Stillwater News Press

December 1, 2012

Pokes late rally not enough in loss to Bears

By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater NewsPress

WACO, Texas — The Bedlam hangover hit the Oklahoma State football team hard on a blustery Saturday against Baylor.

The Cowboys fell behind early and had troubles rallying against the Bears, who topped the Pokes 41-34 at Floyd Casey Stadium.

“When you give up big plays and turn the ball over, you really minimize your chances of winning — especially on the road,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “When you play on the road, give up another of big plays, it’s really difficult to come back and win if you are playing a really good team and obviously Baylor is really good on offense. We just never could get over the hump right from the first quarter.”

It was the OSU offense that sparked the early Baylor rally when Clint Chelf threw a pick-six midway through the first quarter for the first touchdown of the game. It sparked a run of three straight touchdowns for the Bears, who led 24-3 before OSU’s first touchdown — a 1-yard J.W. Walsh run at the start of the second quarter.

“I turned around, there was a guy right there and Josh (Stewart) was the guy we were trying to get the ball to and I tried to just spit it out to him,” Chelf said. “I couldn’t really get much behind it and that guy made a good play.”

The Cowboys got the game back to within a touchdown on their last possession before the half, but Baylor responded with an eight-play drive to make it 31-17 at halftime.

Oklahoma State’s defense came out better in the second half, despite being put in a tough situation by the special teams. Baylor took the opening kickoff after halftime 71 yards to the OSU’s 26-yard line. However, the Pokes prevented the Bears from picking up a first down and the kick attempt by Aaron Jones was wide.

The Cowboy defense found themselves with their backs against the wall again early in the fourth quarter as Baylor moved the ball down the field. The Bears went for it on fourth-and-1 from the OSU 5-yard line, and the Cowboy defensive line was able to prevent a successful quarterback sneak to force a turnover on downs.

The problem the Pokes had all game was slowing down the Baylor offense. OSU didn't force Baylor to punt until there were nine minutes left in the contest, with the Cowboys trailing 34-20.

“We couldn’t get off the field,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young, whose defense allowed Baylor to convert 9 of 17 third-down chances. “There were several opportunities in third-and-long, third-and-medium and we didn’t get off.”

Any chance for a late Cowboy rally was slowed when Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk ripped off a 76-yard touchdown with five minutes to play after OSU had cut it to a one-touchdown game on a 4-yard Walsh touchdown run. The run put the Bears over the 200-yard plateau for the third straight game and their second 300-plus-yard game in the past three games.

“We were just giving up too many yards on first down. We knew going into the game that they were the type of team that was very explosive,” Young said. “You can’t give them second-and-2. You’re in second-and-2 you make it hard to get them off the field.”

The Pokes put together a quick scoring drive with Chelf finding David Glidden for an 18-yard touchdown to make it 41-34 with 1:16 left on the clock. The Cowboys had a chance to recover the onside kick attempt, but Baylor came out of the pile with the ball and the win.

The loss gave OSU its first losing streak since the Cowboys lost back-to-back games to end the 2009 season — a loss at Oklahoma, and loss to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. After seeing improvement in road games over the past few years, the Cowboys ended the year with a 1-4 road record — the only win being over Kansas.

Oklahoma State now must wait to find out where it will be heading in the bowl season — having to wait about a month before attempting to make up for the losses the last two weeks.

“I’d much rather have this month off with a win under our belt, but we lost and there’s nothing we can do about it now,” said an emotional Cooper Bassett. “All you can do now is move forward. ... We’ve got a bitter taste in our mouth and we’ll have that for a month long and hopefully we can use that as a little extra motivation when we get the bowl game.”