STILLWATER, Okla. — Despite a blowout victory in the home opener, Mike Gundy wasn’t pleased following Saturday night’s win at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The longtime Oklahoma State football coach began his postgame press conference discussing his frustrations with his team, which beat McNeese 56-14 in front of a sellout crowd.
“It was a win for us. I wasn’t very happy with the way our team played in the first half,” Gundy said. “We were flat. We didn’t take care of the football. We had penalties. … So, I told the team at halftime I was disappointed in the way they were playing, and they weren’t playing to the level they needed to. In my opinion, they weren’t focused like they were at Oregon.”
It was the OSU defense that started the scoring Saturday night. Redshirt senior cornerback A.J. Green jumped the route and picked off Cody Orgeron’s first pass attempt of the game.
Green returned it 27 yards for the touchdown. As soon as he caught it, he had three McNeese players behind him, and no one caught him.
It was OSU’s first interception return for a TD since Devin Harper did so against South Alabama in the second game of the 2018 season.
Gundy said he couldn’t remember starting a game with an interception return.
“No, I do not,” Gundy said. “But, it was nice, huh?”
It took the OSU (2-0)offense three possessions before it finally found paydirt. After sophomore safety Kolby Harvell-Peel stopped Orgeron on a fourth-down scramble, OSU scored two plays later.
OSU redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders found Braydon Johnson, who caught a bubble screen and sprinted down the McNeese sideline for a 69-yard touchdown reception.
The rout was on from there.
Sanders’ night ended after one play in the second half. He threw a short pass to Wallace, who used his speed and athleticism turning the play into a 75-yard touchdown pass. Sanders completed 12 of 18 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns – all to Wallace.
Despite his performance, Sanders wasn’t pleased with himself after the game.’
“I feel like I need to do better,” Sanders said. “I need to be a better leader. We started off a bit slow and I feel like that plays a part in me being a quarterback for this team. … Other than that, we did great as a team. We executed and we came together after those first two drives.”
However, he did enjoy his first game inside BPS.
“I loved it,” Sanders said. “I love this stadium. I love this town. I love the people. It was pretty amazing to hear the crowd with anything good we did. It was very boosting.”
Sanders’ counterpart – redshirt senior Dru Brown – had a great start to his first action in Stillwater. Well, his first pass went for minus-1 yards. However, he found redshirt freshman wideout C.J. Moore, a Tulsa Union product, for a 59-yard touchdown.
Moore caught the short pass and used his speed down the OSU sideline to score his first touchdown inside BPS. It was his second of the season and of his young career.
On the next drive, Brown threw a dime to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Braydon Johnson that turned into a 69-yard touchdown.
Brown finished his night completing 7 of 10 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
“Sanders had done a good job, he was out and Dru needed to get in and play,” Gundy said. “We got him in there and I’m glad we could get him in there late.”
“I think he did great,” Sanders said. “I look forward to him playing. We’re brothers. We love each other. I was honestly so happy, especially with that touchdown he threw to Braydon – that was a beautiful ball.”
With the game already in hand, the OSU defense picked off Orgeron a second time, setting up a short touchdown run. Redshirt senior linebacker Philip Redwine-Bryant picked off a pass across the middle and returned it 12 yards.
Redwine-Bryant nearly scored on the return of his first career interception, but he was knocked out of bounds at the 1-yard line.
“He almost got the ball over,” Gundy said. “It was pretty close. It was good for him, but I would have liked to have seen him go ahead and score. But, we got 26 a score and he’s another walk-on. He got a chance to get a touchdown, and that’s pretty cool.”
Redshirt junior Micah Cooper, a Madill product, scored his first touchdown as an OSU Cowboy. Cooper carried the ball three times for five yards, playing in his second-straight game.
Sanders led OSU in rushing with 51 yards on 12 carries. Chuba Hubbard carried the ball only eight times for 44 yards Saturday night.