Oklahoma State’s football team rallied in the second half, but lost to Wisconsin 24-17 in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday night.
OSU overcame a poor first three quarters on offense to score 10 fourth quarter points, but a late interception and a big offensive play by the Badgers sealed the defeat for the Cowboys, whose season ended with six losses in their final eight games.
OSU had seven possessions with just three downs and a punt before they put back-to-back scoring drives in the fourth quarter to make it a one score game.
Wisconsin dominated the time of possession, with nearly 38 minutes to just over 22 for OSU.
The Cowboys got the ball to start the game and had to punt after gaining just 12 yard on four downs.
Wisconsin’s first possession ended in a 47-yard field goal by Nate Van Zelst, with Braelon Allen gaining 27 yards on third and one to set up the score with 10:19 to play in the first quarter.
OSU went three downs and out on their next possession.
Wisconsin was moving the ball, and got a 51-yard run by Chez Mellusi to put the Badgers in the red zone.
Two plays later, Badgers quarterback Chase Wolf had his pass into the end zone intercepted by Trey Rucker, who ran it out to the 16-yard line.
Rucker was playing for the first time this season for the Cowboys.
It took OSU just one play to capitalize on the turnover, with Garret Rangel passing to Stephon Johnson breaking tackles, streaking across the field left to right and going 84 yards for the touchdown to put the Cowboys up 7-3 with 5:56 to play in the first quarter.
An exchange of punts followed the touchdown, then it appeared OSU had forced Wisconsin to punt.
The Badgers faked it, though, as punter Andy Vujnovich took off running and gained 13 yards for the first down on fourth and 7.
Wisconsin ended up having to punt later in the drive, then after a Cowboys punt, the Badgers put together their first touchdown drive of the game.
Wisconsin went 68 yards in 13 plays, with Mellusi scoring on a one-yard touchdown to put the Badgers up 10-7 with 5:23 to play in the second quarter.
OSU gained no yards in three downs and had to punt for the third straight possession, and the Badgers had their second straight touchdown drive.
Wisconsin went 65 yards in 8 plays, with Chase Wolf passing to a wide open Hayden Rucci for a 15-yard touchdown to give the Badgers a 17-7 lead with 44 seconds left in the first half.
OSU punted six times in the first half, with four “three-and-outs,” and lost the time of possession battle to Wisconsin, 23:10 to 6:50.
The first three possessions of the second half resulted in punts, then Wisconsin’s Jay Shaw intercepted Rangel at the OSU 32-yard line.
Two plays later, Braelon Allen scored on a 20-yard touchdown run to give Wisconsin a 24-7 lead with 6:42 left in the third quarter.
Allen had 116 yards rushing on 22 carries.
OSU punted again on their next possession, then the Cowboys defense got the ball back.
Lyrik Rawls knocked the ball loose from Wolf, and Kody Walterscheid recovered at the Badgers’ 42-yard line.
OSU’s offense couldn’t capitalize, however, as they were forced to punt after three downs again.
The Cowboys got the ball back on a punt by Wisconsin, and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Rangel passed deep to Brennan Presley for a gain of 41 yards to the Badgers’ 6-yard line.
On two plays from the one, OSU got no yards, then on fourth and goal from the 1, Rangel was about to be sacked, when he underhand pitched the ball to Ollie Gordon for the touchdown, cutting the Wisconsin lead to 24-14 with 12:57 to play.
Rangel was 14-for-31 passing for 229 yards.
OSU forced a Badgers’ punt, and got the ball back with a chance to cut into the lead more.
On 3rd and 14, Rangel passed to Rashod Owens for a gain of 41 to the Wisconsin 27.
The Cowboys got the ball inside the Wisconsin 10-yard line, but had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Tanner Brown, cutting the Badgers’ lead to 24-17 with 5:08 left.
Wisconsin went three and out and had to punt, and the Cowboys got the ball with a chance to march to the tying score.
On the second play of the drive, Rangel passed deep and was intercepted by Cedrick Dort, who returned it 21 yards to the OSU 44-yard line, with a penalty moving the Badgers back to their own 41-yard line.
The Cowboys needed a stop to get the ball back with a chance to tie it, but Skyler Bell gained 44 yards on a reverse to the OSU 17-yard line.
Wisconsin had 258 yards rushing to just 52 for the Cowboys.
The Badgers ran out the clock from there to win it.
This was the first meeting between OSU and Wisconsin.
The Cowboys had been 5-0 all-time in bowl games played in Arizona.
OSU finishes the season 7-6.