Mountaineers knocked from ranks of the unbeaten
STILLWATER, Okla. — Mike Gundy’s 100th career win at Oklahoma State was one of his best.
Mason Rudolph threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score to help the Cowboys upset No. 10 West Virginia 37-20 on Saturday.
“It’s special for all of us,” Gundy said of the milestone. “For me to not say that 100 wins is not special to me is not fair. That means that we’re doing well here and we’re having success.”
It was Gundy’s sixth win over a top-10 team since 2008. The Cowboys are now in position to contend for the Big 12 title.
“They’ve kind of created a monster here, and the only way to feed it is to win big games like we did today,” he said. “And that’s just the way it’s going to be from this point on.”
Rudolph completed 26 of 36 passes for 273 yards. James Washington had six catches for 117 yards, Chris Lacy caught two touchdown passes and Jalen McCleskey matched a career high with 11 receptions for the Cowboys (6-2, 4-1 Big 12).
“It feels great,” Lacy said. “We knew we had a big game coming, and this was a game to go out and make a statement. We wanted to prove that we run the Big 12.”
West Virginia’s Skyler Howard passed for 212 yards, but he threw two interceptions and lost a fumble for the Mountaineers (6-1, 3-1).
“We just didn’t play as good as we have the last couple of weeks,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were.”
West Virginia: The Mountaineers hadn’t played too tough of a schedule, so it was difficult to tell how good they were. West Virginia, which entered the game 10th in the nation in yards per game with 510 yards per game, finished with 421.
“Honestly, they were doing what we thought they were going to do,” said West Virginia receiver Daikiel Shorts Jr., who had 8 catches for 82 yards. “We had stuff that was there. They did exactly what we thought they were going to do, we just didn’t execute.”
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are known for their explosive offense, but their defense led the way in this one. Three times, the Cowboys forced turnovers and gained possession inside the West Virginia 15-yard line, leading directly to 17 points.
Gundy said the Cowboys showed great discipline on Ramon Richards’ 59-yard interception return in the third quarter and Kevin Henry’s 26-yard interception return in the fourth.
“We practice the fumble recovery and the interception, blocking in front of the returner, and not blocking below the waist,” Gundy said. “The time that we put into it and the players’ ability to focus and absorb that information has paid great dividends for us, and today was a great example.”
West Virginia: The Mountaineers are looking at a steep drop because they don’t have any really strong wins to give them a case to avoid it. They could fall out of the Top 20.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys could re-enter the rankings. They might already have been in the Top 25 if not for a controversial loss to Central Michigan.
Rushel Shell, West Virginia’s leading rusher, left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
West Virginia hosts Kansas on Saturday.
Oklahoma State plays at Kansas State on Saturday.
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Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.