In a dramatic turn of events, Oklahoma State Cowboys orchestrated an extraordinary comeback to clinch a spot in the Big 12 championship game, overcoming an 18-point deficit to defeat BYU 40-34 in a thrilling double-overtime victory on Saturday.
The No. 21 Cowboys, under the spotlight for their roller-coaster season, were spearheaded by the formidable Ollie Gordon II. Gordon's fifth touchdown in the second overtime was not just a game-changer but also a season-defining moment for the team.
This victory, marking the third-largest comeback in the school's history, underscored Oklahoma State's tenacity and resilience. The Cowboys' journey to the championship game mirrored their season's fluctuating fortunes. After a shaky start and a crushing 45-3 defeat at UCF, they bounced back with remarkable wins against Houston and BYU, showcasing their ability to overturn significant deficits, a historic feat for the school.
Gundy's Proud Reflection
Reflecting on the tumultuous path, Coach Mike Gundy expressed immense pride in his team's ability to weather the challenges. Now, with a 9-3 record (7-2 in the Big 12), Oklahoma State is poised to face No.
7 Texas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, aiming for their first conference title since 2011. Ollie Gordon II, the nation's leading rusher, was pivotal in the Cowboys' success. His 166 yards in adverse weather conditions, culminating in a climactic touchdown, tied a school record set by Barry Sanders in 1988.
Supporting Gordon's efforts, quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 321 yards, while Leon Johnson III secured nine catches for 132 yards. The match reached a crescendo in its final moments. Gordon's touchdown put the Cowboys ahead, only for BYU's Simi Moala to block the subsequent extra point.
BYU, needing a win for bowl eligibility, pushed the game to overtime with a 48-yard field goal by Will Ferrin. BYU's Jake Retzlaff, standing in for the injured Kedon Slovis, displayed commendable effort with 166 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
However, the second half saw BYU's momentum dwindle, as acknowledged by their coach, Kalani Sitake. Oklahoma State's triumph is not just a testament to their skill but also to their unwavering spirit, setting up an intriguing showdown against Texas in the Big 12 championship.