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98 yards of grass: Special teams, defense power OSU over Tulsa

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Kick Return

#0 running down the field after a kick return for a touchdown. 

LD Brown stood on the goal line as Zack Long booted a ball toward the north east corner of Boone Pickens Stadium.

The ball took a harsh hop around the 10-yard line, and into Brown’s hands at the two. He bolted toward the Cowboy sideline, where defensive end Tyler Lacy had just sat down for a water break, which was soon interrupted.

After bursting through a hole formed by his teammates Brown continued left outside the numbers, with Kanion Williams blocking his man the whole way.

Brown just had one man to beat— the kicker— which he did with relative ease.

“I saw the kicker run across and I said, ‘O he better not get touched, he better not get tackled,”’ Lacy said. “He would never hear (the end of it).”

The return, which was the seventh longest in school history and longest since 2014, took the lead back for the Cowboys, 21-17. The Cowboys out gained the Golden Hurricane 150-25 in return yards

“Coach (Bill) Snyder at Kansas State would tell you, we got a whole football field out of special teams. That was the difference in this game.”

The defense then trotted back onto the field to try and keep the Cowboy lead in tacked. The drive had extra pressure with just a four point and coming off a drive where it stuffed Tulsa at the one-yard line.

The defense got off the field in just four plays, a common site in the game which saw Tulsa punt eight times.

“A little different game than the way it has been around here in the past, some really good defensive football played today,” coach Mike Gundy said. “I was really proud of our defense, they put us in a great situation giving up only 16 points.”

Cornerback Christian Holmes was a big part of the Cowboys defensive success Saturday. Holmes fit into his new starting role early this season.

Anthony Watkins, Tulsa's running back ran in a touchdown with 4:59 left in the game to pull Tulsa within five. As quarterback Davis Brin and the Tulsa offense lined up for the two-point conversion Holmes stood on the outside.

The ball was snapped and Brin threw a fade route toward Holmes, defending it perfectly, and iced the 28-23 game for the Cowboys.

“(Holmes) played lights out. That was a good two-point stop,” linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez said. “He’s a tough guy. He’s a talker that’s for sure.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com