Oklahoma State football: Special teams gaffes costly for Oklahoma State

BEDLAM 2013 — Oklahoma scored twice out of the kicking game. On the first, OU's Jalen Saunders returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown. On the second, kicker Michael Hunnicutt caught an 8-yard pass from Grant Bothun on a fake field goal.
by John Helsley Published: December 7, 2013


photo -  Jalen Saunders had two touchdowns for OU on Saturday, including this 64-yard punt return score in the first quarter.. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Jalen Saunders had two touchdowns for OU on Saturday, including this 64-yard punt return score in the first quarter.. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

“Special teams is a part of the game just like offense and defense,” said Cowboys cornerback Kevin Peterson. “Those touchdowns count the same. We really focus on that. And the game plan going in was good, they just didn't execute whenever the time came.

“It hurt the score and it hurt the team.”

And it helped the Sooners, who were finding it difficult to reach the end zone otherwise.

“They outplayed us on special teams,” said Cowboys linebacker Shaun Lewis. “They made plays when they needed to, to keep them in the game.”

The Sooners struck for a clutch drive in the final 1:46, capped when Blake Bell hit Saunders for the game-winning touchdown pass. The OU defense tacked on a TD on the game's final play, scooping up a fumble when OSU's last-gasp effort of multiple laterals flopped.

But it's hard to imagine the Sooners in position to win without their special teams blows.

“Did Bob (Stoops) make some great calls? You bet,” Gundy said. “The fake field goal is a great call. It makes sense. He's probably thinking, ‘Hey, we're going to have to find a way to score here, because at this particular time we haven't done as well on offense as we'd wanted.'

“And it was a nice call. And a gutsy call. Sometimes that's what it takes to win games like this.”


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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