Tylan Wallace received a screen pass with three McNeese State defenders closing in and just one blocker in front of him.
After Spencer Sanders was sacked twice on Oklahoma State’s first series, the Cowboys played it safe with their play calling to get the offense going. Offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson dialed up a simple screen pass to get the ball out of Sanders’ hands quickly.
Then Wallace turned on the jets.
He got to the corner on the right sideline, just escaped the outstretched arms of a couple McNeese defenders, then casually sprinted past the safety while tightroping the boundary all the way for a 69-yard touchdown.
It was the longest score of his career.
But not for long.
Wallace topped himself in the third quarter, housing a 75-yard score after shaking a defender on a curl route on the first play of the second half.
With the Cowboys taking more than a commanding lead, his night was done after that.
Wallace became known as one of the best contested-catch receivers in the country during his breakout season last year. Through two games this season, he’s shown he has plenty of speed too.
“I feel like (speed) was one thing I didn’t really show too much last year,” Wallace said. “Having little plays and turning them into big plays. Being able to do that and show everybody that I have that type of speed and make plays like that feels real good.”
He still wins his fair share of jump balls though.
In the second quarter, Sanders recognized a McNeese defender jumped offsides, giving the Cowboys a free play. Wallace wasn’t open, but he floated the ball up in his direction anyways.
At the peak of Wallace’s jump the ball landed on the cornerbacks shoulder. It pinballed around their arms a couple times before Wallace improbably secured it.
He capped off the juggling act to somehow just get a foot down in bounds to complete the circus catch.
Once Sanders is sure a defender is offsides, his first instinct is to throw it to No. 2.
‘’That catch today surprised me,” Sanders said. “Just focusing on the ball and staying with it, you don’t see that from a lot of guys.”
Wallace said he even surprises himself with some of the catches he makes.
“(It shocks me) all the time,” Wallace said. “That ball I didn’t really know if I was gonna come down with it honestly.”
His presence makes the game easier for Sanders as he gets acclimated to the competition of college football, and allows the rest of OSU’s deep receiving core to get favorable matchups.
When the offense got off to a rocky start, Wallace steadied it.
“It’s great because you got a young quarterback it doesn’t take much to get him the ball underneath like that,” offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson said. “It’s really comforting to see that he can do that with the ball.”
Wallace had an easier time this week than against Oregon State, as McNeese State played single coverage on him for most of the game.
He finished with five catches, three of them for touchdowns, and 180 yards. It was the first three-touchdown game of his career.
“He’s arguably the best player in the country at that position,” coach Mike Gundy said. ”He works hard. We expect him to make plays for us.”