No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys were aiming to win their third Big 12 conference title in a row and fourth overall, but they came up short against No. 9 Baylor Bears on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium as the home team went undefeated all season long for the first time ever. The Cowboys had not lost since November of 2016 when they fell to Texas Tech, who was playing its final game before joining the Big 12 this year following a move from Conference USA. Since then, OSU has been one of college football’s hottest teams by going 13-3 and winning three straight bowl games including an Orange Bowl victory over Miami after Thanksgiving last December; however it was unable to pull off another championship performance that day with quarterback Mason Rudolph leading his squad back into January action in Arlington against top-ranked USC.,
ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Oklahoma State’s fifth-ranked Cowboys were knocked out of contention for a position in the four-team playoff when Dezmon Jackson came up inches short on a frantic fourth-down plunge in the dying seconds.
Cowboys guard Josh Sills remarked, “It’s just sadness.”
With 24 seconds left in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday, Baylor safety Jairon McVea shoved Jackson out of bounds without allowing him to reach the pylon, preserving the ninth-ranked Bears’ 21-16 triumph.
The Bears won a year after going 2-7 in head coach Dave Aranda’s first season.
“They will never be able to take away this moment,” Bears linebacker Terrel Bernard said.
Prior to a previous matchup between the clubs, Aranda recalls Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy reminding him “that winning is hard.” The championship game was a perfect illustration of this.
As Baylor (11-2) established a 21-3 lead in the first half, Blake Shapen, who took over for injured Gerry Bohanon (right hamstring), tossed three touchdown passes while completing his first 17 throws.
However, the Cowboys (11-2) recovered and marched 89 yards in 17 plays on their last drive, falling just short of their Big 12 and national title ambitions.
After gaining a yard and being held for no gain on first-and-goal from the 2, Jackson was held for no gain before an incomplete throw by Spencer Sanders.
Jackson attempted to sweep wide left on fourth down from the 1, but with McVea chasing him, he just missed the pylon in the front corner of the end zone.
“I felt I had to chase this man down when I saw the running back with the ball,” McVea said, adding that he wasn’t sure where the ball was when the tackle was made. “When I realized that the official had not called a touchdown, I was fairly thrilled.”
“They made an excellent decision. It’s not the fault of 27 “Gundy was alluding to Jackson when he stated this.
Sanders threw four interceptions, one of which was picked off by McVea, while the Cowboys were missing their top rusher Jaylen Warren due to ongoing ankle and shoulder ailments.
When the CFP rankings are released on Sunday, there will need to be some upheaval, in the form of an upset or two in other conference championship games later in the day, for third-time Big 12 champion Baylor to have a shot to be in the final four for the first time.
For the playoffs, Aranda avoided politicking. Baylor’s 11 victories matched a school record and followed a 2-7 season previous year, when the pandemic wiped out spring workouts just as he was coming off a national title as the defensive coordinator at LSU.
“I’m certain everything will turn out as it should,” he remarked.
Baylor had 242 total yards of offense in the first half, but just 36 after intermission. Overall, Shapen completed 23 of 28 passes for 180 yards passing.
Tanner Brown’s 23-yard field goal gave Oklahoma State a 3-0 lead after Baylor’s all-purpose back Trestan Ebner fumbled on the game’s first possession. On the next two drives, Sanders threw interceptions, giving Baylor short fields for three-play TD drives, including a 2-yard TD throw to wide-open tight end Ben Sims and Drew Estrada’s 4-yard scoring grab.
With 512 minutes remaining in the first half, Tyquan Thornton made an amazing 13-yard diving grab with a defender on his back, giving Baylor a 21-3 lead and the Cowboys their worst deficit of the season.
With 8:17 remaining, Brown’s 20-yard field goal pulled the Cowboys within 21-16. After Ebner muffed a punt recovered by Korie Black, who had concluded the first half by diverting a field goal attempt that fell embarrassingly short, the stage was set for this.
Early in the second half, McVea got his interception, but Baylor was unable to get a first down. The Bears decided to go for it on fourth down instead of punting from their own 36, and Shapen had no choice but to throw the ball away without an open receiver. The Cowboys’ Dominic Richardson scored on a 4-yard run eight plays later.
“I told them in the locker room how pleased I was of them because they’ve done all we’ve asked of them since January,” Gundy added. “I came up just a few inches short, but it has nothing to do with what they’ve achieved this year,” she said.
DIFFERENT IN MANY WAYS
Last season, the Bears were defeated 42-3 at home by Oklahoma State.
When asked whether he could compare the finish of last season to the start of his second, Aranada simply said, “No.”
THE DELIVERY SERVICE
Baylor: The Bears won the Big 12 title outright in 2013 and split it with TCU in 2014, both during a six-year period in which the league didn’t have a championship game. Two years ago, Baylor was defeated in the national championship game by Oklahoma.
Sanders has seven interceptions in two games against Baylor this season, despite the Cowboys winning the first meeting 24-14 on Oct. 2. The first interception went directly to the defender, and the second was intercepted by leaping linebacker Matt Jones as Sanders attempted to throw off his back foot toward the sideline while under pressure. Two of the other interceptions were tipped throws. Oklahoma State managed just 70 yards running on 40 carries without outstanding center Danny Godlevske (1.8 yards per carry).
Baylor: A New Year’s Six bowl game, with a chance to play in the Sugar Bowl if they don’t make the playoffs.
Oklahoma State: They’re waiting to see which bowl game they’ll be playing in.