Cowboys Stage Biggest Comeback in School History to Beat Notre Dame in Fiesta Bowl

Sports

Oklahoma State’s football team staged the largest comeback in school history, rallying from 21 points down to beat Notre Dame 37-35 in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday.

OSU finishes with just their second 12-win season in school history and earns their fourth major bowl win in program history.

Spencer Sanders set a Fiesta Bowl record with 496 total yards, throwing for 371 yards on 34-for-51 passing, and rushing for 125 yards on 17 carries.

Sanders tied an OSU bowl record with four touchdown passes, with three of those going to Tay Martin, who also tied a school bowl record with that figure.

Martin had 10 catches for 104 yards, while Brennan Presley had 10 catches for 137 yards.

OSU’s previous largest comeback to win a game was 20 points down against Colorado in 1979.

Notre Dame got the ball first and quickly marched to a score, going 75 yards in five plays, with Jack Coan passing down the middle to a wide open Lorenzo Styles for a 29-yard touchdown to give the Fighting Irish a 7-0 lead with 13:21 to play in the first quarter.

On OSU’s first possession, quarterback Spencer Sanders ran for 14 yards on the first play, but the Cowboys failed to get another first down, as Isaiah Foskey sacked Sanders on 3rd and 7 and OSU was forced to punt.

The two teams then exchanged three-and-out possessions before Notre Dame added to the lead.

On 3rd and 7 from their own 47-yard line, Coan threw to a wide open Tyree after OSU went with an all-out blitz, and Tyree raced down the middle of the field for a 53-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Notre Dame with 7:05 to play in the first quarter.

The two teams exchanged three-and-out possessions again before OSU finally got their offense going.

The Cowboys went 82 yards in 8 plays, with L.D. Brown gaining 22 yards on a run, and Sanders passing to Jaylen Warren for a gain of 16 yards.

That set up the touchdown, as Sanders tossed the ball to Jaden Bray on a jet sweep for a 9-yard touchdown to cut the Irish lead in half, 14-7, with 1:46 to play in the first quarter.

The OSU defense then responded by forcing a punt after three downs, with Brock Martin sacking Coan on third down.

The Cowboy offense had to punt after three downs, however, and Notre Dame answered with a score to extend their lead.

The Irish went 78 yards in 10 plays, with Coan passing to Michael Mayer for a 16-yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Notre Dame with 11:04 to play in the second quarter.

OSU moved into Notre Dame territory on their next possession, with Sanders passing to John Paul Richardson for a gain of 20.

The Cowboy drive stalled, however, and Tanner Brown missed a 48-yard field goal wide right with 9:11 left in the first half.

Notre Dame then moved into OSU territory, but their drive stalled as well, and Jonathan Doerer missed a 41-yard field goal attempt wide right to keep it 21-7 with 6:41 to play in the second quarter.

OSU had to punt on their next possession, and Notre Dame responded by extending their lead.

The Irish went 84 yards in 11 plays, getting a roughing the passer penalty to help the drive, then on 3rd down, a 20-yard pass play from Coan to Kevin Austin to get to the OSU 7-yard line.

Two plays later, Coan passed to Mayer for the touchdown to give Notre Dame a 28-7 lead with 1:16 to play in the first half.

The Cowboys quickly answered before halftime, going 75 yards in just four plays.

Sanders threw to Brennan Presley for a gain of 41 yards, then Sanders passed to Tay Martin for a 9-yard touchdown to cut the Notre Dame lead to 28-14 with 37 seconds left in the first half.

OSU got the ball to start the second half, and marched 87 yards in 12 plays.

Sanders had passes of 14 yards to Presley, 15 yards to John Paul Richardson, and 25 yards to Rashod Owens to the Irish 5-yard line.

On the next play, Sanders passed to Tay Martin on an inside screen for a 5-yard touchdown to trim Notre Dame’s lead to 28-21 with 10:52 to play in the third quarter.

Three straight possessions ended in punts, then OSU marched to the tying score.

The Cowboys went 89 yards in 10 plays, with Sanders running for 26 yards, setting up an 8-yard touchdown pass to Martin to make it 28-28 with 2:47 to play in the third quarter.

OSU forced a punt after three Notre Dame downs, then drove to the go-ahead score, with Tanner Brown kicking a 38-yard field goal to make it 31-28 Cowboys with six seconds left in the third quarter.

The Cowboys’ defense got the ball back on the ensuing possession, with Kolby Harvell-Peel stripping the ball from Logan Diggs and recovering at the OSU 44-yard line.

OSU moved deep into Irish territory, with Sanders passing to Presley for a gain of 21 yards.

On first and goal from the Notre Dame 5, Presley appeared to be on his way to a touchdown on a running play, but Jack Kiser stripped the ball before he crossed the goal line and Ramon Henderson recovered for Notre Dame in the end zone for a touchback.

OSU’s defense responded, forcing the Irish to punt after three downs.

The Cowboys then added to their lead, with Sanders running for 22 yards, helping set up a 41-yard field goal by Brown to make it 34-28 OSU with 9:07 to play.

Notre Dame was driving, trying to take the lead, when Coan was intercepted by Malcolm Rodriguez at the OSU 18-yard line, and returned it 11 yards to the Cowboys’ 29.

Oklahoma State marched deep into Notre Dame territory, trying to make it a two-score game, with Sanders passing to Martin for a gain of 29 yards on third down.

On 2nd and 14 from the Irish 15-yard line, Sanders was stripped by Isaiah Foskey just before he went down, and Drew White recovered for the Irish at their own 11-yard line.

The OSU defense held, however, as Coan threw incomplete on a deep pass on 4th and 7, giving the Cowboys the ball at the Notre Dame 14.

Brown kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 37-28 lead with 2:16 left.

Notre Dame quickly answered, going 75 yards in 8 plays in just 1:11, with Coan passing to Kevin Austin for a 25-yard touchdown to cut the OSU lead to 37-35 with 1:05 to play.

OSU’s Jason Taylor recovered the onside kick to clinch the win.

The Cowboys finish 12-2 on the season.

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