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Notebook: Marcell Moss, J.D. King Impress in Huge Win



After holding their breath for three weeks, the Oklahoma State Cowboys finally earned a lead of more than 14 points in their Homecoming game Saturday.

OSU pulled away from Baylor in the second quarter of its eventual 59-16 win at BPS, but Mason Rudolph wasn’t particularly sexy like many thought he was on the floor at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Friday evening.

The defense was questionable at times as well against a team that still has not won a game in a year from Sunday. There were a lot of talking points from Saturday, so let’s get into the notebook.

• I had a thought when OSU made it 45-16 with this catch.


• Washington for me is a lot like LeBron James or Michael Jordan in our OSU world. If you’re smart, you’ll appreciate the greatness. If not, you will regret blinking.

• The President also made some history reeling in 235 yards on six snags.


• The OSU defense held up like a porta potty during a tornado on the game’s opening drive. Baylor coach Matt Rhule tried to implement a pro style offense during the first couple of weeks. When it didn’t work, he spread it back out, but there was a lot more of the return under center throughout this one, which probably threw OSU off on drive No. 1.


• Then on the answer, Rudolph completed a swing pass, underthrew James Washington and overthrew Marcell Ateman. Which made you think …


• Rudolph was a grinder, though. He beat Baylor for the first and last time in his career, but he was off on almost all of his more difficult throws, particularly in the first half. He finished 19-for-31, but he threw for more than 300 yards for the seventh straight game with four total scores. He didn’t quit and improved significantly in the second half.

• Side note: It’s absolutely incredible that he can still compete for school records on a 7/10 performance (to be generous).

• With Baylor up a score, the Cowboy defense earned an unexpected three-and-out. On the punt, Jalen McCleskey fumbled for the 80th time, but a play later, Justin Phillips gave Zach Smith a knock that forced the second fumble in as many plays. Cole Walterscheid recovered.


• The Cowboy offense was supposed to be unstoppable. Even coach Mike Gundy questioned how anyone was going to corral his firepower. Since the Pittsburgh game, though, the pop has been more like a crackle — flashes of big plays but a lot of drives with dulled fuses. That’s why this drive for OSU was so big. They faced a short fourth down on at the end of the first quarter, got it and scored shortly thereafter.

• For me, the score just seemed like a product of bad defense and a mean stiff arm, rather than a brilliant play call or flawless execution.

• Remember that deep throw to James Washington at the end of the first quarter? The President had at least five steps on the cornerback. If Rudolph hit him in stride, Washington would be in Wichita by now.

• The touchdown to McCleskey was more than a dime, but it came a snap after Rudolph threw into double coverage while Washington was alone in the end zone. Still, hard to get upset when you’re tossing the rock like this.

• Then Marcell Moss took over. About a week ago, I took a poll on Twitter asking whether Ateman could be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, and 66 percent of the voters said no. In the first half, he had four catches for 119 yards and darn near three touchdowns if not for a couple of saving tackles. And this block.


• True freshman back J.D. King got a lot more action Saturday in relief of Hill, who eclipsed 100 yards for the third straight game. King raked in 47 yards on nine carries for a touchdown. Hot take: He reminds me of a young Ezekiel Elliott.

• The defense was stout as the game wore on. The Bears stink, but allowing just 16 points against any Big 12 team is impressive.

• I guess this was a good win. Baylor isn’t good, but it’s given some teams, namely Oklahoma, some real fits. If you glare down the highlights, 59 points and 747 total yards is simply jaw-dropping, but I’m afraid I’m not fully confident in this group of Cowboys at this point though. Still, this was exactly what OSU needed after a stretch that could have easily put it at 3-2.

What’s Next

The Cowboys travel to Austin for a western-themed contest with the Longhorns. OSU has not lost in Austin since 2008 when Mack Brown was still top dog there. Last time Rudolph and company went on the road against UT, they needed a botched punt to survive in a 30-27 episode of the Cardiac Cowboys.

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