Oklahoma State’s football team scored 21 of their 28 points in the fourth quarter to beat Tulsa 28-23 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday.
The Cowboys’ offense struggled through three quarters, with seven punts and an interception, then came alive with a pair of touchdowns sandwiched around a big special teams play to take control of the game.
It appeared OSU had scored first when Jason Taylor intercepted a pass by Davis Brin and returned it 39 yards for an apparent touchdown.
The play was called back for a penalty on OSU’s Tanner McCalister for defensive holding.
Spencer Sanders returned as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback after missing last weekend due to COVID-19 protocols.
He was 15-for-26 passing for 173 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.
He also had 10 carries for 62 yards rushing.
The Cowboys were forced to punt on their first four possessions, then finally put a scoring drive together in the second quarter, going 80 yards in eight plays.
Sanders passed to Jaden Bray, who broke a tackle at the 10-yard line and went 26 yards for the touchdown to give OSU a 7-0 lead with 4:05 to play in the first half.
The Cowboys forced a Tulsa punt after three downs, and got the ball back with a chance to add to the lead late in the first half.
Sanders was intercepted by TU linebacker Justin Wright, who ran it back 55 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 1:44 to play in the second quarter.
Both teams were forced to punt on their first two possessions of the third quarter, then Tulsa took the lead with a 7-play, 80-yard scoring drive.
Davis Brin passed to Sam Crawford for a gain of 40 yards, setting up a three-yard touchdown run by Deneric Prince to give the Golden Hurricane a 14-7 lead with 5:37 to play in the third quarter.
OSU tied it up early in the fourth quarter, as Sanders passed to Bryson Green for a 16-yard touchdown.
It was originally ruled incomplete, with officials saying Green didn’t catch the ball with a foot down in the end zone, but the play was overturned on replay review.
It capped a 13-play, 76-yard drive and tied the game at 14-14 with 14:52 to play in the fourth quarter.
Tulsa responded with a drive to take the lead, as Brin completed passes for 37 yards to JuanCarlos Santana and 28 yards to Josh Johnson.
Brin was 19-for-27 passing for 224 yards.
TU had to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Zack Long to take a 17-14 lead with 10:56 to play.
OSU answered on the ensuing kickoff, as L.D. Brown returned it 98 yards for the touchdown to give the Cowboys the lead 21-17 with 10:41 to play.
Tulsa punted after four plays, and then OSU added to their lead with a 7-play, 72-yard drive.
Sanders gained 37 yards to the Tulsa 8, but fumbled and Tulsa recovered at the one-yard line.
The play was overturned on replay review after it was determined the TU player touched the ball while out of bounds.
The Cowboys then scored on an 11-yard touchdown run by Jaylen Warren to make it 28-17 OSU with 4:59 to play.
Tulsa answered in just 1:53, going 75 yards in 7 plays, with Anthony Watkins scoring on a 4-yard touchdown run.
TU went for two points but threw incomplete and OSU led 28-23 with 3:06 to play.
The Cowboys then ran out the clock to clinch the win.
Tulsa outgained OSU 347 yards to 313.
OSU has won nine straight meetings with Tulsa, and 23 in a row over the Golden Hurricane in Stillwater.
The Cowboys improved to 2-0 and will finish non-conference play at Boise State next Saturday at 8:00 pm central time.