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Texas Bowl Debriefing: Cowboys Cap 2019 with an L While Chuba Makes History

Superlatives from the Cowboys’ season finale loss.



The Cowboys came up short in Houston just to suffer through an annoying round of “S-E-C” chants to add insult to injury. The 2019 season is over, and the Cowboys finish 8-5 for just the second time in program history.

There is much to discuss about this season and what lies ahead for Oklahoma State, but for now let’s debrief the Cowboys’ Texas Bowl loss to Texas A&M.

The Short Story

Oklahoma State pulled out to a quick 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to some stingy defense and a handful of big plays by its offensive playmakers. But mistakes and missed opportunities — namely on special teams — led to a huge swing and allowed the Aggies to tie it up early in the second half.

After both defenses held their opponents scoreless for nearly 15 minutes, the Aggies finally broke free on a big play with Kellen Mond’s 67-yard touchdown run. A botched fourth-and-1 play on the would-be answering drive resulted in a turnover on downs. The Cowboys’ defense would hold the Aggies to a field goal with just under three minutes remaining.

OSU’s offense suddenly found life and marched down the field to score for the first time in nearly 30 minutes, but it was not enough. An onside kick recovered by the Aggies served as a final coffin nail for the Cowboys’ hopes of finishing 2019 on a high note.

Helmet Sticker: Braydon Johnson

Before you throw anything, Chuba and his historic game will get their due further down the page.

The speedy redshirt sophomore ended 2019 with one career performance after another. After setting a personal best with 77 yards on four catches against Oklahoma, Johnson hauled in five catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns, all new career highs.

He was electrifying in the first half, putting the Pokes on the board with this touchdown catch.

And then breaking loose on another big play that led to a Dru Brown score that put the Pokes up 14-zip.

I will forgive Johnson’s momentary lapse on the fourth-quarter kick return that pinned OSU at its own 3-yard line, mainly because it didn’t really hurt the Pokes thanks to a big Chuba run.

If for some reason Tylan Wallace does decide to leave early — I think he just might stay — Johnson has shown this year that he can be another dynamic deep threat on the outside. Otherwise, he and Tylan would make for a pretty dynamic duo that could stretch opposing defenses both side to side and vertically.

BB Sticker: Special Teams

I will leave the dead horse where it lay when it comes to OSU and Mike Gundy’s commitment to coaching special teams. Maybe they don’t really need a paid assistant heading that oft-overlooked but crucial third phase of football. But there’s no debating that the specialists let the Pokes down at crucial times on Friday night.

A pair of missed field goals by Matt Ammendola and one especially bad punt by Tom Hutton, that gave A&M the ball at the edge of OSU’s red zone, led to the aforementioned 13-point swing in the first half.

Granted, neither of Ammendola’s two kick attempts were chip shots — he missed from 46 and 53 yards — but you expect more from a long-range kicker who has come a long way in terms of dependability in his final game.¬†Hutton is still a true freshman, despite his age. But I assume punting duties will be up for grabs come spring camp. Or at least there should be a competition.

Chuba Makes History

You can’t overstate the importance of Chuba Hubbard to this program beyond just the 2019 season. He’ll be No. 2 in a number of school records for a long, long time. If he never plays another down of college football, the ability to reach the 2,000-yard mark in a bowl game with your teammates was a hell of a way to go out. It’s just too bad that they didn’t get to celebrate a win afterward.

Plays of the Game

In case this is our farewell to Chuba, I’ll highlight a few of his plays.

One for history.

And a couple more to remember him by if this was the Canadian Cowboy’s last rodeo.

It’s insane that plays like this have almost become routine. I hope we aren’t reminded just how uncommon they are too soon.

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