STILLWATER – It was another wild night in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State defeated Baylor 24:14 at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday to make it 5-0. It’s the second straight week that the Cowboys have defeated an undefeated Big 12 enemy. Here are 10 thoughts from the game.

1. Justin Blackmon comes home

We’re about to get to the soccer game. The most important thing that happened Saturday night was that (arguably) the best receiver in college football history came home.

Justin Blackmon’s struggles are well documented. It’s been a sad story since he left Stillwater after the 2011 season, but that mild October night showed that the family can forgive your mistakes and celebrate your triumphs.

Wearing a Barry Sanders jersey, sunglasses and dreadlocks, Blackmon was able to immerse himself in the glory of the past with a building and fan base he helped build. It was too long ago.

“It’s great to see Justin again,” said OSU trainer Mike Gundy. “I know Coach Dunn spoke to him. He said he was coming back and he had to come back. He was probably the best receiver that has ever played here. “

2. Defense

Two of Spencer Sanders’ interception trios gave Baylor the ball in the OSU area.

The Bears could be seen starting on the 36-yard line of the cowboys. Baylor went back eight yards in three plays and was forced to poke.

In the other, Baylor started on OSUs 31, where the Bears went back five meters and had to punt.

I usually hate the argument that if you take games X, Y, and Z out, things look very different, but in this game it was true. Baylor’s only offense was at big games.

The Bears had 99 yards total in the first half, 77 of which came in two games. Then came the bears’ first result in a 55-yard sprint in 4th and 2nd place.

It was another dominant defensive performance that the crowd has gotten used to this season. Without a couple of 50/50 blocks and a long run against a goal line defense, this was an elite defensive feat.

3. Gundy makes the correct fourth down call, Aranda doesn’t

In the fourth quarter of this game there are two crucial calls with the fourth down. Mike Gundy got his right and Dave Aranda didn’t.

In hindsight, it’s definitely 20/20 as Baylor failed to convert on his decision and OSU scored a touchdown. But from the start, Aranda made the wrong decision and Gundy made the right one.

For some reason, Baylor decided to try on the 4th and 4th of his own 36 to 17-14 with about eight minutes of play. A punt causes the Bears to put pressure on OSU with field position, and at that point OSU had only scored 3 points in the second half in their last three games.

The bears tried and didn’t get. OSU were forced to a three-and-off during possession, but Tom Hutton was able to pin the bears on their 6-yard line – the field advantage had been transferred.

OSU made its decision with two minutes to play on Baylor’s 4-yard line. The lead was still 17-14, and it was 4th-and-2nd. This was an obvious place to try. A field goal would have meant that Baylor could still win with a touchdown and an extra point. Even if the OSU failed on the fourth attempt, Baylor would be stuck within his 5-yard line the length of the field for even a chance of a tie.

Gundy did it, Jaylen Warren hit it.

4. Tay Martin worthy of the coveted WR1 place of the cowboys

Tay Martin met Justin Blackmon before Saturday’s game, and Martin joked afterwards that he wouldn’t wash the hand he was shaking with for a month in an attempt to get Blackmon’s superpowers.

Martin now occupies the seat that Blackmon once occupied. More recently, James Washington and Tylan Wallace have been the cowboys’ top pass catchers. Blackmon, Washington and Wallace alone come together for three (should be four) Biletnikoff Awards. Martin has proven to be a worthy successor since taking office.

Aside from two snaps against Tulsa, Martin has had at least 100 yards in every game he has played as OSUs WR1.

He had 108 yards on seven catches on Saturday, including a twisting toe tap for 26 yards in the fourth quarter.

In the year Martin has up to 22 receptions for 315 yards and a couple of scores.

“Pressure, no, no,” said Martin as he took on the coveted role. “No offense, but I live under pressure. I’ve been ready for that all my life. I just try to keep working hard and use the moments that I get. “

5. Warren is a workhorse again

OSU passed the ball to Jaylen Warren 37 times and he caught a pass.

