Oklahoma State football notebook: Well-designed final play comes up short for Cowboys
Oklahoma State ran a well-designed and nearly well-executed final play trying for a miracle touchdown.
Ultimately, receiver Charlie Moore was tackled 38 yards short of the end zone after a fourth-down play that began at OSU's 27-yard line and Texas escaped with a 41-36 victory.
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The play began with an 11-yard completion from J.W. Walsh to Tracy Moore, who initiated a series of four laterals, the third of which returned to Walsh near the right sideline. He fired the ball backward across the field to Charlie Moore around the 20-yard line, who had a wall of blockers ahead of him — but not enough to clear an 80-yard path.
Charlie Moore sprinted along the sideline for what turned out to be a 41-yard gain.
The play design was reminiscent of the Music City Miracle, the touchdown scored by the Tennessee Titans on a cross-field lateral in January 2000 to beat the Buffalo Bills in a playoff game.
OSU coaches have debated using high, hanging kickoffs that fall near the goal line, trying to give the coverage team extra time to get down the field and pin the opponent deep.
However, Texas punched a hole in the theory when D.J. Monroe caught a kickoff at the goal line and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter.
“We had two guys that hit him in the legs and neither one of them wrapped up and got him down,” coach Mike Gundy said. “Those are big plays that, when you get in a game with a team as talented as Texas, you can't make those mistakes.”
From that point on, all of Quinn Sharp's kickoffs went deeper into the end zone for touchbacks.
OSU last allowed a kickoff return touchdown against Texas last season, when Fozzy Whitaker returned one 100 yards as well.
OKIES IN ACTION
Two Oklahoma products played a part on the Texas defense Saturday night.
Tulsa Central's DeMarco Cobbs, a junior, started at strongside linebacker for the Longhorns and finished with two tackles.
Josh Turner, a sophomore from Millwood, had seven tackles in the secondary, playing mostly in five-defensive back situations.