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Notebook: Bowman’s Tackle, Smith’s Emergence, Turnovers

Alan Bowman forcing Billy Bowman out of bounds might’ve been the difference in the game.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The storylines that spawned from Saturday’s Bedlam finale could last a lifetime.

Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma 27-24 in Boone Pickens Stadium in the rivalry’s last scheduled meeting. Here are three topics that were discussed in the Oklahoma State team room after the game.

Bowman’s ‘Tackle’ Was Huge

Alan Bowman had a lot of good stats Saturday.

He had 334 passing yards. He had a rushing touchdown. But his most important stat might’ve been his singular tackle.

Oklahoma State set up a throwback pass. Bowman tossed to Gordon who was set to throw it back to Bowman, but Bowman was covered.

“We’ve been setting up that play for a month,” Bowman said. “Looking back now, we never really had a plan if I got covered on the throwback. We never thought that was gonna happen.”

It did happen, but Gordon, who played some quarterback in high school, had Rashod Owens open across the middle. Gordon slung a rainbow of a ball into the Stillwater sky that OU defensive back Billy Bowman intercepted.

Billy Bowman had a nearly clear path to the end zone, just needing to get past Alan Bowman.

It wasn’t a hit stick or even a form tackle, but OSU’s Bowman corralled OU’s Bowman out of bounds. The Sooners ended up not scoring on their ensuing drive — a big moment in a game that was decided by three points.

“Used the sideline as my defender,” Alan Bowman said. “Back to the peewee days. Ended up working out. We got the stop.”

Dylan Smith Makes Big Plays

Dylan Smith has been thrown into the fire in his true freshman season.

He has come out with a few burns, but he is also showing why OSU’s staff was right to give him some early playing time.

Smith came in as a corner, but an injury to Lyrik Rawls moved him to safety. With Cameron Epps stepping into a starting role, the Cowboys needed depth, and after a meeting with corners coach Time Duffie and safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt, Bryan Nardo said the staff came to the conclusion that Smith was the “next best guy” to earn some playing time.

Smith picked off his second pass of the season in Bedlam on Saturday. He also essentially ended the game when he forced Drake Stoops out of bounds on fourth down short of the first-down marker.

“He’ll have a lot of ladies’ numbers in his phone after tonight,” Collin Oliver said. “I just hope he keeps his head down, keeps working, because he has a great future. He’s gonna run the table in terms of being a great player in the Big 12.”

Flipping the Script on Turnovers

In OSU’s 2-2 start, the Pokes were -3 in turnovers, having forced only two.

Since, the Cowboys are +8 in turnover margin and haven’t lost a game.

Interceptions in particular have seen a major uptick. OSU picked off just one pass in its first first four games — a Rawls interception against Arizona State. But in this five-game winning streak OSU has intercepted eight passes, including Smith’s interception in Bedlam on Saturday.

OSU defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo said that has to do with his young defensive backfield learning the new system.

“It’s something that we focus on every day,” Nardo said. “I’ve always prided myself everywhere I’ve been on getting takeaways. It’s the same thing that happened last year with us at Gannon, we didn’t get our first interception until about Week 5. It comes to being comfortable in what you’re doing.

“You can’t have ball awareness if you’re trying to think through what you’re trying to do, what your responsibility is, if you can’t focus on your technique. Big plays happen when perfect technique meets opportunity.”

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