It was Chuba Hubbard’s level of work for Warren in the past few weeks with injuries to LD Brown and Dezmon Jackson in 2019. Warren was impressive again on Saturday, running 128 yards and two points, but Gundy said it was too much of a workload. Hopefully he’ll get some help after the bye week.

In the last three games, Warren has hit the ball 96 times for 469 yards and four touchdowns.

Barry Sanders was also in Stillwater on Saturday. Gundy said he took Sanders to meet the running backs. Gundy said Jaylen Warren looked like he had just seen Santa Claus.

Barry had 373 attempts in a hurry in his record 1988 season. If Warren kept the pace of his last three games, he would end the regular season with 304 carries. That’s still a decent distance from Santa, but it’s still a lot of carries too.

6. Sanders needs some bear protection

Saturday was a long way from Spencer Sanders’ best night and he’s now doing that three times to keep the ball against Baylor.

In three starts against the Bears, Sanders has a total of five touchdowns, six interceptions and two lost fumbles.

There are a couple of excuses available for his INTs on Saturday. He got knocked down on his first two, but Gundy said Sanders needed to get better at picking up a sack on occasion rather than throwing a bad ball. Sanders’ third INT ricocheted off Rashod Owen’s face.

Regardless of how the picks came about, the record books will simply remember that they happened.

Sanders’ track record with bears makes him look like Squidward tentacles in the Seabear episode of SpongeBob SquarePants (stick with me on this one).

7. Defense that shows its depth

The cowboys missed Trace Ford, Brock Martin and Tyren Irby due to injuries at the defensive final place “Leo” of the OSU.

Step into the real newbie Collin Oliver and walk-on Ben Kopenski.

Oliver is a much-touted candidate and made his first career start on Saturday. He had the playing bag, one of two that he had that day

In his young career, Oliver is up to 2.5 sacks. For reference, Trace Ford ended his freshman season with three sacks.

“He’s going to be quarterback a few times in his career,” Gundy said of Oliver.

8. More golf analogies about the OSU’s kicking situation

There was no trace of OSU kicker Alex Hale on Saturday night, but it sounded like he was coming back.

Hale struggled this season, going 2v5 on field goal attempts. He also missed an extra point. UNLV transfer Tanner Brown stepped in for Hale on Saturday night, hitting a 20-yarder and going 3-on-3 on PAT attempts.

Gundy compared Hale’s fight last week to a golfer’s swing. After Saturday’s game, he made another golf reference.

“We wanted to give Alex a break because we were on an open date,” said Gundy. “We wanted him to work this week, work next week, work next week and we’ll see where he is. We just got him out, let him work on his skills, sent him to the driving range, let him work. He has 20 days to work on some things. We haven’t lost trust in him, but we had the feeling that it would allow him to work on his skills for 20 days. “

9. Baylor’s games against Iowa State and OSU felt similar

Last week, Iowa State passed Baylor 216 yards to 123 yards. The Cyclones were unable to close the deal, however, thanks in large part to specialist teams.

Baylor’s Saturday game against Oklahoma State had a similar feel, with the Cowboys beating the Bears 402 to 280, but Baylor stayed within striking distance.

Logic would say that Baylor probably got lucky against the state of Iowa. It would also say that OSU is better than Iowa State (at least for now). But if this season has taught us anything, it’s to throw logic out the window.

10. For the first time since 2015

For the first time since 2015, the Cowboys are 5-0.

OSU started 10-0 that year before losing their last three games of the year. The start of 2015 also had some bottlenecks. OSU hit central Michigan at eleven to start the year. To start the Big 12, the 2015 Cowboys beat Texas by 3 and Kansas State by 2.

Still, this year was crazy. A close game against an FCS team. A close game against a Tulsa team that is now 1-4. A 1-point win on blue turf. Back-to-back defensive battles to begin the Big 12 game.

But like some not-so-good statistics, the record book won’t remember how the victories came about, only that they came. It’s the Al Davis mindset: Just win, baby.