Okla. State defense looking to dominate again


STILLWATER — A 50-44 win against Texas Tech on Senior Day in Boone Pickens Stadium helped No. 15 Oklahoma State regain its momentum after it had lost two of its previous three.

“With this year being so uncertain in the beginning, I think we kind of forget playing is a blessing,” junior safety Tanner McCalister said. “I think everybody is excited to go out there. We got the momentum back, which is good and on the defensive side we have to make up for last week because I think we gave up too many points on the scoreboard.”

While the Cowboy defense gave up 44 points to the Red Raiders, it still played a big role in helping Oklahoma State get back in the win column. The Cowboys forced three turnovers and came up with two nonoffensive touchdowns to complement the offense in lighting up the scoreboard.

“It’s really encouraging,” McCalister said. “Tre Sterling had a big pick-six and Jason (Taylor II) had a good play on special teams. I think the defense being able to play offense is exciting and I bet the offense loves it as well.”

Along with the three turnovers, senior linebacker Calvin Bundage forced Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman into an intentional grounding in the end zone that resulted in a safety. Coming off a back injury that caused him to miss the 2019 season, Bundage and his teammates were excited to see him make a big play for the Cowboys.

“They were just happy to see me out there making plays and doing what I usually do,” Bundage said. “I was happy I could make a big play for my team.”

For a unit giving up only 24 points per game, the Oklahoma State defense is not satisfied with its performance in the past two games. McCalister was asked if the confidence of the defense has been shaken.

“The confidence is still high,” McCalister said. “If anything, we’re really hungry. A lot of guys are ready to get back out there and get back to the defense against Tulsa or West Virginia when we were holding teams to 20 points or less. We want to be able to control games as a defense and the past two games I don’t think we’ve done that, but we’re ready to get back and hopefully this week we can get back to controlling games.”

No. 15 Oklahoma State will look to keep the momentum building and its Big 12 championship hopes alive when it takes on Texas Christian in Fort Worth with kickoff set for 11 a.m. on ESPN2.