Oklahoma State’s defense held strong late on Saturday against Missouri State, getting sacks on third and fourth down as the Cowboys led 23-16 that effectively iced the game.
The stops were big in the moment to allow OSU’s offense to bleed out the clock while also avoiding a potential scenario in which Missouri State could’ve forced OT. Yet they were even bigger in hindsight, because Missouri State coach Bobby Petrino said after the game that they would’ve gone for two — and tried ending the game — instead of playing for extra time.
“I thought we would go score and win the game,” he said recalling the final offensive series. “. . . We were going to go for two, go for the win if we scored there in the fourth quarter. We were going for two.”
Fortunately for OSU the defense — which was put in a tricky spot after two incomplete passes the possession prior gave the Bears the ball and timeouts — managed to wiggle out of the situation. Missouri State converted on third down twice in the final series but the third time the defense got a sack that led to a fourth-down sack in the waning moments.
“At times you’re going to have to have the defense step up and win the game,” OSU defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said after the game. “It doesn’t matter what happens or where the ball is, we always say give us an inch and we’ll defend it. It’s a mentality.”
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