Oklahoma State football has had a special 2021 season and can cap it off with a Fiesta Bowl win against Notre Dame on New Year’s Day 2022. A bowl triumph would give OSU a 12-win season for only the second time in school history.
Though the Cowboys came up just inches short of a conference title and a possible berth in the College Football Playoff for the first time, 2021 was still a memorable year for OSU. The Cowboys finished the 2021 regular season ranked in the Top 10, seven players were honored as first-team All-Big 12 selections, and one player was honored as a first-team All-American.
Oklahoma State football had a season to remember in 2021 — here are 10 of the best highlights for Mike Gundy and the Cowboys.
Furthermore, the Cowboys defense was one of the nation’s top units in 2021, ranking in the top five in categories such as third-down conversions allowed, yards allowed, and total sacks.
As we look ahead to OSU’s first-ever meeting with the Fighting Irish on the football field, let’s look back at the Cowboys’ 10 best plays from 2021.
10. The Bedlam muffed punt
Eric Gray’s muffed punt late in the game in Bedlam helped change the momentum from the Sooners to the Cowboys. OSU trailed earlier in the second half by a score of 33-24 and had missed a field goal.
With a two-point deficit and less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, OSU was forced to punt. Whether from the pressure, the crowd noise, or the placement of the ball, Gray didn’t field Tom Hutton‘s punt cleanly, allowing OSU’s Demarco Jones to recover the punt and give the Pokes the ball.
OSU would score three plays later to take the lead for good. As you might suspect, there’s more from this game further up the list.
Here’s the recovered fumble, posted by OSU football:
9. Tay Martin TD
With the Cowboys leading by only one possession in the second half of a game in Morgantown, West Va., Tay Martin made a 12-yard touchdown reception to put OSU ahead 17-3.
Martin demonstrated his athleticism on the play and his value to the OSU offense on plays like this throughout the season. He had 70 catches for 942 yards and seven touchdowns as the Cowboys’ leading receiver. His emergence as a deep-ball threat, too, helped quarterback Spencer Sanders to first-team All-Big 12 honors.
OSU would go on to win this game against West Virginia by a score of 24-3. Only two weeks removed from their 24-21 loss at Iowa State, the Cowboys would move into the Top 10 for good after this win against the Mountaineers.