Sports

Mason Rudolph lifts No. 15 Oklahoma State over Texas Tech

Mason Rudolph lifts No. 15 Oklahoma State over Texas Tech

Oklahoma State ultimately prevailed over the Red Raiders, 41-34 to keep their Big 12 championship hopes alive.

OSU took the lead on their next possession, with Rudolph scrambling and finding Jalen McCleskey wide open in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 Cowboys with 3:49 to play in the first half.

The Red Raiders also recovered a surprise onside kick early in the fourth quarter, but Cowboys defensive end Jordan Brailford intercepted a pass by Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek, helping the Cowboys survive that mishap unscathed.

After the missed field goal and starting at their own 20-yard line, the Texas Tech drive stalled at their own 37-yard line and they were forced to punt with 3:30 left in the game.

For Oklahoma State, senior quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 376 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State missed crucial opportunities to put points on the board throughout the game.

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph hands off to running back Justice Hill in the second quarter in an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Lubbock, Texas. A 26-yard pass to Marcell Ateman moved the Cowboys to the Texas Tech 48-yard line. In three previous games against Tech, he had 13 catches for 445 yards and five touchdowns.

Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator, said the difference he sees is that the Red Raiders have simplified things, allowing players to "play with less hesitation".

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Rudolph extended Oklahoma State's lead to 28-17 with 12:50 left in the third quarter with an 8-yard rushing touchdown.

Nic Shimonek completed a 25-yard pass to Antoine Wesley at midfield before four straight incompletions that clinched the win for the Cowboys.

While the Cowboys had a respectable showing defensively - they held the Red Raiders to just 384 yards, 203 below their average coming into Saturday's game - it wasn't without mistakes.

Texas Tech: A win likely would have meant the Red Raiders' return to the poll for the first time since Kliff Kingsbury's first season in 2013, when they started 7-0. However, the Red Raiders could not score in the drive.

Tech's success this year has largely been the result of excelling in turnover margin, where the Red Raiders have ranked among the nation's best.

But, seven plays in the first quarter Oklahoma State was able to make it in the end zone bringing the score to 7-0 with around 11 minutes left.

"We lost. It doesn't feel good at all", Shimonek said. The first is at Kansas on Saturday.