No. 4 Oklahoma State loses 45-35 to No. 10 Baylor
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Finally, the weaknesses Oklahoma State masked all season cost the Cowboys a game.
The bend-but-don’t-break defense broke too many times, and Oklahoma State’s lack of a running game left it without enough answers in a 45-35 loss to Baylor on Saturday night.
Backup quarterback Chris Johnson threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and the 10th-ranked Bears climbed back into the College Football Playoff picture. Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 10 CFP) remained in the mix for the conference title, while Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1, No. 6 CFP) likely is out of playoff conversation.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy told the players that their 12-game winning streak that dated to last season was something to be proud of, and reminded them that there’s plenty still to play for. Oklahoma State still can win the Big 12 with a victory over Oklahoma next Saturday.
“I told them the truth,” he said. “I told them, guys, we haven’t lost a football game around here in a long time. When you line up, you know there’s a chance that can happen. There’s very few teams that ever finish a season without losing a game.”
Baylor starter Jarrett Stidham took several hard hits in the first half and did not play after the break. Original starter Seth Russell is out for the season after he fractured a bone in his neck.
The Bears still gained 700 yards.
“We couldn’t stop anything,” Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said. “They’re very hard to stop and very good, and evidently, they’re a lot better team than us.”
KD Cannon caught five passes for 210 yards to help Baylor bounce back from a 44-34 loss to Oklahoma last week.
Mason Rudolph passed for 430 yards and three touchdowns and James Washington and Jalen McCleskey each caught two touchdown passes for Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys ran for eight yards on 23 carries.
“We didn’t run the ball effectively enough to give ourselves a chance,” Gundy said.
Baylor, which entered the game leading the nation in yards per game and points per game, set the tone immediately. Corey Coleman caught a 48-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage, then Shock Linwood’s 5-yard touchdown run put the Bears ahead 56 seconds into the game.
Less than a minute later, Oklahoma State got a scare when Brandon Sheperd was ruled to have fumbled and Baylor took it in for a touchdown. The call was reversed.
Baylor eventually scored anyway after Oklahoma State punted. Stidham threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Cannon to make it 14-0 with 11:56 left in the first quarter.
A 39-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to Washington tied it 14.
Baylor went ahead on a 1-yard run by Devin Chafin, and a short field goal put the Bears up 24-14 at halftime. Baylor gained 439 yards and ran 61 plays in the first half, but had two critical fumbles that kept Oklahoma State in the game. It was the fifth time the Cowboys trailed at the half in their past eight games.
Stidham completed 12 of 22 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and Johnson threw touchdown passes on his first two possessions of the second half.
“That was a good football team we played tonight,” Gundy said. “They made plays early in the game and kind of took control.”
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