Mike Gundy experienced a wide range of emotions during Oklahoma State’s 30-27 victory at Texas on Saturday, when the Cowboys won on a last-second field goal.
Early on, Gundy, the Cowboys coach, thought his team might coast to an easy win. Entering the fourth quarter, it seemed like the Longhorns were in control. By the end, the outcome was up for grabs.
The game was so close that Gundy made the unusual decision — at least for him — to coach conservatively throughout the fourth quarter, hoping the combination of field goals from his offense and stops from his defense would be enough to win. The strategy paid off when Texas punter Michael Dickson bobbled a snap and awkwardly booted the ball out of bounds in the closing moments, handing Oklahoma State ideal field position for its game-winning kick.
“It was a real roller coaster,” Gundy said Monday. “I’m not sure that I want to make that ride again.”
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He may not have that luxury. If the first weekend of conference games was an accurate indicator of things to come, Oklahoma State’s narrow win at Texas was just the beginning. We could be in for a wild Big 12 season.
Shortly after the Cowboys beat the Longhorns, Texas Tech and TCU went toe-to-toe in a game that will go down as one of the year’s best. The Horned Frogs won 55-52, but it took everything they had to hold off the Red Raiders, including a circus touchdown catch from Aaron Green off a deflection from Josh Doctson. The score occurred in the final seconds, effectively winning the game for TCU. Even then, Texas Tech came within 10 yards of the end zone on a lateral-filled play as time expired.
“We knew we were going to get Texas Tech’s best shot after last year,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “We knew we had to find a way to win and we did that. We will take it any way we can get it.”
The mindset won’t change.
“Outscoring people for 12 ballgames, why not?” Patterson said. “Everybody has been doing it.”
Expect more drama-filled games this weekend. No. 23 West Virginia, fresh off a 45-6 dismantling of Maryland, begins conference play with a trip to No. 15 Oklahoma. Texas Tech gets another crack at a top-five team against No. 5 Baylor at a neutral field in Arlington, Texas. No. 4 TCU hosts Texas. Kansas State travels to No. 20 Oklahoma State for a battle of undefeated teams.
Even Kansas at Iowa State has potential to be a close game.
The roller coaster ride that began over the weekend won’t end anytime soon.
“There is a tremendous amount of parity in this league,” Gundy said. “The quarterback play is getting better each week. As you see that you are going to see more games like that, when teams are scoring and scoring back and forth, which is great for the fans and great for TV.”
Game times for Oct. 10 (announced Monday)
▪ Baylor at Kansas, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports 1)
▪ Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas, 11 a.m. (ABC)
▪ Iowa State at Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m. (FSKC)
▪ Oklahoma State at West Virginia, 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or Fox)
▪ TCU at K-State, 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or Fox)
Kellis Robinett: @KellisRobinett