OSU Cowboys try to recover from controversial loss; Mike Gundy holds weekly press conference Monday

Posted at 11:36 AM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 16:28:08-04

Last year, Oklahoma State played a bunch of games decided in the final minutes and managed to win most of them.

This year, the Cowboys were not so fortunate in their first close contest, and it dealt a blow to their playoff hopes.

Mason Rudolph was called for intentional grounding on the Cowboys' last offensive play Saturday, a penalty that should have been the final play of an Oklahoma State victory. Instead, Central Michigan was erroneously awarded an untimed down, and the Chippewas scored the game winner on a Hail Mary to steal a 30-27 victory .


Cowboys coach Mike Gundy did not realize officials got the call wrong until reporters informed him at his postgame news conference.

“I'm self-critical because I got 132 guys that busted their butt all week and because me not being strong enough with the rules to say 'you're wrong,' my guys lost a game,” Gundy said during his weekly press conference with media on Monday.

RANT: Big al, Cayden talk OSU's controversial loss and OU's big win

On Sunday, Gundy took some responsibility for the way the Cowboys tried to kill the final 4 seconds by having Rudolph throw the ball away on a fourth down, instead of taking the snap, running backward and going down. The clock stops on a change of possession so unless all 4 seconds had ticked away Central Michigan would have gotten the ball back in its own territory.

Instead, with the penalty, the Chippewas got one play from midfield. Even though they should not have.

"It was a crazy play," quarterback Mason Rudolph said Monday. "Their quarterback did a great job of giving their guy a chance and just kind of a freak deal, man. It was a great play on their part."


The Cowboys don't have time to mope. Pittsburgh (2-0), coming off a victory against Penn State, comes to Stillwater next.

Repercussions came down Sunday. The Mid-American Conference suspended the on-field officiating crew from the game for two weeks, and the Big 12 has suspended the two-person instant replay crew that failed to tell the MAC officials about their mistake.

"We had eight guys on the field, a guy in the box and the Big 12 office that all screwed it up," said Gundy. "To a certain extent, my release was, I'm disappointed that we didn't do something different, and that I didn't know that I coulda said 'Listen, I'm taking my shirt off, I'm laying on the field. It's over.'"


Even then, the loss remains, and now the Cowboys have fallen from No. 22 to out of the Top 25.

Last season, the Cowboys reached the top five in the rankings and entered November as an unbeaten playoff contender. They beat Texas by three, Kansas State by two and West Virginia by seven before rolling past TCU, which was ranked No. 5 at the time. Oklahoma State struggled with Iowa State the next week, winning 35-31 in Ames, Iowa, before losing to Baylor, Oklahoma and Ole Miss to close the season.

The early loss leaves the Cowboys with little leeway the rest of this season. And the Big 12 has not distinguished itself, going 5-7 against FBS competition to start 2016.

The Cowboys remain positive.

"We are just trying to bounce back," Oklahoma State cornerback Ashton Lampkin said. "Every team loses. It's good if we lose early, that's what I feel like. We lost a little early on some crazy play. We just trying to bounce back and go undefeated (the rest of the way). That's only mindset we've got right now, to go undefeated."

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