With Oklahoma State winning against BYU by a score of 40-34 on Saturday, the Cowboys have clinched their spot in the 2023 Big 12 Championship Game. OSU will face Texas, which took care of business against Texas Tech with a dominant 57-7 win to close out the regular season.
The Longhorns used a big day from their defense and special teams, which had an interception return for a touchdown and a kick return touchdown to open to second half, to the big win. Running back Jaydon Blue also had a 69-yard touchdown run to finish with 121 yards on the day to lead the team.
For Texas, it is just the second Big 12 championship appearance since the game returned in the 2017 season. The Longhorns lost to Oklahoma 39-27 in the 2018 Big 12 title game and have not made it back since. Now they’ll get their last chance to go out on top in their final year in the conference before moving to the SEC.
The Cowboys entered Saturday needing a win against BYU to secure their spot in the Big 12 championship game. The Cougars, however, pounced early to jump out to a 24-6 lead at halftime on the road. That made the road ahead for Oklahoma State difficult in the second half, but the Cowboys came through to put up a fight.
OSU went on to score a touchdown to begin the third quarter after Ollie Gordon punched it in from two yards out. After throwing an interception on the previous drive, Alan Bowman led the Cowboys 86 yards downfield for Gordon to once again punch it into the end zone.
The Cowboys then drove down for Gordon to score his third touchdown of the game, this time from 15 yards out. That allowed them to take a 27-24 lead after the PAT was blocked, giving BYU a chance to march back down the field and attempting to game-tying field goal.
The Cougars nailed the 48-yard try to send the game into extra periods and delaying Oklahoma State’s Big 12 championship game aspirations. They followed with a touchdown after getting the ball first in overtime, putting the pressure on Oklahoma State to score. The Cowboys responded with Gordon scoring his fourth TD of the evening to send it into a second overtime.
OSU then got the ball first to start the second OT, scoring when Gordon ran it in again for his fifth score of the game. The Cowboys failed the two-point conversion, however, putting the pressure on the hands of its defense.
That’s when Cowboys defensive back Trey Rucker forced a fumble on the next drive to secure the victory. Oklahoma State advanced to the Big 12 Championship game for the second time in three seasons on the backs of its defense.