By Brendan Dougherty
STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State Cowboys win in convincing fashion against the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 football matchup Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium.
After a close first quarter ending 7-7, the Cowboys’ Homecoming celebration began as they went on to score 52 more points to Baylor’s 9, and won going away 59-16.
The game started with OSU deferring to the second half and kicking off to Baylor.
Baylor’s freshman running back John Lovett drove the Bears down the field with consistent runs up the middle. However, they nearly lost the ball when sophomore quarterback Zach Smith fumbled as he scrambled for the end zone. Freshman running back Trestan Ebner fell on the ball in the end zone and scored Baylor’s first and only touchdown of the game.
OSU and Baylor would then trade 3-and-outs that led to the Bears punting to OSU’s junior wide receiver Jalen McCleskey, who muffed the punt to which the Bears recovered.
McCleskey would later be checked out of punt return duties and freshman wide receiver Tylan Wallace would take his place.
However, the hype of an early game turnover was short lived as the very next play Smith fumbled while being sacked by OSU’s redshirt-junior linebacker Justin Phillips.
The Cowboys took advantage of their turnover as senior quarterback Mason Rudolph found redshirt-senior wide receiver Marcell Ateman who made a man miss and stiff-armed another on his way to a 38-yard touchdown.
Following a Baylor punt and a drive interrupted by the end of the quarter, the game was tied but on the brink of being blown wide open.
Following the end of the first quarter, OSU would rattle off four strait touchdown drives as Baylor would only manage one field goal.
To highlight the four touchdown drives, McCleskey was able to recover his game and scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph. Sophomore running back Justice Hill followed with a 79-yard touchdown run, his fifth of the season and longest rush. Rudolph and freshman running back J.D. King would then have a 1-yard rushing touchdown each to take a 35-10 lead into halftime.
To start the second half OSU took a shot down field, on the first play, to senior wide receiver James Washington who hauled it in but fumbled when gang tackled by Baylor’s defensive backs.
The two teams would then score three field goals, two for Baylor and one for the Cowboys.
Unfortunately for Baylor and its fans, the Bears’ last score was a field goal with 6:56 left in the third quarter.
OSU would expand its lead with three straight touchdown drives. Two of which, a 62-yarder and a 2-yarder, came off of a connection between Rudolph and Washington.
With just more than 12 minutes left in the game redshirt-junior quarterback Taylor Cornelius checked in for the Cowboys. Unexpectedly, Cornelius broke off a 40-yard touchdown run extending the OSU lead to its final score, 59-16.
Following another pick by the cowboys and some clock chewing, it was time to celebrate a Homecoming victory in Stillwater.
However, the celebration will be short for the Cowboy football team as they will be traveling to Austin, Texas, to take on the Longhorns next week in another Big 12 matchup and their first of two away games before Bedlam comes to town on Nov. 4.
As for the Bears, they head home following their sixth loss of the season to get ready for their own Homecoming game against West Virginia on Oct. 21.