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Superlatives: Game MVPs, Top Play and More from OSU’s Win against BYU

On Ollie’s performance, Rucker’s big play and the Cardiac Cowboys



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Oklahoma State came back to beat BYU 40-34 in two overtimes behind Ollie Gordon’s five-touchdown performance and Trey Rucker’s game-clinching forced fumble. More importantly, the win sealed the Cowboys’ spot in the Big 12 title game against Texas next week.

Here are the MVPs, top play and more from the comeback victory.

Offensive MVP: Ollie Gordon II

At the end of the fourth quarter, I messaged the PFB editors group chat that I didn’t know how to put what Ollie Gordon was doing into words. Then he scored two more touchdowns, including the game-winner.

Gordon joined Barry Sanders as the only Cowboys to rush for five touchdowns in a game. Barry continues to be the only comparison to Ollie, first-name references and all.

Saturday night, Gordon rushed for 166 yards on 34 carries and caught four passes for 10 yards, along with the five scores. He started the weekend tied for the most rushing yards in the country with 1,414 as a Doak Walker Award semifinalist. Gordon is now at 1,580 rushing yards on the season, which as of writing, puts him atop in the stat by himself.

That 1,580 total also puts Gordon at ninth in OSU’s single-season rushing ranks, as he surpassed Kendall Hunter’s 2008 and 2010 seasons on Saturday.

Defensive MVP: Trey Rucker

Call him a game Rucker.

The Cowboys could be limping into bowl season with back-to-back losses if not for Rucker’s big plays. Saturday night in the second overtime, he ripped the ball out of Isaac Rex’s clutch then fell on the ball himself to officially punch OSU’s ticket to the Big 12 title game after a review confirmed the turnover. Last week, Rucker had a pick-6 that seemingly sparked OSU’s comeback to beat Houston.

Rucker also had six tackles Saturday night, five of which were solo.

Play of the Game: Rucker’s Game-Ending Strip and Recover


Success at Boone Pickens Stadium

OSU finished the season at 6-1 inside Boone Pickens Stadium. It’s the third season in a row the Cowboys have tallied at least six home wins, even including a South Alabama debacle this year and a 7-6 record last season. No matter the circumstances, it seems the Pokes are nearly unbeatable in Stillwater. If not for that BPS environment Mike Gundy has raved about this season, OSU probably doesn’t BYU on Saturday night, and especially not OU, Kansas State or Kansas.

What’s Next

You already know, but it’s fun to be reminded.

For the second time in three years, OSU will compete for a Big 12 title in Arlington. The Cowboys will play Texas at 11 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium. The game will be televised on ABC.

According to OSU Stats and Information, the Cowboys are the ninth Power Five program to make more than one conference title game the past four years. The others are Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan, Oregon, Utah (joining the Big 12 next year), USC and Iowa. That list doesn’t include OU and Texas, the presumed Big 12 powerhouses leaving the league for the SEC.

Revisiting Big 12 Preseason Predictions

Part of PFB’s preseason predictions in August was the Cowboys’ Big 12 record and finish.

Here’s how our staff had OSU doing in league play:

Marshall Scott: 6-3 and fourth place.

Kyle Cox: 6-3 and fifth place.

Dekota Gregory: 6-3 and fourth place

We all predicted the same record so were all off by one. None of us also saw this Cowboy squad playing for a Big 12 title, either. But neither did anyone else, as OSU was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll. The Cowboys did, however, get one first-place vote, so there is one true believer out there. That poll was also correct about Texas finishing the regular season in first place in the conference.

Cardiac Cowboys

OSU Stats and Information put out another interesting stat after the Cowboys second straight comeback win.

The Cowboys came back from an 18-point deficit to beat BYU in double overtime. Last week against Houston, OSU was down by as many as 14.

The last two comebacks are the first time in program history OSU overcame two-score deficits two games in a row. That’s impressive for a team built around its running game and not constructed to come from behind.


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