After delay, Cowboys edge Panthers
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) – When a small storm rolling through delayed Saturday’s Oklahoma State-Pittsburgh game with 12:55 left in the fourth quarter and the score tied 38-38, OSU coach Mike Gundy used the extra time to make some much-needed adjustments.
Following the almost 2-hour delay, the Cowboys limited the Panthers’ effectiveness on offense and then came up with the game-winning touchdown drive. Mason Rudolph connected on an 86-yard pass to Jhajuan Seales, then Rennie Childs scored on a 1-yard run – his fourth rushing touchdown of the game – with 1:28 remaining to lift Oklahoma State to a 45-38 victory.
“I’ll be real honest with you, the delay saved us,” said Gundy, whose team squandered second quarter leads of 24-10 and 31-17.
Rudolph was 26 of 46 for a school-record 540 yards and two touchdowns, while James Washington pulled in nine receptions for 296 yards – the most in the nation by anyone so far this season – and two touchdowns. Childs finished with 101 yards on 10 carries.
“(Rudolph) played great,” said Cowboys offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. “Always room to improve, but he needs to sit back and enjoy this one. He played tremendous, especially at the end, finished strong again, the game-winning drive. I’m proud of him.”
One week after a stunning loss to Central Michigan on a final untimed play that officials later admitted should never have happened, Oklahoma State (2-1) found themselves in another nail-biter decided in the final moments. After starting its final possession on its own 8-yard-line with 1:21 to go, Pitt advanced to the OSU 45-yard-line before Nathan Peterman’s pass was intercepted by Ramon Richards with 15 seconds left.
Rudolph, who broke Brandon Weeden’s previous single-game mark of 502 yards from 2011, had 372 yards passing and Washington 231 receiving in the first half alone, both OSU school records for one half. The Cowboys’ 467 yards of total offense in the opening half also set a school record.
James Conner rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries for Pitt (2-1), while Peterman threw for 237 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-30 passing.