Oklahoma State was going to win by three touchdowns on Monday night. It was going to not only cover the spread (which it still did), but also completely obliterate any worries for those who took OSU and the points.
Then Oklahoma State was going to blow it. In a span of two plays — a Taylor Cornelius interception in the red zone to open the fourth quarter, and an 86-yard pitch and catch from Drew Lock to Johnathan Johnson 10 seconds later — things went on tilt. The lead was suddenly down to 9 (from 16) and Mizzou had momentum. It definitely looked like OSU was going to lose. I even sent a tweet writing OSU off that is custom-fit for Old Takes Exposed.
Mizzou kept on rolling with the newfound momentum Cornelius gifted it. The Tigers’ defense would later snag another errant Taylor Cornelius pass again in the red zone, the cardinal sin of quarterbacking, and close the gap to an uncomfortably close margin. It was 35-33 at this point. It probably should have been 43-23.
OSU smartly tacked on a field goal to force Missouri’s hand late, make them score or bust, and it worked: The OSU defense stood strong on fourth down with the game on the line. Cornelius would have the opportunity to take a knee and end his senior season on a high note.
We will move on from this night, talk about the game Tyron Siren went off and OSU’s defense stood tall and how Mike Gundy fart-noised his way into the eyes of the national landscape again. And this night was off the chain. It was bonkers. But, frankly, it was a microcosm of this super odd season that, mercifully, has come to an end.
OSU was both great and horrendous on Monday. It actually trailed at halftime looking good-not-great, then surged to a 35-19 lead late in the third. The Cowboys scored three touchdowns in eight minutes! This was the good.
The bad — woof! OSU’s defense crumbled (until it ironically won the game), giving up 14 fourth quarter points. Fittingly, OSU’s offense mustered only 3 points after a 21-point third quarter explosion. Neither unit was any good in crunch time.
There truly was no better way, nor maddening way, to end an otherwise enigmatic season for Oklahoma State. It was the entire 2018 season summed up in one single game, a showing where OSU looked both excellent and miserable with the flip of a switch.
We will definitely remember OSU’s four wins over ranked opponents in 2018. We will remember top-10 wins over Texas and West Virginia, pushing OU to the brink in Norman, ending on a high with a win over Mizzou. But I, for one, will also remember the lows: The K State thump. The Texas Tech beatdown. The TCU … whatever that was.
Who knows what happened? Why did OSU sometimes stink, and sometimes look like it was ready to take down Bama this season? I really thought OSU might win the Big 12 when it crushed Boise!
We probably won’t ever be able to place why OSU was both good and horrible at various points this season. But in hindsight, I hope we can appreciate just how enigmatic this team, this season, Gundy, everything, was. It was equal parts bizarre and beautiful, and the season fittingly ended in similar fashion.