Oklahoma State football: Fourth-quarter three-and-out proves fatal for Cowboys
NORMAN — In a Bedlam blitzkrieg begging for a defensive stop, Oklahoma State seemed to deliver, forcing a fourth-down misfire from Landry Jones at the Cowboys 33.
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And there OSU's offense stood, 7:07 from ensuring victory on Owen Field.
Pick up a few first downs. Run some clock.
Maybe even score and boost the lead to double digits, a margin the Cowboys owned at points in both halves.
But at the minimum, move the chains and the clock and let the defense rest, at least for a while.
“That's the one time you'd like to get a first down,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy.
Instead, the defense enjoyed a blow that lasted but 49 seconds of game time, after the Cowboys offense netted a minus-1 yard on three snaps before a Quinn Sharp punt.
And this time there was no defensive stand – although there was another fourth down, this one converted by OU backup quarterback Blake Bell in the Belldozer package, the final play of a 17-play, 86-yard march that ultimately forced overtime, won by the Sooners 51-48.
Bell scored with just four seconds showing in regulation.
Hard to fault an offense that produces 490 yards and 48 points on the road in Bedlam. Yet Cowboys offensive coordinator Todd Monken found himself on the wrong side of regret.
“That's the way it is,” Monken said. “We got a fourth-down stop, went three-and-out and gave them the ball right back. That can't happen.
“Stats are for losers. They really are. It's when you make plays. It's when you have game-changing opportunities and you don't take advantage of it. It's turnovers. It's explosive plays. It's third-down conversions. It's touchdowns in red zones. It's lost-yardage plays…”
It was a lost-yardage play that set the tone for the series, as Joseph Randle found no running room up the middle and was dragged down for a loss of 1 by OU tackle Jamarkus McFarland.
On second down, Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf rolled right and had receiver Blake Webb open, but threw the ball incomplete at Webb's ankles.