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Surprise of the game: Cowboys showed fight in second half of bowl game loss

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Garret Rangel

Garret Rangel (13) found confidence in the second half, where he threw for 119 yards and a touchdown. 

For an OSU team that lost key pieces to the transfer portal and looked listless in the first half, its second half performance in a 24-17 loss to Wisconsin was commendable.

Generally, fans can expect a dignified performance from OSU in bowl games, no matter who steps onto the field, due to head coach Mike Gundy’s track record.

But going into halftime down 17-7 and missing several key players after a mass exodus through the transfer portal, it looked like this was finally the time OSU would throw in the towel; it couldn’t put a drive together and looked helpless against Wisconsin’s rushing game.

Early in the second half it looked like more of the same, until the defense started to dig its heels in. Whereas it looked helpless early in the game, OSU’s defense only allowed one score after halftime.

The offense was slower to come alive, but a long bomb to Brennan Presley got things going. Freshman quarterback Garret Rangel started to look more confident and less like a freshman under the bright lights. Late in the fourth quarter, the deficit was cut to seven points.

OSU’s comeback fell short after a late interception allowed the Badgers to run out the clock, but the grit the Cowboys showed to claw back into the game was a testament to the coaching staff and the players’ heart and resolve.

sports.ed@ocolly.com