Anderson’s 2 long TD runs help W. Virginia top Oklahoma St.
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Jaylen Anderson ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and West Virginia defeated Oklahoma State 24-19 on Saturday afternoon.
Anderson, a redshirt freshman, had rushed for 120 yards all season before the game. But he broke loose for touchdown runs of 54 and 57 yards during a three-minute span in the third quarter to give the Mountaineers momentum.
Anderson said he just looked for a hole on the long runs and found open space.
“I’ve been waiting to see that for a long time,” he said. “It was just a dream come true.”
Anderson’s performance left an impression on West Virginia coach Neal Brown.
“He’s come on,” Brown said. “He’s got a bright future. He’s got to continue to mature. I think he showed some real signs.”
Anderson paced a West Virginia ground attack that pounded out 250 yards rushing on a cold, rainy day that kept most fans at home. Brown appreciated his team staying focused in the bad weather.
“Every time you have an opportunity to suit up and play, it’s part of your resume, and you should never waste one of those,” Brown said. “And our guys definitely didn’t today. I thought we played extremely hard, we played physical, in about as bad of conditions as you can play in”
West Virginia (5-7, 3-6 Big 12) snapped a seven-game losing skid in the series, and Oklahoma State’s home win streak ended at 14 games. The Mountaineers closed the season by winning two of three.
Oklahoma State freshman Ollie Gordon ran for a season-best 136 yards and a touchdown.
Garret Rangel started at quarterback for the Cowboys in place of Spencer Sanders, who has dealt with injuries throughout the season.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said it’s hard to know when Sanders will be available.
“It just depends on how he feels and kind of where our medical people are,” he said. “And it’s not an injury that’s black and white. It’s a gray area. So, you just kind of roll with it as it goes.”
Rangel passed for just 178 yards and was sacked four times, but the Cowboys still had a chance to win late. Oklahoma State (7-5, 4-5) took over trailing 24-19 with 1:29 remaining, but Rangel threw four straight incomplete passes.
Oklahoma State led 10-7 at halftime as the teams produced just 301 combined yards.
West Virginia opened the second half with a scoring drive that ended with Anderson’s first touchdown run. His second put the Mountaineers up 21-10.
Gordon scored on a 23-yard touchdown run later in the quarter, but the 2-point conversion failed, leaving West Virginia ahead 21-19. Casey Legg’s 34-yard field goal pushed the Mountaineers’ lead to 24-19 with about six minutes to play.
Oklahoma State was unable to rally, and a team that won its first five games has now lost four of five.
Gundy said the primary issue is injuries.
“I’m not frustrated,” he said. “The only time that I would get frustrated is if our guys weren’t competing and playing hard. And I have not seen that this year, and I’m fairly certain I did not see that today.”
West Virginia: The Mountaineers found something with their ground game in the third quarter. They gained 110 total yards in the first half, but 181 in the third quarter, including 152 rushing.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys had numerous opportunities, but Rangel was just a little off target.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a great day to throw passes,” Gundy said. “But he competed and made some plays. And there were some times he missed some throws and stuff.”
Oklahoma State safety Jason Taylor II intercepted his sixth pass of the season. He became the fourth Oklahoma State player since 2000 to record a pick in three consecutive games. The previous week against Oklahoma, he intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.
Taylor is a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award, which is given to the player voted the best defensive back in college football.
Gundy, on the three big rushing touchdowns the Cowboys gave allowed: “The bad news is they count. But other than that, we played pretty good.”
West Virginia: Season over.
Oklahoma State: Bowl game to be determined.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CliffBruntAP