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Oklahoma State Football’s Best Individual Bowl Performances

A trip down history lane as OSU creates more on Tuesday.



Devin Wilber/PFB

Football is a team game but individual performances within the game must be commemorated appropriately in all their goodness. So as OSU prepares to face Wisconsin on Tuesday in the season finale, here’s an appropriate look back at the best individual offensive showings for OSU football on the gridiron in bowl games. (Trigger alert for any old Wyoming fans reading: Barry Sanders content is incoming.)

Bowl game rushing leaders

[hits Heisman pose] sooprise, sooprise, the great Barry Sanders makes an early appearance. His 222 rushing yards in the 1988 Holiday Bowl still stands at No. 1 in the all-time record books for OSU as the most ever by a Cowboy in a bowl game, edging out (by a surprisingly large margin!) the likes of Bob Fenimore, Terry Miller, Tatum Bell, Chuba Hubbard and his former teammate, Thurman Thomas.

Bowl gamePlayerTotal rushing yards
1988 HolidayBarry Sanders222
1945 CottonBob Fenimore178
1976 TangerineTerry Miller173
2002 HoustonTatum Bell160
2019 TexasChuba Hubbard158
1987 SunThurman Thomas157
1984 GatorThurman Thomas155
2018 LibertyChuba Hubbard145
1983 BluebonnetErnest Anderson143
1958 BluegrassForrest Campbell130

Sanders’ legendary 1988 Holiday Bowl showing also leaves him No. 1 on the all-time list for most points scored by a Cowboy in an individual bowl game with 30, once again edging out Thurman Thomas (24) and Terry Miller (24). Oh, but wait, there’s more! Sanders’ 1988 game also featured five individual touchdowns which … you guessed it … is a single-game individual record. Thurman Thomas is second on the list with four.

Bowl game passing leaders

As one might suspect, Brandon Weeden, the greatest quarterback to have ever walked the earth and the best quarterback of the history of the program, finds himself rather involved in this category. The leader of the 2011 title-winning Cowboys, Weeden holds the bowl game record for most passing yards, accounting for 399 in his epic 2012 Fiesta Bowl showing vs. Stanford.

Bowl gamePlayerTotal passing yards
2012 FiestaBrandon Weeden399
2014 CottonClint Chelf377
2022 FiestaSpencer Sanders371
2017 Camping WorldMason Rudolph351
2018 LibertyTaylor Cornelius336
2008 HolidayZac Robinson329
1988 HolidayMike Gundy315
2016 AlamoMason Rudolph314
2002 HoustonJosh Fields310
2004 CottonJosh Fields307

Interestingly, Weeden is also responsible for the two longest pass completions by a player in OSU bowl history having connected on bombs of 71 and 67 yards during his time at OSU in bowl season. Spencer Sanders’ four passing touchdowns in the 2020 Cheez It and the 2022 Fiesta put him T1 for most by a quarterback in a bowl game with Taylor Cornelius and his four passing touchdowns in the 2018 Liberty Bowl.

Sanders holds the record for most completed passes in an OSU bowl game with 34, narrowly edging out Clint Chelf, who in the 2014 Cotton Bowl completed 33 passes. Mike Gundy leads all quarterbacks in program history with the best completion percentage in bowl games having completed 83.3% of his passes. (Min. 20 attempts.)

OK, let’s jump to the final category.

Receiving yards leaders

Oh yes, folks, that’s right: Rashaun is still open.

Rashaun Woods, as if there was any doubt, leads OSU’s all-time receiving yards category in a single bowl game with the 223 he collected against Ole Miss in the 2004 Cotton Bowl. Justin Blackmon’s 2012 Fiesta Bowl performance isn’t far behind.

Bowl gamePlayerTotal rec yds
2004 CottonRashaun Woods223
2012 FiestaJustin Blackmon186
2016 AlamoJames Washington171
2008 HolidayDez Bryant167
2002 HoustonRashaun Woods164
1988 HolidayHart Lee Dykes163
2018 LibertyTyron Johnson141
2022 FiestaBrennan Presley137
2017 Camping WorldJames Washington126
2019 TexasBraydon Johnson124

There was a ton of good records here to make note of so I’ll just bullet point a couple favs I saw:

  • Dez Bryant’s 13 receptions in the 2008 Holiday Bowl is a single-game bowl game record for OSU. Rashaun Woods’ 11 receptions in the 2004 Cotton Bowl sit solo second on the list.
  • Justin Blackmon has the longest bowl game reception in OSU history with a 71-yard catch
  • Three receivers have scored three touchdowns in a bowl game which ties for the most in program history. Those receivers are Justin Blackmon (2012 Fiesta), Brennan Presley (2020 Cheez It) and Tay Martin (2022 Fiesta).

Tip of the cowboy hat to 11W for the inspiration for this content

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