Oklahoma State coaches made two pivotal decisions in the final minutes of a loss Saturday night at Texas A&M. The first decision proved to be genius when OSU's defense forced the Aggie to punt. The second proved costly when a roughing-the-punter penalty prevented the Cowboy offense from having a chance to rally for the win.
OSU trailed 24-23 with 1:57 to play. The Cowboys had one timeout. Texas A&M's punt became a non-issue when Quinton Moore was flagged for roughing the punter. When asked about the play on Sunday, Gundy wouldn't discuss it, though it was obvious a punt block was called. "We don't ever talk about calls we make on offense, defense or special teams,” Gundy said. "We would never give out that information. We wouldn't want other teams to know.” It's not exactly a secret. A regional TV audience saw what happened. Orange-clad fans cringed. Moore should have never left his feet when he arrived late to try and block the punt. At that point in the game, it's a low-reward, high-risk gamble. Block the punt and you probably win. Force a hurried punt and the offense would have better field position. But the plan backfired. The offense never got the ball back. On OSU's previous possession, Bobby Reid, filling in for injured Zac Robinson, drove the Cowboys inside the Texas A&M 10-yard line. A holding penalty stalled the drive. Gundy opted to kick a field goal on fourth-and-7 with 3:11 to play. With three timeouts left, that was a wise decision. The defense did its part. We'll never know the outcome because of the roughing-the-punter penalty. But the way Dantrell Savage, Adarius Bowman and the offense were playing, you had to like the Cowboys' chances of going 40 to 50 yards for a game-winning field goal attempt. "We're very disappointed,” Gundy said.
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Calvin Mickens and Jason Ricks walk off the field after Saturday night's loss to Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. By MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN