MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy wants emerging star Ollie Gordon II to stay humble. The sophomore running back says his coach has nothing to worry about.
Gordon rushed for a career-high 282 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead Oklahoma State to a 48-34 victory over West Virginia on Saturday night.
“I’ll always stay humble. You’ve got to stay hungry,” Gordon said. “I could act like the world is mine, or I can just be humble, stay hungry and keep playing great with my teammates. As they keep progressing, we keep progressing.”
His 282 yards were the most for an Oklahoma State player since Chuba Hubbard had 296 yards against Kansas State in 2019. And they were the most against West Virginia at its 43-year-old stadium, surpassing the 242 yards by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine in 2014.
To give an idea of how far Gordon has come in so little time: he ran for a total of 107 yards on 19 carries in his first three games. He’s averaged 26 carries over his last three contests.
“Essentially, we want him going downhill. He’s that type of runner,” Gundy said. “So we just want to get him going downhill, let him make some cuts and use his strength. He’s so big and strong that he can stay in and get a lot of carries.”
Gordon had 86 yards at halftime Saturday and only got stronger as the game went on, scoring three times in the fourth quarter, including twice on long runs.
Gordon deflected credit on that to his offensive linemen.
“As we got later in the game, they just kept handling business, knocking blocks down and getting a hat on a hat,” he said. “That’s what we really need late in games like that.”
Alan Bowman threw two scoring passes for the Cowboys (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), who moved into a second-place logjam in the league and have won three straight after starting the season 2-2.
“Nobody blinked. Nobody freaked out. Nobody worried about anything,” Bowman said. “That bye week (in late September) came at a really good time for us to kind of focus on ourselves. I think we kind of have an identity now as (to) who we are. The first three weeks, we didn’t have much of an identity.”
Oklahoma State went ahead for good after West Virginia (4-3, 2-2) tied the game 27-27 on a short field goal with 9:39 remaining.
A facemask penalty on West Virginia cornerback Beanie Bishop and a late out-of-bounds hit by linebacker Ben Cutter on the same play set up Oklahoma State at the West Virginia 36-yard line. Bowman found Brennan Presley with a 29-yard scoring toss two plays later for a 34-27 lead.
After West Virginia turned the ball over on downs near midfield, Gordon raced 46 yards for a touchdown on the next play with 4:15 remaining. Gordon closed the scoring with a 53-yard TD romp with 1:40 left.
Bowman completed 24 of 36 passes for 210 yards. He also threw a 5-yard TD toss to Jaden Bray in the third quarter.
West Virginia’s Garrett Greene was coming off a career-high 391 passing yards last week in a last-second loss to Houston. Against Oklahoma State he went 15 of 30 for 249 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and was intercepted once. He also ran for 117 yards on 16 carries.
“Crazy fourth quarter,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a game like that. This one stings more than even the one last week.”
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys made up for several missed touchdown opportunities from inside West Virginia’s 20 in the first half. Alex Hale kicked two field goals and missed a third try from short distance.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers have dropped two straight games in which they had plenty of chances to win.