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Notebook: Hale Sticking It Out, Pass-Catching Bowman and Epps’ Pick-Six

Three storylines from the Cowboys’ big win.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — After back-to-back losses, the Cowboys showed a ton of gumption under the Friday night lights.

Oklahoma State upset Kansas State 29-21 in Boone Pickens Stadium. Mike Gundy after the game credited the players’ work in practice, so let’s dive into some player storylines from the night.

Hale Sticks It Out after Injury

Alex Hale tied the program record for most field-goal makes in a game Friday night, but given the modern landscape of college football, it’s somewhat surprising Hale is even still at OSU to do it.

Hale hit from 43, 34, 53, 31 and 25 yards in the win against K-State. Including extra points, Hale was responsible for 17 of OSU’s 29 points Friday.

It’s no surprise Hale is as good as he is. He was a Groza semifinalist in 2020 before a freak injury in warmups of Bedlam that season. That season resulted in Hale losing his job the next two seasons, as Tanner Brown stepped in and kicked well for the Pokes.

With the transfer portal right there, no one would’ve blamed Hale for hopping in it. He is from Australia, so it’s not like he has major ties to Stillwater or OSU. So, why did he stay?

“It’s just a great school to be at as a specialist,” Hale said. “Coach Gundy is really good to specialists, really appreciates us, treats us well and really understands what we go through. It’s really different to other positions, obviously, and he’s a very good coach to play for as a specialist. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Alan Bowman, the Wide Receiver

If you play quarterback at Oklahoma State, odds are you’re going to catch a pass or two.

One of the staple Mike Gundy trick plays is the throwback pass that Brennan Presley threw to Alan Bowman in the first half of Friday’s game.

It’s a play that Mason Rudolph, Taylor Cornelius and Spencer Sanders also all ran. Rudolph had three catches during his OSU career for 53 yards. Cornelius had three catches for 24 yards. Sanders had three catches for nine yards.

It seemed to be opening up nicely for Bowman on Friday, but he tried to bust a move on K-State defensive end Brendan Mott, who was able to get Bowman on the ground three yards past the line of scrimmage.

“I should’ve (scored),” Bowman said. “I gotta trust my speed, and it was a defensive end, too. I could’ve ran. I tried to be all cool and step back, and it didn’t work. Just catch the ball and go downfield and score.

“… I was waiting. That thing was in the air forever. I was like, ‘Come on, come on, come on, come on.’ It was fun.”

Epps’ Mind ‘Went Blank’ on Pick-Six

Redshirt freshman safety Cameron Epps had himself a night in his second career start.

A 6-foot-3 jumbo defensive back, Epps had a pair of interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He also had five tackles and a pair of pass breakups.

His pick-six came with time dwindling in the first half and gave OSU quite the momentum boost. He said the instincts took over when he saw the ball leave Will Howard’s hands.

“Honestly, my mind went blank,” Epps said. “I see him throw the ball. Once I picked it off, my mind went blank. I was just thinking go score. It was an unbelievable moment for me.”

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