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Oklahoma State Football

The Oklahoma State Defense Secures Must-Win Game Against Houston

November 18, 2023

STILLWATER, Okla.— The defense helped turn things around after a rough start in this must-win game for Oklahoma State.

A celebration is warranted after a 43-30 win against Houston for OSU. However, A few minutes into the second quarter, things were not looking good for the Cowboys. They were down after an Alan Bowman interception and two touchdowns and didn’t have any momentum to help them get out of the hole they dug for themselves.

Enter safety Trey Rucker. With 2:12 left in the second quarter, Rucker intercepted a pass intended for Houston receiver Samuel Brown. This play started the turnaround for the Cowboys.

“You know, first half, they came out with some stuff we hadn’t seen on film,” Rucker said. “So we just had to lock in, get it together at halftime, make adjustments and we made the right adjustments.”

Nick Martin, Rucker and Collin Oliver’s lockdown defense created several opportunities for the OSU offense. After Rucker’s timely interception, Bowman threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to star receiver Leon Johnson II to put the Cowboys back in the game headed into halftime.

After allowing touchdowns on two of Houston’s first three drives, the Cowboy defense did not let that happen again. The next five drives after the interception resulted in a punt for the Cougars, who weren’t able to create much offense in the second half.

Martin displayed his talent again against the Cougars and continues to be an integral part of the OSU defense. He finished with 12 tackles, 1 sack and 3 tackles for loss. Martin led the team in tackles, and right behind him was Rucker with 10.

With his first tackle, Martin passed the century mark with 100 tackles on the season and still leads the Big 12.

Martin and Rucker weren’t the only playmakers on defense though. Safety Cam Smith sealed the game for the Cowboys with 1:29 left to play and secured the Cowboy’s second interception of the game.

With one game remaining in the regular season, OSU will head back to Stillwater to prepare for a Saturday home matchup against the BYU Cougars. To secure a spot in the Big 12 Championship game, the Cowboys have to beat BYU and Iowa State has to lose one of their remaining games.


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