Oklahoma State vs. Boise State score: Cowboys make statement with dominant win over Broncos
The Cowboys are a serious threat to take the conference once again this season
It's Year 14 under Mike Gundy and No. 24 Oklahoma State reloads with the best of 'em in the Big 12.
Despite losing quarterback Mason Rudolph and receivers Joe Washington and Marcell Ateman, the Cowboys have shown no real signs of drop-off following a 44-21 win over No. 17 Boise State. Yes, TCU and Ohio State still have to play on Saturday night in Fort Worth, but that was a statement victory for a Big 12 team ( ).
Oklahoma State's offense scored 37 points on the Broncos at about 6.5 yards per play. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius threw for 243 yards and a score, but his contributions as a runner were just enough to throw off Boise's defense. Cornelius didn't have a banner day running on the stat sheet -- just 2.6 yards per rush -- but had a couple of touchdowns and forced Boise State to account for two playmakers in the backfield.
The other playmaker would be running back Justice Hill, who had 123 yards and a score on the ground. Tylan Wallace eclipsed 100 yards through the air and Dillon Stoner had the touchdown. So, yes, Oklahoma State's offense was business as usual.
What made the Pokes' performance so dominating, though, was defense and special teams. Yes, you read that right.
Gundy's team had not one, but two blocked punts, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Defensively, Oklahoma State forced 22 third-down situations with Boise State converting less than 50 percent. The Broncos averaged just 4.72 yards per play. The single most impressive part was how disruptive the Cowboys were in getting to quarterback Brett Rypien. The senior quarterback still had 380 yards passing, but was uncomfortable for most of the day.
Whether Boise is Group of Five or Power Five, this is a quality win. Beating the Broncos doesn't have a ton of national implications other than hurting the Broncos' New Year's Six bowl efforts. It doesn't affect the Big 12 standings, either. However, it sends a message that maybe the Cowboys are a little better than most expected.
Oklahoma State can keep winning, too. The home slate through October includes Texas Tech, Iowa State and Texas. The road games are at Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor. Going to Manhattan to play Kansas State is the least fun a Big 12 team can have, but overall, the schedule between now and November is manageable at worst.
Then things get interesting. Oklahoma State gets Oklahoma, West Virginia and TCU in consecutive weeks with only the Mountaineers at home. Here's betting the Big 12 Conference Championship Game race takes several turns over those four weeks in November.
Certainly, TCU can make a statement of its own against Ohio State later on Saturday night. But Oklahoma, while the conference favorite,.
In the meantime, this is a big win for Gundy and an announcement not to sleep on the Cowboys moving forward.
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