Football

Oklahoma State 38, Texas 35: Five key plays

Moments that made a difference Saturday night.

Posted October 28th, 2018

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Story highlights
  • Both teams had big catches in wild game that went down to final minutes.
  • Punt that left UT deep in its own territory proved costly.
  • Cowboys quarterback was hard to corral.

STILLWATER, Okla. — There were 157 snaps taken in Texas’ 38-35 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday. Here are five that ended up making a big difference:

1. Another early strike

Oklahoma State set the tone on the game’s fourth play as Cowboy quarterback Taylor Cornelius found Tylan Wallace for a 40-yard touchdown. It was thrown one play after Cornelius converted a third-and-9 with a 12-yard pass.

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Texas opened the game without starting cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis, who were suspended. The Longhorns had also allowed first-possession points in five of their previous seven games. Despite those factors, Texas still deferred to the second half when it won Saturday’s coin toss.

The touchdown was Wallace’s first catch of the evening, but it would not be his last. The 6-foot sophomore finished with 10 receptions, 222 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Fourth-down follies

Oklahoma State scored 24 of the game’s first 38 points, and its fourth touchdown was set up by a key penalty. The Cowboys sent their punt team onto the field on a fourth-and-1 from midfield, but then they called an audible. As they changed formations, their guards shift closer to the snapper. When the guards slid, Texas defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham jumped, and a flag flew.

Texas wanted the officials to penalize Oklahoma State for a false start. The Cowboys wanted an offside call on Graham. The flag went against Texas, and Oklahoma State was given a first down.

Four plays later, Wallace beat Boyd for a 36-yard touchdown catch on a fourth-and-1. That gave Oklahoma State a 31-14 lead with 77 seconds left in the first half.

Texas tight end Andrew Beck scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter. [Stephen Spillman/For American-Statesman]
3. Standing out in Stillwater

Down 17 points at halftime, Texas rallied in the second half. In the third quarter, Sam Ehlinger found running back Keaontay Ingram for the freshman’s first touchdown catch. The Longhorns then pulled within 31-28 on tight end Andrew Beck’s 10-yard catch with 11:47 remaining in the game.

The touchdown catch was the third of Beck’s career, and two of those scores have happened in Stillwater. Beck also set up a touchdown run in the second quarter for Ehlinger with a 36-yard reception, his second-longest as a Longhorn. Beck’s longest catch? A 39-yard score during the 2016 trip to Stillwater.

Through the eight games of his senior season, Beck has 18 catches and 183 receiving yards. He entered this year with 12 career catches and 159 yards.

4. Going backward

After its offense cut Oklahoma State’s lead to three points, the UT defense forced a three-and-out. Cowboy punter Zach Sinor got off a 57-yard boot, the day’s best, that a retreating Brandon Jones fielded at the Texas 9. Jones continued to move backward and ended up losing 7 yards on the play.
Set up at its 2, Texas narrowly avoided a safety before punting. Oklahoma State returned that kick to the UT 35 and turned the short field into a touchdown drive.
Jones owned up to his mistake after the game. The junior said he failed to see that Texas was in its safe return formation and tried to make a play instead of calling for a fair catch.
“It was obviously a bad read,” Jones said. “I didn’t expect the ball to go as far as it did over my head. I was standing at the 20-yard line and didn’t really realize where I was at that point. Overall, I just wanted to make a play for my team.”

Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius celebrates a 38-35 win over Texas in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday night. [Stephen Spillman/For American-Statesman]
5. Big runs

Cornelius threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday. He also affected the game with his legs.
Cornelius logged only 23 rushing yards, but 10 of them came when he beat UT safety B.J. Foster on a third-down touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Then, with Texas needing a stop in the waning minutes, Cornelius sealed Oklahoma State’s fourth straight victory over the Longhorns with an 8-yard gain on third-and-6.

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