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Instacap: Oklahoma State Outlasts Red Raiders in Lubbock 41-34



Oklahoma State turned a potential nail-biter into what seemed like it was going to be an impressive win back into a legitimate hair-puller and finally into an exhausting 41-34 victory in Lubbock on Saturday.

After three and a half quarters of back and forth action which included a blocked punt, two doinked field goals, a pick-six and a successful onside kick, Mason Rudolph led yet another game-winning drive.

This one ended in his second rushing touchdown of the game. They were the final points in the Cowboys’ win and also touched off a career-high 50-yard rushing game for him.

Red Raider quarterback Nic Shimonek had a shot with about a minute left to drive the field but senior safety Tre Flowers came up with back-to-back pass breakups on third and fourth downs.

The Cowboys avoided starting 0-2 in Big 12 play for the first time since Mike Gundy’s first year as coach, but it was dicey for most of the second half. The defense leaked close to 400 total yards, and Rudolph struggled through the middle of the game.

But he held strong late. In the fourth quarter, Rudolph went 7-of-10 for 93 yards and the winner on the ground. He made big boy throws like this one coming home.

Passing for more than 300 yards for a school-record 17th time, Rudolph was responsible for 426 total yards and a whole hand’s worth of touchdowns. He also had a lot of help from his two best receivers. James Washington had 9 catches for 127 yards, and Marcell Ateman might have saved the season. He had 6 catches for 114 yards.

Rudolph targeted Washington early and more than often. By the end of the first quarter, The President had six catches for 62 yards and a score. The normally explosive duo set a firm intermediate tone, which seemed to plague the Cowboys in the TCU loss. In fact, the duo’s longest connection went for just 14 yards.


Rudolph’s scrambling came through time-after-time, too. In the fourth quarter, he was trapped in the pocket but ran out, stiff armed a couple of blitzing Raiders and threw it away harmlessly. Those were plays he did not make against TCU. He was successful in that department early, too, including on this dime to Justice Hill in the first half.

Or how about this one to Jalen McCleskey to give the Cowboys the lead?

Tech’s offense, as expected, deployed a short passing attack with screens, flares and slants. The OSU defense faired well, giving up 29 completions and 330 yards, including a gain of 56 to star receiver Keke Coutee, who was injured early and did not return. Don’t look at the yards though, the Cowboy D gave up just three touchdowns on 12 Tech offensive drives.

The Cowboys struggled in the kicking game as Matt Ammendola hit two field goals off the uprights from 25 yards or less. The second one came deep in the 4th quarter but once again the Cowboy defense forced a punt.

OSU held on for a victory at the end in the way it couldn’t against TCU, with stops. Tech only scored two TDs on its last nine drives fo the game The upset-minded Red Raiders seemed to smell blood at ti es, but Rudolph and the Pokes quelled their conquest and (somehow) move into the bye week with a 4-1 record.

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