Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is beginning to see the team that was expected to contend for the Big 12 title.
”I really like how our guys play, I like their chemistry,” he said after Oklahoma State beat No. 15 Texas Tech 52-34 on Saturday night. ”I thought it was a really good effort. A good win for our team. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but we’re starting to get a little bit better.
Clint Chelf threw for two touchdowns and a season-high 211 yards and ran for two more scores to lead the Cowboys.
”For the most part, he made some big plays. He made some throws. He continues to run the ball effectively and helps our football team when he’s running the ball, Gundy said.
Desmond Roland ran for three touchdowns, a week after getting four for Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1).
Chelf scored on a 67 yard quarterback draw, and was 18-for-34 passing with two interceptions.
The win keeps Oklahoma State just behind Texas in the Big 12 title race and makes the road for Texas Tech (7-2, 4-2) more difficult. The Red Raiders have lost two straight.
”Lose the turnover battle and get outplayed on special team against a really good team like that you’re going to have a hard time winning the game,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. ”Came out really flat and didn’t play well in the second half.”
Cowboys returner Josh Stewart set up the last of Roland’s touchdowns after returning a punt 46 yards in the third quarter.
Davis Webb was 45 for 71 for 425 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions, for Texas Tech.
Jace Amaro finished with 174 yards and a touchdown on 15 catches for the Red Raiders.
”We knew that was their No. 1 target,” Cowboys safety Daytawion Lowe said. ”He’s a big, good, physical receiver so we knew we had to control him. We had to keep him contained to win this game today.”
Stewart jump started the second half for the Cowboys on his punt return that took Oklahoma State to the Red Raiders 11. Roland ran the ball four straight times, the last for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Cowboys up 35-24.
Stewart returned the Red Raiders next punt 17 yards and on third-and-9 from the Cowboys 33, Chelf called his own number and rambled up the middle for his 67-yard touchdown.
Twice the two teams traded interceptions and Texas Tech got touchdowns after both of its picks.
Texas Tech gave up a season-high 281 yards rushing and a season-high five touchdowns on the ground.
The Cowboys tallied 492 total yards, the most the Red Raiders have given up all season.
It was the Cowboys fifth straight win over the Red Raiders. Oklahoma State is the first team to beat Texas Tech three straight times in Lubbock since Nebraska (1994, 1996 and 2000).
The Cowboys took a record crowd of 61,836 out of the game early, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Oklahoma State converted touchdowns on a fumble by Amaro – his second in two games – and after a blocked punt.
The Cowboys first three scores came on two 1-yard touchdowns by Roland and a 6-yard pass from Chelf to Tracy Moore.
Texas Tech came into the game tied for ninth worst in turnovers in the nation with 19, including seven interceptions Webb.
Webb’s first interception was negated three plays later. Chelf never saw defender Pete Robertson, who returned it 21 yards to pull Texas Tech within 28-17.
The freshman found receiver Eric Ward in the flat on about the Cowboys 35 and Ward raced up the near sideline and outran a defender for a 38-yard score to make it 21-10 on the first play of the second quarter. The Red Raiders cut the deficit to 28-24 when Kenny Williams scored on a 2-yard run with 2 minutes left in the half.