Sellout’s rapid reaction to OSU’s 43-30 win at Houston

Sellout’s rapid reaction to OSU’s 43-30 win at Houston

The Cowboys kept alive their hopes of spot in the Big 12 title game with a furious rally from a two-touchdown deficit on the road.

Guerin Emig

By Guerin Emig

| Nov 18, 2023, 6:45pm CST

Guerin Emig

By Guerin Emig

Nov 18, 2023, 6:45pm CST

HOUSTON — Here’s the Sellout Crowd’s Oklahoma State coverage team’s rapid reaction to the Cowboys’ 43-30 over the Houston Cougars here Saturday.

Whatever it takes, however it looks

Guerin Emig: The Cowboys beat Houston on a day Ollie Gordon got tackled in the end zone for a safety and also dropped the ball (before it bounced back into his hands) on a drive OSU needed to salt away victory. 

They won on a day Alan Bowman threw a pick-6. 

They won on a day they fell into a 23-9 hole, Houston leading by that margin late in the first half and the Cougars driving for more near midfield.

It looked bleak for a while Saturday. It looked a little dirty pretty much all game long.

And it doesn’t matter a bit.

What you do in a conference as balanced as the Big 12 is win. That’s what counts. It counts triple on the road in late November.

Never mind any style points, just factor in final scores. OSU will gladly take the result in Houston because the result keeps OSU’s Big 12 championship hopes alive.

The Cowboys host BYU next week with those cards on the table.

Gordon rushed for 164 yards to overcome his difficult moments. Bowman threw for 348 in response to his pick-6. Brennan Presley and a Nick Martin-led defense did plenty in support. 

Enough Cowboys did enough good things despite the pockets of bad at Houston. 

Really, all anyone will care about is that the team rolled out of town a winner. Now the Pokes can roll into BYU with Big 12 stakes on the line. 

Cowboys able to pull plane up

Sam Hutchens: It felt like things were spiraling out of control. Houston linebacker Malik Robinson yanked down Ollie Gordon in OSU’s end zone for a safety to push UH’s lead to 23-9 four minutes before halftime. The Cougars were about to get the ball and they were set to get it again to start the second half.

It looked like Orlando 2.0.  But the Cowboys made more big plays late. Trey Rucker nabbed an interception. Leon Johnson hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass on a fade route. The Cowboys pulled out of the nosedive they couldn’t a week ago. The reward? A decent shot at a Big 12 Championship Game appearance.

Every catch mattered in Brennan Presley’s 15-catch day  

Ben Hutchens: Here’s a name I’ve not heard before: Alex Loyd. In 1949, Loyd caught an OSU-record 16 passes against Kansas. And without a nearly historic performance from Brennan Presley, the Cowboys may not be playing next week for a berth in the Dec. 2 Big 12 Championship. Presley caught 15 passes for 189 yards. Twelve of his catches went for first downs.

OSU knocks out mistake-prone Houston with 1-2 punch

Ed Murray: OSU gave Ollie Gordon only five carries on its first five possessions. Carry No. 6 resulted in a safety and a 23-9 Houston lead. But the Cougars couldn’t handle the prosperity. Houston took the free kick and promptly threw it right to the Cowboys’ Trey Rucker. Two plays later, OSU was in the end zone with 1:29 to play in the first half to start a string of 24 unanswered points over the next 10 minutes. Three of those points came on the final play of the half after a Houston holding penalty wiped out a Cougars first down and gave it back to OSU.

Gordon finally got loose in the third quarter, joining Presley for a 1-2 punch Houston couldn’t handle. Most importantly, 14 of his 23 carries were in the second half.

Houston’s offense was squelched by ramped-up OSU pressure and costly penalties. That combo resulted in seven straight scoreless Houston possessions

‘Dance with the one who brung you’

Todd Lisenbee: It was the famous Sooner turned Longhorn Darrell Royal that once used the phrase that was the magic potion for the Cowboys  Saturday. After the embarrassment at UCF and a first half that looked flat at best, the Cowboys put the ball in the hands of two players who helped them get where they are. 

Ollie Gordon was again fantastic. Either Kasey Dunn knew what he was doing by not getting him involved early or he quickly realized the error of his ways. Either way, Dunn deserves credit for a game plan executed to perfection in the second half. In most games, it feels like teams run to open up the passing game, but today was the opposite, as Presley’s big game opened things up in the run game for Gordon. Presley’s 15 receptions was a big-boy performance from the Bixby native.

Bowman was amazing as well — a fact that will be lost in the huge numbers from Gordon and Presley. Out of Oklahoma State’s 78 offensive snaps, the ball was in Presley or Gordon’s hands in 47 of those plays. That’s a recipe for success against teams like Houston. That’s the recipe for success next week against BYU. One more Saturday of “dancing with who brung them” and the Cowboys will be at Jerry World in early December.


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Guerin Emig is a columnist for the Sellout Crowd network. Read his work at and Reach out with feedback and/or ideas at [email protected] or (918) 629-6229. Follow him on Twitter at @GuerinEmig and Instagram at @guerin.emig. .

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