WACO, Texas — Clint Chelf floated the ball toward the right corner of the end zone, just needing it to fall into the awaiting hands of Blake Jackson for Oklahoma State to cap a methodical and successful opening drive with a touchdown.
Two plays later, the Cowboys settled for a Quinn Sharp field goal, offering a sign of things to come.
In an expected shootout with Baylor, complete with the greatest over/under in Las Vegas sports betting history, OSU’s offense could not keep pace with the Bears early and ultimately did not have enough firepower in a 41-34 loss Saturday afternoon at Floyd Casey Stadium in the Cowboys’ regular-season finale.
“Everybody knows what (Baylor’s) done on offense,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “And they’ve done it for 11 games (entering Saturday), so it’s not a surprise. You feel like you have to press a little more, not when the game starts, but certainly when we fell behind.”
Choppy, sputtering and inconsistent were popular adjectives thrown around by coaches and players to describe the Cowboy offense’s performance against a Baylor defense that is statistically one of the worst in the nation.
OSU nearly matched Baylor, which entered Saturday ranked second in the nation, in yards amassed with 560. But the Cowboys failed to gain any steady traction and missed on several key opportunities, particularly in the first half.
Sharp kicked a pair of field goals on two drives that featured dropped touchdown passes by Jackson.
The Cowboys punted twice in the first quarter, which helped Baylor build an early 24-3 lead it would never let slip away.
And Chelf tossed two interceptions, including a critical pick-six in the first quarter that gave the Bears points without its explosive offense even on the field.