Oklahoma State Runs Past Cincinnati, 45-13
By: Ryan Roberts
It was a cold, wet night in Stillwater, Oklahoma as the Bearcats took on the Oklahoma State Cowboys on homecoming night inside Boone Pickens Stadium.
Searching for their first Big 12 win and looking to end a 5 game losing streak, Cincinnati needed to come out and set the tone early with a good start. Scott Satterfield had mentioned earlier in the week that last week's game against Baylor was the first time this season that he felt his team came out with energy and played for one another.
This was a match up of strength on strength. Cincinnati's run defense that ranked #1 in the Big 12 against Oklahoma State's run game that featured the top back in the league, Ollie Gordon.
The Bearcats won the toss and elected to defer to the second half.
Oklahoma State returned the kickoff to their own 36 and on the first play of the game, Ollie Gordon ran right through the middle of the Cincinnati defense for an 11 yard pick up. Facing a 3rd and 7, Ollie Gordon picked up a 6 yard gain and had 15 yards tacked on to the end of the play after a horse collar was called on Jack Dingle on the tackle. On the next play, Alan Bowman found Josiah Johnson down the sideline for a 29 yard touchdown. 5 plays, 64 yards in 1:52 and just like that, Cincinnati found themselves down 7-0.
The Cincinnati offense got going with back to back 5 yard runs by Corey Kiner after fair catching the OSU kickoff. On the third play of the drive, Emory Jones found Xzavier Henderson wide open across the middle of the field for a 53 yard catch and run to the OSU 12.
As we've seen often throughout this season, the Bearcats offense would stall in the red zone and then miss a 23 yard field goal attempt as it went off the left upright. Great drive and response but no points to show for it.
The Cincinnati defense responded well to the opening drive touchdown by the Cowboys. Despite multiple penalties to advance the OSU offense, Oklahoma State picked up just 7 yards on their next two drives.
On the next drive, we would see the explosive play that Scott Satterfield said the Bearcats had lacked to this point.
After taking over at their own 18, Myles Montgomery took the fourth play of the drive 63 yards to the house for a touchdown. It was Montgomery's third touchdown over the past two games and with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter, the UC offense had already racked up 119 rushing yards.
The Bearcats dominated the first quarter, racking up 172 yards to Oklahoma State's 83...but we were still tied 7-7 due in large part to Cincinnati having 3 penalties for 40 yards. One of the penalties extended an Oklahoma State drive and the other erased a 19 yard pick up by Braden Smith to put the Cincinnati offense behind the chains.
Deshawn Pace has been the best player on the defense since serving a one game suspension against Oklahoma.
With the Oklahoma State offense driving in the Cincinnati red zone, Pace laid a big hit on Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon and forced a fumble that would be recovered by linebacker Jack Dingle at the UC 18 yard line.
The Cincinnati offense looked like they may be able to capitalize on the turnover on their next drive. Emory Jones picked up 14 yards on a 3rd and 3 to get the Bearcats out to their own 38 but on the next play, Jones was sacked for a 9 yard loss. The next play, Xzavier Henderson would have a pass go right through his hands on a wide receiver screen and the Cats were forced to punt after a Kiner 8 yard pick up.
Oklahoma State cashed in on their next possession by using the big play.
On the third play of the drive, Bowman found Leon Johnson for a 67 yard gain. It looked like he may have pushed off while hand fighting with Justin Harris, but the result of the play was an Oklahoma State first down at the UC 11 yard.
Bowman's next three passing attempts would fall incomplete and Alex Hale came on for a 28 yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 10-7 lead with 8:55 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
On the next Oklahoma State drive, we would see why Ollie Gordon came in to this game with so much hype. On the first play, Gordon ripped off a 17 yard run to get the offense moving. Two plays later he picked up 22 yards as he burst through the line of scrimmage down to the Cincinnati 39. The defense did a good job limiting the OSU offense after those two plays to set up a 4th and 4 at the UC 33.
Alan Bowman picked completed the 4th down conversion with an 8 yard pass to Leon Johnson but a missed Alex Hale field goal attempt from the 22 would set up a wild chain of events to close the half.
The Bearcats drove out to their own 48 but an Emory Jones fumble on an 8 yard pick up on 3rd and 12 would give Oklahoma State the ball back with 32 seconds left at their own 44.
Facing a 3rd and 4 from midfield, Bowman was picked up by Jordan Young after the ball went off his receivers hands and in to the stretched out arms of Young.
The half ended with Cincinnati trailing 10-7 and went pretty much the way you would have scripted things based on the stats coming in to the game.
UC outgained Oklahoma State 258-253 and outgained them on the ground 194-79. The #1 ranked rush defense in the Big 12 limited Ollie Gordon to 60 yards on 13 carries.
The Cincinnati secondary has struggled against the pass this season and Bowman threw for 173 yards. It was an inefficient statline, however, as he was 11 for 23 and used big plays to account for those yards.
