By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor fell to No. 14 Oklahoma State 59-16 Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.
The Bears (0-6, 0-3) couldn’t stop the explosive Cowboys’ (5-1, 2-1) offense, surrendering 744 total yards in the loss.
The Bears established the run on their first offensive possession. Freshman running back John Lovett got six touches, running for 41 yards while junior running back Terence Williams contributed 12 yards to put Baylor in the red zone just six minutes into the game.
Senior tight end Jordan Feuerbacher said that the Bears’ rushing attack was a strong point, but as the game went on, it lacked consistency.
“One thing we felt we could do was run the ball on their defense,” Feuerbacher said. “I thought we showed what we could do on the first drive, and then we hit a couple of bumps after. We’ve got to get consistent with it.”
The Bears only managed two yards on the next possession, but Cowboys’ junior punt returner Jalen McClesky muffed the punt and it was recovered by Baylor freshman cornerback Timarcus Davis to give the Bears field position at the Oklahoma State 37-yard line.
The Cowboys defense didn’t let up, however, with junior linebacker Justin Phillips forcing a turnover with a strip-sack of Smith.
Oklahoma State took advantage as senior quarterback Mason Rudolph found senior wide receiver Marcell Ateman for a 38-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Rudolph connected with senior wide receiver James Washington on a 45-yard pass to set up the Cowboys at the Baylor 20-yard line to start the second quarter.
Fifteen seconds later, Oklahoma State took the lead on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to McClesky to put the Cowboys up 14-7.
After a field goal from sophomore kicker Connor Martin, Oklahoma State responded with a 79-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Justice Hill to put the Cowboys up 21-10.
The Cowboys continued to pile on to the lead, putting together their longest drive of over two minutes with Rudolph sneaking the ball in the end zone on a 1-yard rush as Oklahoma State took a 28-10 lead with five minutes remaining in the half.
Oklahoma State got the ball back with just three minutes left in the half and added on to the lead with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from freshman running back J.D. King to extend the lead to 35-10 at the half.
To start the third quarter, Rudolph completed a 58-yard pass to Washington, but sophomore cornerback Grayland Arnold knocked the ball loose to force a turnover.
Smith and the offense moved the ball around on their first possession of the second half with Smith completing passes to sophomore receivers Denzel Mims and Pooh Stricklin. The drive stalled out, however, and Martin knocked in a 40-yard field goal to make it a 35-13 game.
The Cowboys responded with a field goal of their own as sophomore kicker Matt Ammendola nailed a 40-yard field goal to put Oklahoma State up 38-13 with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Williams broke free for a 39-yard rush to put the Bears in the red zone for the first time since the first quarter, but Baylor couldn’t find the end zone and Martin connected from 29-yards to make it a 38-16 game.
Washington exploded past the defense and Rudolph found him for a 68-yard touchdown to make it 45-16 with six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
With a comfortable lead, the Cowboys turned to their running game to burn clock in the late stages of the third quarter.
Washington punched it in for Oklahoma State, this time with a two yard rush, to bring the Cowboy lead to 52-16 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Bears drove down to the Oklahoma State 37-yard line, but Smith tossed an interception to senior linebacker Gyasi Akem to give the ball back to the Cowboys.
Rudolph left the game in the fourth quarter with the Cowboys leading by 36, finishing with 459 passing yards and three total touchdowns.
Oklahoma State backup quarterback Taylor Cornelius scampered for a 40-yard touchdown to add on to the lead 59-16 with ten minutes remaining.
Freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer came in the for Bears in the fourth quarter, but his first drive was stopped short with an interception from freshman safety Thabo Mwaniki as the Cowboys cemented the win.
Rhule said that at the end of the day, battling doesn’t get you win and being honest enough to understand that isn’t easy.
“I was proud of their effort in the second half, just their desire to fight. But at the end of the day, Oklahoma State was just better than us,” Rhule said. “We have to be honest with ourselves. In a lot of games, we were able to hang close. We weren’t able to hang close today. We have to get better, and we recognize that.”
The Bears look to get back on track as they face West Virginia at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at McLane Stadium.