yourself a day.
Entering the game for an injured Chuba Hubbard and an apparently out LD Brown, junior college transfer Jackson takes the reins.
Not only does he score his first career touchdown with the Cowboys, but says, you know what, let’s just make it three. Jackson scores three rushing touchdowns in the first half, giving a much-needed spark to the offense.
Jackson had 36 rushes for 235 yards on the game, making clean plays and big plays.
On the receiving end, can we keep calling Tylan Wallace’s name please? Not only is he dominant on the ball but is stellar at drawing the pass interference call.
The leading receiver in the Big 12, Wallace continuously shows why he deserves that title. In the first half, he had six receptions for 102 yards including a breathtaking catch.
The throws from Sanders today were not always catchable. Wallace brought a lot of them down with him anyway.
Between Wallace and Jackson’s productivity, the offense felt a bit more like the one we know and love.
Second Takeaway: Defense Searching For Consistency Not Just Great Moments
Revisiting pain isn’t fun, but just go with me here for a moment.
Last week’s Bedlam game did not feature the Cowboy defense we’ve come to know and love this season. For a year that has high offensive expectations, the defense has made a statement. However, after a defensively stagnant game, the Cowboys needed a strong one.
There were amazing moments from the defense but the search for consistency continues.
Defense holding Tech to just 6 of 16 on 3rd down conversions? Great moment.
The scores for Tech came from breakaway runs that broke through the defense. Bad moment.
A pick six immediately following a special teams play that also ended in a touchdown? Another great moment.
For a season that has been, surprisingly, defined more by the defensive side for the Cowboys, this game was instead a battle of back-and-forth touchdowns.
Tech has won recent meetings because of the turnover margin, Cowboys said not today. At the end of the day, the defensive moments came when they mattered most.
Third Takeaway: Second Half Embodied The Unexpected Craziness Of 2020
It was football bingo in the second half.
First drive of the half for the Cowboys: intercepted. Then defense forces a fumble from the Red Raiders only to immediately punt it back to them.
Tech takes the lead on a touchdown, then they kickoff with an onside kick. It did not go well for the Red Raiders. Jason Taylor II scoops it up and takes it all the way to the endzone. Anyone have onside kick for a touchdown on their bingo card today?
Then Sanders gets picked off and the Red Raiders take it to their endzone. After a pair of touchdowns, one for each team, OSU forces another fumble and yet again punts it back.
OSU takes the lead and defense steps up to increase it with a safety. Who had safety on the bingo card? Anyone?
Late in the fourth, Tech tries another onside kick, but Cowboys recover. Just one play later, a fumble so the ball goes back, again, to the Red Raiders.
Through a wild second half, defense, offense and special teams took their opportunities to make plays. At the end of the day, those opportunities added up in the W column. Bingo worked out for Oklahoma State today and Cowboys must be happy to have Wallace and Jackson on their side.
Header image courtesy of Oklahoma State Football