Both teams struggled on 3rd down, combining to go 3 for 16.
Cincinnati received the second half kickoff but were unable to do anything with it as they were stopped on 3rd and 1 from their own 34 to give Oklahoma State the ball back just one minute and 45 seconds in to the half.
Oklahoma State would open the second half the same way they started the first half- quick scoring drive.
Ollie Gordon took the second play up the middle of the Cincinnati defense for a 42 yard gain to the UC 15. On the next play, Bowman hit Brennan Presley for a 15 yard touchdown. 4 play, 66 yards, in 1:21 to give the Cowboys a 17-7 lead with 11:54 remaining in the 3rd qtr.
On the next UC possession, Emory Jones had a pass go off Dee Wiggins hands, which would lead to a Cameron Epps interception at the UC 29.
Four plays later, Ollie Gordon would take it in from 9 yards out as he broke multiple tackles at the line of scrimmage to give Oklahoma State a 24-7 lead with 9:03 on the clock. Oklahoma State needed just 8 plays and 2:52 to pick up 95 yards and make a close game seem out of reach.
The Cincinnati offense continued to struggle and Oklahoma State added another touchdown on their next drive to extend the lead to 31-7 with 3:15 remaining in the quarter.
After being somewhat contained in the first half Gordon exploded for 90 yards on just 5 carries to up his toital to 150 yards for the game on 18 carries. Gordon came in to the game leading the country with gains over 20 yards and his big play ability was on full display in the 3rd quarter.
The third quarter would conclude with Oklahoma State outgaining the Bearcats 160-89 on 9 less plays. After Cincinnati dominated the first quarter on the stat sheet, Oklahoma State had flipped the script on the Bearcats with a 330-174 advantage in yards with 24 unanswered points during the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
Big plays had also doomed the Bearcats as Oklahoma State had 10 plays of 20+ yards through the first 3 quarters. 10 of thiose plays occurred on 1st or 2nd down.
With 10:14 left in the game, Brady Lichtenberg was inserted in to the game at quarterback and Cincinnati was down to their fifth string running back in Shaun Thomas, with Corey Kiner, Myles Montgomery, Ethan Wright, and Ryan Montgomery all dealing with different injuries.
The Cats would add a touchdown with 4:54 remaining as Brady Lichtenberg connected with Aaron Turner for a 26 yard score in the corner of the endzone but it would be way too little, way too late.
Ollie Gordon took the first play of the next Oklahoma State possession 75 yards for his second touchdown of the game to give him 271 yards on 25 carries.
Elijah Collins would add another Oklahoma State touchdown with 1:58 left in the 4th quarter.
Final Score: Oklahoma State 45 Cincinnati 13
Stats and Final Thoughts:
- Oklahoma State rolled up 601 yards of offense in this game. The defensive struggles in the secondary continued to the point that Kalen Carrol was inserted to shake things up and see if it could slow down the explosive plays that OK State was getting. For the game, they finished with 7 passing plays of 15+ yards and 9 rushing plays of 10+ yards. The defense had been very good against the run but simply couldn't slow down the OSU rushing attack as they averaged 8.5 yards per rush.
- Corey Kiner finished with 79 yards on 15 carries, while Myles Montgomery finished with 90 yards on 8 carries. The duo has been very good together this season, providing a different look to opposing defenses.
- Emory Jones finished 6 of 16 for 117 yards and an interception. The weather was cold and wet and there were several of those incompletions that were due to dropped passes that would have extended drives and moved the chains.
- Both teams finished 6 of 16 on 3rd down. The concerning part of this is that Cincinnati was also 0-5 in situations where they needed two or less yards to pick up a first down. Oklahoma State finished 2-5, for comparison.
- Oklahoma State averaged 7.7 yards on 1st down with 20 rush for 154 yards. Cicninnati, for comparison, finished with 55 yards on 1st down runs for an average of 3,2 yards, 2nd and 3rd and longs are a big contributing factor to some of the offensive struggles at times.
- Bryon Threats led the defense with 9 tackles, 6 solo. Jack Dingle finished with 7 tackles, while Deshawn Pace had 6 tackles with a forced fumble.
- This is the most points given up in a game since giving up 48 to ECU in 2017. First 6 game losing streak since 1998. Largest Margin of defeat since losing to Ohio State 42-0 in 2019.
After watching Oklahoma State take it to their last 3 opponents, we all knew it was going to be an uphill battle going to Boone Pickens Stadium and getting a win. The Cats looked good, not great, in the first half but completely lost control of the game in the 3rd quarter. Lack of execution, missed tackles, and fundamentals were all an issue. While this a team that has the pieces to compete with anyone, there has to be more consistency throughout a game for them to start winning.
Central Florida visits Nippert Stadium for a 3:30 kickoff next Saturday.
Post Game Pressers with Scott Satterfield, Dontay Corleone, and Gavin Gerhardt