Woodward, Okla. —
By Jason Elmquist
CNHI News Service
On a day Oklahoma State University recognized 18 seniors and remembered the one-year anniversary of the plane crash that killed Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and Olin and Paula Branstetter, the Cowboys cruised to a 59-21 blowout win over Texas Tech at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“When people talk about the tragedy it just brings back the whole day and how the team felt and stuff,” OSU senior wide receiver Isaiah Anderson said. “It was such a sad situation and I felt that this year we honored their memory getting a win today.”
Anderson, who had missed several games earlier this year due to injury, was a big part in honoring that memory. The senior from Wichita Falls, Texas, would spark the OSU offense in his first substantial playing time of the season.
Anderson overcame an early missed opportunity — dropping a wide open pass for a touchdown on OSU’s first drive — with a 26-yard run on a reverse and eventually becoming Clint Chelf’s top target with three touchdown strikes.
“I was trying to do my best to make up for that drop. They gave me that reverse to kind of calm me down,” Anderson said. “I was being anxious to get out there and make plays and I just needed something to bring back. Once I got settled in I was fine.”
The senior receiver’s first touchdown came again with him getting wide open behind the secondary, but this time he hauled it in for a 60-yard strike. His second touchdown came on a 33-yard flea flicker in which he had to wrestle the ball away from a defender for the score. He capped it all off with a 66-yard touchdown catch from Chelf to give him four catches for a career-high 174 yards and three touchdowns (also a career best).
“It was a great day. My little boy, my girlfriend and my little sister were all sitting in the end zone and I scored in that end zone all three times,” Anderson said. “So it was exciting to be able to go down there and point at them and show them my love for being there to support me.”
With Chelf and Anderson clicking, the defense was able to tee off on Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege.
Bill Young’s defense sacked the Red Raiders quarterback three times, with countless hurries and knockdowns, to prevent Doege and Tech to find any type of momentum.
“We knew we just had to stick to the game plan, believe in it, buy into the system and have the confidence to go out there and make plays,” said linebacker Lyndell Johnson, who recovered a fumble for the OSU defense.
All three facets of the Cowboy football team were in hitting on all cylinders. The special teams came up with another big play this week with a blocked punt by Zack Craig early in the second that set up the OSU offense on the Tech 24-yard line. Craig also blocked a punt in the fourth quarter and was able to scoop it up and score to put OSU up 59-14 — marking the third straight game with a special teams touchdown.
“When I got to the end zone, I was shocked and excited. It was just awesome. It was my first touchdown here at Oklahoma State. It was awesome,” Craig said.
Oklahoma State saw an improvement in its red zone opportunities, utilizing J.W. Walsh in the Dubtruck formation — similar to Oklahoma’s Belldozer — with three touchdowns being scored with Walsh taking the snap at the goal line. Walsh threw for a touchdown, scored on a run and handed off to Joseph Randle for a 1-yard leap over the pile.
“We call him a baby Tim Tebow because he’s known as a running quarterback,” Anderson said of Walsh. “But he gives an extra dimension to our offense. It helps that teams have to prepare for that.”
Speaking of Oklahoma, Gundy bucked the norm following Saturday’s win by announcing that Chelf would be the starting quarterback for the Bedlam game in Norman.
“I don’t think there’s any question that Clint deserves to play and start in our next football game,” the OSU coach said. “He’s earned that. Our coaching staff believes in him, the team believes in him and with all three of (the quarterbacks) being healthy, we’re to the point now that we know he’s going to start the next game.”
Jason Elmquist is the sports editor at The Stillwater NewsPress
Woodward, Okla. —
By Jason Elmquist
Thunder knocked out of playoffs by Memphis
OKLAHOMA CITY — It was a night Oklahoma City needed his best. With its season on the line, Kevin Durant had to be superhuman.
Sooner baseball stumbles against Cowboys
OKLAHOMA CITY — Everything that goes up must come down. Oklahoma is in the middle of a free fall after Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Oklahoma State in the middle game of the Bedlam Series at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Grizzlies take 2-1 lead beating Thunder 87-81
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies call it grit and grind, and it got them through another ugly game.
Marc Gasol scored 20 points and hit two free throws with 1:03 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off Oklahoma City 87-81 Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in this Western Conference semifinal.
Grizzlies drop Thunder 99-93, even series at 1-1
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies wouldn't let Kevin Durant come through in the clutch for the second straight time.
Wilson sets 2A record in long jump
State track meet results.
Durant, Thunder edge Grizzlies 93-91 in Game 1
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Down by one in the final minute, the Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher turned a tough situation for the Thunder into the worst-case scenario for the Grizzlies.
Fisher poked the ball away from Memphis' Mike Conley, springing three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant into the open court with a chance to put the Thunder on top.
Thunder beat Rockets 103-94 to advance
HOUSTON (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder were unhappy about coming back to Houston for Game 6. They left town in a much better mood.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Kevin Martin added 25 to lead the Thunder to a 103-94 victory over the Rockets on Friday night, sending Oklahoma City to the second round of the playoffs for the third straight season.
Durant, Thunder struggling to close out Rockets
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Without All-Star Russell Westbrook running the point, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are struggling to close out the Houston Rockets.
Rockets extend series with Game 4 win over Thunder
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets know the odds are stacked against them in their playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Still, they believe momentum is on their side.
Local, area sports briefs, April 30
Soccer, track, softball and baseball notes
- More Sports Headlines
- Thunder knocked out of playoffs by Memphis