PITTSBURGH -- Facing third-and-11, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph bounced around the pocket, peeled off a Pittsburgh tackle and rolled to his left. On the run, Rudolph flipped his shoulders around, then delivered a spiral strike to Marcell Ateman downfield. Ateman easily spun off the cornerback trying to cover him and raced 69 yards for the Cowboys’ third touchdown of the first quarter.
One week after Bedlam rival Oklahoma toppled Ohio State, Oklahoma State flexed its own offensive might on the road Saturday with a 59-21 barrage of Pitt, setting up a Big 12 showdown against No. 20 TCU next weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Just as the Sooners did in Columbus, Ohio, the Cowboys certainly looked the part of a legitimate Big 12 and College Football Playoff contender in their first meeting this season against a Power 5 opponent. Including Rudolph’s acrobatic scoring throw to Ateman, Oklahoma State scored touchdowns on all seven of its first-half drives, not including Rudolph taking a knee just before halftime. In the first half alone, the Cowboys rolled up 521 yards of offense and went 9-for-9 on third downs. Rudolph also set a school record for passing yards in a half with 423.
For the game, Rudolph, who was sixth on the ESPN Heisman Watch this week, completed 23 of 32 passes for 497 yards and five touchdowns before taking a seat early in the third quarter. Despite playing just a little over a half, Rudolph was 44 yards away from breaking the school record for passing yards in a game he set against Pitt.
In addition to Rudolph's prolific afternoon, the Cowboys became the first offense since Texas Tech in 2005 to have four different receivers finish with 100 or more yards receiving in a single game, as Jalen McCleskey (162 yards), James Washington (124), Ateman (109) and Dillon Stoner (100) all hit the 100-yard threshold. The Pokes were even without key wideout Tyron Johnson, who didn’t make the trip to Pitt because of a team violation.
With the Oklahoma schools off to such impressive starts, Bedlam on Nov. 4 in Stillwater is already shaping up to be one of the biggest games of the year in college football.
Oklahoma State, however, will face its biggest test to date next week against TCU. The Horned Frogs held Arkansas to just 267 yards in a convincing 28-7 victory in Fayetteville last weekend. Coming into Saturday, TCU ranked fourth nationally in total defense.
The Horned Frogs will have their hands full. After three weeks, the Cowboys are averaging 54 points a game.