Oklahoma State squared off with Baylor in search of their first Big 12 crown since 2011. Before the game kicked off, OSU had a bit of an advantage. Baylor freshman QB Blake Shapen got the start over Gerry Bohannon who was nursing a sore hamstring.
Shapen looked strong on the opening drive, but Malcolm Rodriguez forced a Tresten Ebner fumble which was recovered by Tyler Lacy. OSU took over for their first chance of the morning.
Oklahoma State wasted no time turning it on. The Cowboys converted three different third downs en route to a 23 yard Tanner Brown field goal. Dominic Richardson, Tay Martin and Jaden Bray all hauled in third and deep plays. Cowboys took a 3-0 lead.
The OSU defense again showed their dominance forcing a three and out which was capped off by Malcolm Rodriguez notching tackle for loss on third down.
Off the stop, OSU gave it back. Spencer Sanders threw a pass too high and it was picked off by J.T. Woods. He took it deep into Cowboy territory at the 11 yard line. Three plays later Blake Shapen hit Ben Sims on a play action bootleg from two yards out to give Baylor a 7-3 lead. Shapen hasn’t been rattled by the moment going 6-6, 59 yards so far.
Spencer Sanders couldn’t get his bearings on the next drive, under pressure, Sanders threw up a pass on a screen play and he was intercepted for a second time, this time by Matt Jones.
With Baylor in OSU territory, Tre Sterling notched a sack on Shapen. However, Shapen converted a third down on a 20 yard pass. He finished the first quarter 7-7 for 80 yards. Cowboys trailed 7-3 after one.
On the first play of the second quarter Shapen connected with Drew Estrada on a four yard touchdown pass. Baylor took a 14-3 advantage.
OSU’s offense went three and out, but OSU’s defense answered with a three and out of their own. Following that, OSU notched another three and out as the offense went cold.
Baylor manufactured another drive into the red zone, but Collin Oliver applied some pressure which forced Blake Shapen to throw the ball as he was falling backwards. It didn’t come close to the line of scrimmage. Initially it was ruled an incomplete pass with intentional grounding, but went to review. After the review, the call stood. Baylor had second and goal from the 21. On third and goal, Blake Shapen connected on a 13 yard touchdown pass, a beautiful fade to Tyquan Thornton. 21-3 Bears.
Oklahoma State answered back. Spencer Sanders found Tay Martin for 16, then a PI call against Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jalen Pitre led to a 23 yard Tanner Brown field goal. OSU inched closed trailing 21-6.
Baylor managed to work their way into OSU territory right before the half. Isaiah Hankins had his 39 yard field goal attempt redirected when Korie Black got a hand on it. OSU trailed 21-6 at the half.
Cowboys received the ball to get things going in the second half. Things didn’t get much better out of the gate. Spencer Sanders was hit as he was throwing into Baylor territory and intercepted for a third time. This time by Jarion McVae.
Baylor attempted to go for it on 4th down resulting in a Blake Shapen throw away. OSU took back over on Baylor’s 36. The Cowboys finally got Brennan Presley going catching two passes as OSU went eight plays for 36 yards as the drive was capped off by Dom Richardson hitting paydirt for a four yard touchdown. OSU cut into the Baylor lead 21-13.
Baylor tried a reverse pass on their next possession, but since a receiver threw the ball away that constituted an intentional grounding penalty. OSU notched a tackle for loss and got the ball back after a Baylor punt. OSU started at their own 25.
Spencer Sanders threw his fourth interception of the day when Brennan Presley couldn’t haul in a pass, got hit, and the ball ended up in the hands of Brayden Utley. Baylor took over on the OSU 21.
OSU dodged another bullet when Isaiah Hankins missed another 39 yard field goal. Cowboys took back over trailing by a single score. However, they would go three and out.
On the ensuing punt, Tresten Ebner muffed the punt and Korie Black recovered it for OSU. His second big special teams play of the game. OSU had it deep in Baylor territory.
Spencer Sanders hit Tay Martin for 18, then Dez Jackson went over the top and caught a 13 yard pass. However, OSU was stuffed three straight times on the one yard line. Mike Gundy elected to kick a field goal and Tanner Brown pulled OSU to within five on a 20 yard field goal. 21-16 Baylor with 8:17 to play.
Brock Martin and Collins Oliver both picked up sacks on Shapen to force a punt. OSU got it back with over five to play on their own 25. However, OSU would go three and out on their next drive.
Brendon Evers pulled down Shapen for a sack on second down forcing a third and 15. OSU would hold. Baylor punted the ball back to the Cowboys leading 21-16 with 3:23 on their own 10.
OSU hit chunk play after chunk play with a Dez Jackson ten yard run, a couple of John Paul Richardson catches and a nearly ten yard grab by Blaine Green. OSU took it to the Bears 21 with 1:50 left as Baylor called a timeout.
On third and one, Sanders found Tay Martin on a quick slant RPO which led to a first down. Baylor forced another third and two. Sanders attempted a fade in the back of the end zone, but a flag was thrown for pass interference. First down OSU.
OSU would try to score three times from the two, but two runs were stuffed and a pass to Tyler Lacy went incomplete. On fourth and two Dezmon Jackson tried to hit the corner, dove and missed the pylon by an inch on fourth down. Baylor took over and ran out the clock to win the Big 12 Championship 21-16.
Spencer Sanders went 31-46, 257 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions. OSU ran it 40 times for 70 yards total. Baylor QB Blake Shapen went 23 of 28 for 180 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. Next up Oklahoma State will find out Sunday what bowl game they will end up in.