McNeese battles but fall 56-14 to Oklahoma State

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STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State scored on its final two possessions of the second half, both on 91-yard drives, to build a 28-0 halftime lead, then opened the second half on a 75-yard pass and catch by Spencer Sanders to Tylan Wallace as that duo led OSU to a 56-14 win over McNeese here Saturday night.

McNeese put up a strong front early by keeping the OSU offense out of the end-zone until late in the first quarter while forcing a turnover and punt. And on two consecutive drives to end the third and start the fourth quarters, the OSU defense held McNeese out of the end zone with multiple plays from the 1-yard line.

“When you get in that opportunity you want to get points on the board, obviously,” said head coach Sterlin Gilbert. “We just have to continue to grow and get better, learn from that, and take that and move forward as we get into conference play in two weeks.”

The loss dropped McNeese to 1-1 on the season while Oklahoma State improved to 2-0.

McNeese totaled 318 offensive yards on the night with 236 of those in the second half and 225 coming in the third quarter alone behind a couple of Orgeron to Trevor Begue completions of 35 and 23 yards while Orgeron also had a 54-yard run.

“Our guys are going to play with high-level effort,” said Gilbert. “We played against a really good football team. In the second half we were able to do some things and move the ball the way we want to do it. That’s something we can build on.”

Orgeron’s 16-yard strike to a diving D’Andre Hicks put the Cowboys on the board with 11:15 to play in the third quarter, then late in the fourth quarter, Dorian Pollard forced a fumble that was scooped up by Marcus Foster and returned 32 yards for McNeese’s second touchdown of the game.

Orgeron ended the night completing 11 of 22 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown while also leading the team with 89 yards rushing on 16 carries for a 5.6 per carry average.

Begue caught five passes for 69 yards while Hicks reeled in three passes, also for 69 yards with a touchdown.

The OSU wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard when A.J. Green intercepted a Cody Orgeron pass on the game’s second play and returned it 27 yards for a score. It was the Cowboys’ first turnover on the season.

The lead grew to 14-0 with 1:29 to play in the first quarter after Tylan Wallace took a bubble screen pass from Spencer Sanders for a 69-yard score.

It was 21-0 midway through the second quarter after Chuba Hubbard scored on a 4-yard run then a Sanders to Wallace connection scored for the second time of the night from four yards out to make it a 28-0 game right before the half.

Oklahoma State scored four touchdowns in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

Sanders connected with Wallace for the third time on the night for a 75-yard score just 12 seconds into the third quarter to make it 35-0 before the Cowboys got on the board.

Backup quarterback Dru Brown hit touchdown passes of 59 and 69 yards to C.J. Moore and Braydon Johnson to make it a 49-7 lead, then Micah Cooper scored from a yard out after the touchdown was set up by a Philip Redwine-Bryant interception of an Orgeron pass at the 14-yard line.

OSU finished with 580 yards, 167 rushing and 413 passing. Sanders completed 12 of 18 for 250 yards with three scores.

Justin Jackson and Dorian Pollard each recorded six tackles to lead McNeese while Darion Dunn batted away two passes.

McNeese will return home next Saturday when it hosts Alcorn State in the final game before starting Southland Conference action.

Game Note:
• Chris Livings recorded his second quarterback sack of the season on OSU’s first offensive series. He now has 22.5 in his career and is 8.5 shy of the school career mark.
• Cody Orgeron’s third quarter 54-yard rush was the longest of his career.
• Orgeron’s 16-yard touchdown pass to D’Andre Hicks was Hicks’ first career receiving TD.
• Bailey Raborn averaged 44.6 yards on eight punts with seven inside the 20-yard line and six of those downed inside the 10.

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