Jaden Nixon returned a second-half kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and ninth-ranked Oklahoma State beat No. 16 Baylor 36-25 on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Big 12 championship game.
Nixon’s return started a streak of 39 combined points in the third quarter. He found an open space in the middle of the field, broke free from the clutches of Baylor’s Devyn Bobby at the Oklahoma State 35 and raced everyone to the end zone.
“The third quarter was like a video game,” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said.
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The Cowboys (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) also beat Baylor in the regular season last year, but fell within inches of their first conference title since 2011 when the Bears made a fourth-down stop just before the end zone. in the final seconds of the conference championship game.
Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders threw seven picks in his two games against Baylor last season, including four in the Big 12 title game, but he was more efficient this time. He finished 20 of 29 for 181 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed 14 times for 75 yards with several tough runs and had a 1-yard TD drop.
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“That’s a big win… It just shows that the young guys stepped up, you know, did their job,” Sanders said. “That’s a great team to win against, especially on the road at home.”
After Nixon’s return, Baylor (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) responded with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Blake Shapen to Monaray Baldwin, who added a 70-yard touchdown on another fourth-down play later in the game. the third. . True freshman Richard Reese had a 1-yard TD run on a set short drive when Christian Morgan intercepted Sanders.
Another long kickoff return for Oklahoma State, with Brennan Presley carrying it into midfield after Reese scored, was immediately followed by Braydon Johnson’s 49-yard reception and Dominic Richardson’s 1-yard run. The Cowboys added a 19-yard field goal after Shapen’s incomplete fourth down from the Baylor 33-yard line gave Oklahoma State shortstop.
Shapen completed 28 of 40 passes for 345 yards and Baldwin caught seven passes for 174 yards. Reese had 85 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Six of the true rookies’ touchdowns have come in Baylor’s three home games.
A week after opening the Big 12 game with a win at Iowa State, the Bears couldn’t match that at home, where they had been so good. His only lead came after a field goal on the first drive of the game, before Oklahoma State scored a touchdown on its first possession.
“We definitely had spots where we were low on that (energy level) the entire game,” Bears standout left tackle Connor Galvin said. “At those times, we had to take a deep breath and say, ‘Okay, guys, let’s get it back. Come on. Let’s fix the problem on the field.'”
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THE TO GO
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys were solid coming out of their open date and accepted the challenges of playing their first-ranked opponent and leaving Stillwater with the win. Oklahoma State made some standout catches for Sanders, including Bryson Green’s disputed jump catch in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown on the Cowboys’ opening drive. On Johnson’s 49-yard catch in the third quarter, he reached back and through a defender to grab near the sideline and, twisting and turning, his left foot slid out of bounds just short of the zone. of annotation
Baylor: The Bears had won nine straight at home since a 42-3 loss to Oklahoma State in the 2020 regular season finale. That game was delayed two months due to COVID-19 and was played when Baylor was without 47 people (players, coaches, and support staff) and had a full-time offensive assistant coach at the game.
Oklahoma State will certainly remain in the top 10 and may even move up a spot. Baylor could drop near the bottom of the poll since both of its losses are against Top 25 teams, or it could drop out of the standings altogether.
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Oklahoma State plays Texas Tech next Saturday at home.
Baylor has a bye before its next game at West Virginia on Oct. 13, a Thursday night.