Oklahoma State’s football team started slowly in both halves, then finished strong in each of them and beat Arizona State 34-17 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday night.
Spencer Sanders threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, and Dominic Richardson rushed for 131 yards on 27 carries.
The Cowboys got the ball to start the game and were forced to punt.
Arizona State got a big play on their first possession, with Xazavian Valladay running for 42 yards.
The Sun Devils had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Carter Brown and ASU led 3-0 with 9:00 to play in the first quarter.
OSU started with three straight punts until late in the first quarter, when they were driving but Spencer Sanders was intercepted by Kyle Soelle at the ASU 22-yard line.
After an exchange of punts, OSU’s defense got its first turnover, as Brock Martin caused a fumble and Tyler Lacy recovered at the Sun Devil 37-yard line.
The Cowboys then marched to a touchdown in just five plays, with Dominic Richardson scoring from three yards out and OSU led 7-3 with 8:28 to play in the second quarter.
The Cowboys forced a Sun Devils punt, then marched 96 yards in 11 plays, with Sanders keeping for a 6-yard touchdown and OSU led 14-3 with 2:45 to play in the second quarter.
Sanders rushed for 54 yards on 14 carries.
OSU forced Arizona State to punt after three downs, then got a 43-yard field goal from Tanner Brown with 26 seconds left in the first half to take a 17-3 lead.
Arizona State got the ball to start the second half, and went 75 yards in four plays, with Emory Jones throwing to Giovanni Sanders for a gain of 73 yards to the OSU 2-yard line.
That set up Valladay’s one-yard touchdown run to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 17-10 with 12:18 to play in the third quarter.
Arizona State got the ball back after an OSU punt, but Brown missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left.
OSU responded with a big play, as Sanders passed to Braydon Johnson for a gain of 43 yards.
The drive bogged down, however, and Brown kicked a 24-yard field goal to make it 20-10 Cowboys with 5:48 left in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Arizona State capped an 8-play, 85-yard drive, with Jones passing to Elijah Badger for a 21-yard touchdown to cut OSU’s lead to 20-17 with 14:25 to play.
OSU answered with back-to-back scoring drives.
The first went 65 yards in three plays, with Sanders passing to Bryson Green for a 31-yard touchdown to make it 27-17 Cowboys with 13:31 left.
Green had 5 catches for 83 yards.
Then after forcing the Sun Devils to punt after three downs, OSU went 80 yards in 13 plays, with Sanders going to Ollie Gordon for a 14-yard touchdown to make it 34-17 with 7:41 to play.
Sanders was 21 for 38 for 268 yards and the two scores.
Oklahoma State improves to 2-0 and will finish non-conference play next Saturday at 6:00 at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
OSU has not played Arizona State since 1993.