The month of November is one of my favorite months of the entire year. You have Thanksgiving and of course a whole lot of football. While the turkey and dressing may steal the spotlight, for college football fans, this month is known as championship November.
With a full state of action in the Big 12 Conference, there were plenty of big-time matchups including one in Orlando as UCF hosted Oklahoma State. The Cowboys came into the day with plenty on the line. They were tied for first place in the Big 12 and controlled their own destiny. Meanwhile, UCF is still looking to become bowl eligible. It was a wild and wet day in beautiful Orlando, Florida as UCF dominated Oklahoma State 45-3. Here are my three thoughts on the game.
There really is no other word I can use besides dominate because that is exactly what UCF did on Saturday. They played outstanding defense for four quarters as they completely shut down Heisman hopeful Ollie Gordon. In fact, Gordon had just 25 rushing yards on 12 carries. UCF’s defense got off the field on third down and forced three turnovers early in the game that really helped set the tone for them the rest of the way.
As good as UCF’s defense was, their offense was just as good. The Knights rushed for a whopping 293 yards led by RJ Harvey who ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns. His 92-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the second longest in UCF history.
And if you haven’t been paying attention to RJ, he has now rushed for 100 yards or more in five-straight games. Of course, I can’t forget about quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who played great throwing for almost 300 yards and three scores. Everything seemed to click for UCF against Oklahoma State, and I wonder if they can carry this momentum through the rest of the season to try to get to a bowl game. It was UCF’s first win over a Top 15 team since the 2018 Peach Bowl.
Oklahoma State Had a Bedlam Hangover
Earlier in the week, Mike Gundy said that the Bedlam game was exhausting. And I must say that this Oklahoma State team looked tired from the start. They turned the football over early and it cost them. I felt like every time UCF had the football, they got points. Ollie Gordon was basically taken out of the game due to the score and when you have to throw the ball 100 times because you are down by a lot, it is never a good thing.
The offense couldn’t convert on key downs, and nothing was working. Meanwhile, their defense gave up a ton of big plays and couldn’t stop UCF’s rushing attack at all as they gave up almost 300 yards on the ground. Everything that Oklahoma State did right over the last few weeks went wrong against UCF. The Cowboys were outplayed and outcoached on Saturday and there is no other way around it.
Oklahoma State’s Big 12 Title Hopes Are Still Alive
I know that the Bedlam game took a lot out of this team but there are no excuses that will explain today’s performance against UCF. As bad as this loss was for Oklahoma State, they still have the world in front of them. Of course, there are going to be a few more key games left in the conference that will clear up the title picture as well. With that said, Oklahoma State still can get to Jerry World. Obviously, they have to win both of their remaining games against Houston and BYU. If they do that, then I still like their chances of making the title game. Think about it. Oklahoma State owns the tie breaker over Oklahoma and Kansas State due to head-to-head wins. And if Iowa State slips up in the next three games, then there will be nobody left with the same record that has a win over the Cowboys. What they need to do is shake this one off and get back to work.