As Braydon Johnson sped past the rows of Oklahoma State football fans and approached the end zone, he couldn’t believe it was happening.
He had just secured a long pass from quarterback Dru Brown, and with each yard Johnson gained, he was a step closer to living the scenario he had constantly envisioned in his head. After the game, Johnson grinned as he described the moment, reliving the dreamlike state the play had induced.
“It felt like I was floating,” Johnson said. “It felt like I was in a dream, really.”
Johnson, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver, scored his first career touchdown during OSU’s 56-14 victory against McNeese State on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium. He was one of a multitude of Cowboy backups who had chances to make plays in the first home game of the season.
After a shaky start offensively, OSU recovered with a burst of energy from Tylan Wallace, who set a career high for longest receiving touchdown and then broke it with a 75-yard touchdown. OSU had a 35-7 advantage early in the third quarter, meaning Wallace and other starters could rest while second-string players took charge.
The receiving corps showed that Wallace isn’t the only one who can make an impact. Brown, who replaced starting quarterback Spencer Sanders, threw his first touchdown pass to C.J. Moore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman receiver from Tulsa. In the third quarter, Moore bolted into the left side of the end zone on the 59-yard play.
“He’s very talented just because of his size and how he can move with his size,” Johnson said. “He’s real shifty, and he maneuvers well.”
On the home Cowboys’ next offensive drive, they extended the lead to 49-7 with Johnson’s 69-yard touchdown play.
Coach Mike Gundy said he enjoyed seeing Johnson, who is regarded as one of OSU’s fastest players, catch the ball and showcase his speed.
“That’s what we brought him here for,” Gundy said. “He took off and did a nice job. Braydon, he was rolling pretty good.”
The Cowboys also swapped out starters on defense. Philip Redwine-Bryant, a former walk-on linebacker who was placed on scholarship for this season, intercepted the ball for the first time. He nearly reached the end zone, laying the foundation for walk-on running back Micah Cooper’s touchdown that followed.
Redwine-Bryant racked up five tackles, four of which were solo stops.
“It’s awesome for him,” Gundy said. “…He’s one of the leaders of our team in a lot of different areas.”
Although Redwine-Bryant is a redshirt senior, this nonconference matchup also provided experience for several freshmen who could potentially redshirt this year. Freshmen who played included Xavier Player, Deondrick Glass, Langston Anderson, Isreal Isuman-Hundley and Kody Walterscheid.
Moore discussed how this game provided a glimpse into the Cowboys’ future.
“We’re coming,” Moore said. “We have a lot of depth, and so us being young, already, we’re just gonna be able to keep building off of that.”