STILLWATER — Bryce Petty had only turf in between him and the end zone midway through the first quarter, until the turf monster tripped the Baylor quarterback up at the goal line.
Call that luck.
Two plays later, as Bear running back Shock Linwood tried to stretch the football over the goal line with one hand, Oklahoma State defensive tackle James Castleman poked the ball free and scooped it up.
Call that opportunistic.
After that, Baylor didn't get that close to the end zone again until the first minute of the fourth quarter when the Cowboys had already built a 32-point lead.
Call that dominance.
OSU's defense holding strong in Glenn Spencer's debut season as coordinator is nothing new.
But this was different.
This performance in a stunning 49-17 upset of previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Baylor came against an attack widely touted as America's Greatest Offense — and for good reason. The Bears entered the game leading the nation in scoring (61.2 points a game, no team is within 8 1/2 points) and total offense (684.8 yards, more than 100 ahead of the runner-up).
“You try to hold them half of what they averaged,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said.
OSU did way more than that. After Castleman's momentum-swinging play at the goal line, No. 10 OSU (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) served Baylor an old-fashioned stuffing.
Baylor (9-1, 6-1) had entered the contest with seven total three-and-outs. The Bears had four possessions without a first down Saturday night.
The most punts Baylor had in a game this season entering Saturday was six. The Bears had five by halftime.
The results of Baylor's drives through the first three quarters?
Punt. Fumble. Punt. Punt. Punt. Punt. Field goal. Turnover on downs. Fumble. Turnover on downs. Turnover on downs.
The only first-half points OSU allowed in the first 45 minutes — a 29-yard field goal by Aaron Jones in the waning seconds of the second quarter — came on a drive with a busted play, where safety Shamiel Gary fell down and left Clay Fuller open for a 53-yard catch and run.
The Cowboys limited Petty when it counted (19-of-38 for 216 yards and zero touchdowns through three quarters) and swallowed the Bears' powerful rushing attack (94 total yards on 36 carries). They limited the Bears' chunk plays by tackling well in open field and forcing three turnovers, including a 78-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Tyler Patmon when Baylor was attempting to stage a rally in the fourth quarter.
The Bears' offense was not at full strength, as they were missing running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, receiver Tevin Reese and left tackle Spencer Drango to injury. Still, Baylor was missing all those pieces but Drango last week against Texas Tech and still rolled up 63 points.
That type of performance couldn't be replicated against an OSU defense that already had a legitimate claim as the Big 12's best, coming into the game allowing just 19 points per game and forcing 26 turnovers. Still, the Cowboys had been a bit under the radar nationally.
Not anymore. Not after making the ultimate statement when facing the ultimate test.
And with Bedlam on the horizon on Dec. 7, that defense has helped put OSU in prime position to capture its second Big 12 title in three seasons.