STILLWATER – The Cowboy offense was backed up on its own 1-yard line, early in the game Saturday night. You remember. Back when America still thought Baylor was a force to be reckoned with.
And the coaching Mikes, Gundy and Yurcich, turned to Clint Chelf.
The OSU quarterback fired a 28-yard strike to Charlie Moore on the sideline, and suddenly, OSU was out of the shadow of Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Soon enough, the Cowboys were out of the shadow of Baylor. And Chelf was out of the shadow of his own limitations.
OSU routed Baylor 49-17 at Boone Pickens Stadium, a stunning verdict in a top-10 showdown, and Chelf was superb.
That completion to Moore ignited a 99-yard touchdown drive. Chelf directed six TD drives in all.
He completed his first 12 passes Saturday night, finishing 19 of 25 for a career high 370 yards and three touchdowns.
Chelf beat Texas with his legs a week ago but beat Baylor with his arm. That's two Big 12 unbeatens taken down in back-to-back weeks by the guy who often is down but never is out.
“He's been good the last few games in what we've asked him to do,” Gundy said. “We didn't feel we had as much of an advantage with him running the ball this game. But he was real effective throwing the ball.
“I couldn't be more proud of what he's accomplished. He's been a good leader. He's been humble.
“I'm happy with the groove he's in. We just want to let him keep going.”
Some of us called for a return to J.W. Walsh a few weeks ago, when Chelf was throwing balls into the feet of receivers and looked nothing like the quarterback with the magic dust from 2012, when Chelf went from third-teamer to bowl MVP.
Good thing Gundy didn't listen. In the biggest game of a college football Saturday, Chelf completely outplayed Bryce Petty.
The Baylor quarterback came into the game garnering Heisman Trophy support. Now Petty's status as the all-Big 12 quarterback is in question.