STILLWATER, Oklahoma (AP) – Oklahoma state coach Mike Gundy is trying to get involved in these low-scoring games in the once wide-open Big 12.
The transition has been easier for him because his cowboys are winning. No. 19 Oklahoma State held No. 21 Baylor for a total of 280 yards, beating the Bears 24-14 in an undefeated matchup of the Big 12 teams on Saturday that went into the night.
Such defensive performances are becoming the norm for the Cowboys – they haven’t allowed more than 23 points in a game this season.
“Obviously the defense is playing well,” said Gundy. “I just don’t want to bewitch them. You just keep playing, fine. I hope they just keep going. “
The offense has done just enough. Jaylen Warren ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns and Tay Martin caught seven passes for 108 yards for the Cowboys (5-0, 2-0).
Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders passed for 182 yards and a touchdown and ran for 76 yards, but he helped Baylor stay in the game by throwing three interceptions.
“We have to play better in this position than he did tonight when it comes to spinning the ball,” said Gundy. “He’s a dangerous player. But no, we cannot minimize these errors. ”
Abram Smith stormed for 97 yards and a touchdown for Baylor (4-1, 2-1). The Bears, who beat the state of Iowa, for the first time since 1974 missed the chance to beat the ranked teams in consecutive weeks.
Warren finished Oklahoma State’s inaugural drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. While in possession, he won 51 yards on seven carries.
Sanders shrugged off two early interceptions and threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Owens with 36 seconds to go in the first half to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.
Oklahoma State defeated Baylor 256 yards to 99 in the first half.
Baylor poked around for his first eight possessions. The Bears rushed to 23 yards as a team towards the end of the third quarter before Smith demolished a 55-yard touchdown run with a fourth and 2 to reduce Oklahoma State’s lead to 14-7.
“You could see it on the sidelines, everyone was cheered now,” said Smith. “The swing – I felt like it changed right there, firing a lot of guys on defense, it kind of showed that we’d be as good on our side of the ball as they were on their own.”
Oklahoma State was leading 17-7 before Baylor’s offense, which had been bottled for most of the night, went on an 84-yard seven-game drive. Gerry Bohanon scored a 1-yard quarterback sneaker to reduce Oklahoma State’s lead to 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Warren passed the game on a 4-yard score with a fourth-and-1 with 2:10 remaining.
Baylor manager Dave Aranda said the team played with better energy in the second half to keep the game competitive.
“I’m proud of how connected the team is, and I’m proud of the battle we fought together at the beginning of the third quarter, the points we were able to put on the board and the stops we made. “Can do,” he said.
Baylor: The Bears entered the game with the nation’s No. 6 rushing attack, but their ground play was blocked for most of the night. Baylor finished at 107 yards on 29 tries after stepping into the night and storming an average of 272 yards per contest.
State of Oklahoma: The Cowboys won, but they were lucky enough to escape after so many mistakes. They have to clean it up if they hope to fight for the Big 12 title.
At halftime, Oklahoma State honored its 2011 team that won the Big 12 and defeated Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. Only a disgruntled loss to Iowa State kept the Cowboys out of the national title game. The Cowboys ranked 3rd in the last AP poll.
Receiver Justin Blackmon, who won the Biletnikoff Award, and quarterback Brandon Weeden were among the 50 or so players on this team who appeared on the big screen as the highlights of the season.
Baylors Trestan Ebner finished fourth in the nation with 166 all-purpose yards per game. He finished with 71 yards, all on four kickoff returns. He had eight carries for zero yards, caught no pass, and had zero yards on his only punt return.
Gundy said he challenged the team to slow Ebner in the second leg.
“I thought we had fantastic coverage in our kick and punt coverage,” he said. “A big part of the game for us.”
Gundy, a former Oklahoma State quarterback, said of Sanders, “It’s okay to go down every now and then and not force a throw. You know, easier said than done. I can say this because I’ve lived this life. But we just have to stay with him. “
Baylor: hosted West Virginia on Saturday.
State of Oklahoma: October 16 in Texas.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.
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