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Oklahoma State Football

Oklahoma State's Defense Paves Road to a 48-34 Win

October 22, 2023
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The cold West Virginia mountain air didn’t slow the Oklahoma State Cowboys down one bit Saturday. 

In a 48-34 win against the Mountaineers, the Cowboys worked as an explosive unit and took advantage of every opportunity to create momentum in their favor. 

It’s time to give credit where it’s due. The Cowboy defense is responsible for seizing most of those opportunities to force turnovers. Safety Kendal Daniels set the tone for the Oklahoma State defense early in the first quarter. After receiver Brennan Presley muffed a punt, the Mountaineers recovered it on OSU’s 33-yard line. 

Although it didn’t seem like the Cowboys (5-2) were off to a great start, Daniels wasted no time and flipped the script. On WVU (4-3) quarterback Garrett Greene’s completion to tight end Kole Taylor, Daniels swooped in to force a timely fumble. 

This play led to a 37-yard field goal from Alex Hale and put the Pokes up 3-0 for a strong start against an impressive Big 12 opponent. 

The rest of the OSU defense matched Daniels’ dominance and made several stops when it mattered most. During West Virginia’s second drive of the game, OSU cornerback Korie Black intercepted Greene’s pass and returned it to the WVU 39-yard line. This play got things rolling for the Cowboys and led to Gordon’s first touchdown of the game, putting the Cowboys up 10-0 early. 

The forced fumble and interception weren’t the only turnovers the Cowboy defense forced, though. Late in the second half, Daniels outran WVU quarterback Garrett Greene and tackled him for a loss, which led to a turnover on downs at West Virginia’s 46-yard line.  

The very next play to start the drive was a 46-yard touchdown run from OSU running back Ollie Gordon, who had yet another breakout game with 282 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. 

 

Oklahoma State linebacker and redshirt sophomore Nick Martin led the team in tackles with 17. 10 of those tackles were solo. Martin has morphed into a defensive leader for this team and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. 

“Overall, we win the turnover battle,” coach Mike Gundy said. “...It’s a really good win for our guys. They competed. I was proud of the way that they continued to battle back but it’s the way it is, you know? It’s college football. No telling what’s going to happen week to week with all the parity out there. These games are going to be fourth-quarter games pretty much every week.”

Thanks to timely turnovers and consistent defensive dominance, it looks as if defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo has figured out the keys to victory for the Cowboy defense. If the success the team has had on both sides of the ball as of late continues, losses will be tough to come by. 

However, Oklahoma State has a challenging schedule coming up in the back half of conference play. For their next matchup, the Cowboys come home to face off against the Cincinnati Bearcats for “America’s Greatest Homecoming” on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. 

 
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