TULSA, Okla. (AP) — One Oklahoma State star got slowed down, so the other took over.
With Tulsa focused on receiver Tylan Wallace, Chuba Hubbard rushed for a career-high 256 yards and three touchdowns, and Oklahoma State defeated the Golden Hurricane 40-21 on Saturday afternoon.
Hubbard ripped off touchdown runs of 75 and 30 yards in the first four minutes of the game. His first score came on the first play from scrimmage, 10 seconds into the contest.
"He was awesome," Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders said. "The first play of the game — that was such a confidence booster. It's awesome to hand somebody the ball that can do that."
The Cowboys (3-0) opened up a 17-0 lead before Tulsa recovered. The Golden Hurricane took a 21-20 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Shamari Brooks late in the first half.
Wallace was bottled up for much of the game, but he broke loose for a 90-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter — the third longest scoring connection in school history — to give the Cowboys a 33-21 lead. He finished with five catches for 118 yards.
Oklahoma State outscored Tulsa 20-0 in the second half.
"We were just shooting ourselves in the foot," Hubbard said. "I felt that we should have been ahead by a lot more. Just mental errors that we've got to fix, but in the second half, we had a lot of leadership in the locker room and talked about how we've got to come out and just hit them again how we did the first play. And we did that."
It was Oklahoma State's first game since billionaire booster T. Boone Pickens died on Wednesday. He donated more than $650 million to the school, and the football stadium is named for him. The Cowboys wore stickers with "Boone" on the back of their helmets in his honor.
"It's sad," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "Mr. Pickens and I went head-to-head a lot, he won most all of them, but I had a lot of respect for him and I think he respected me. He's been his own boss for 70 years, and I've been mine for 15, so sometimes you have confrontation. I have a ton of respect, and it's kind of sad knowing that he's not there, it really is. It feels weird."
Brooks ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns and Keylon Stokes had seven catches for 109 yards and a score for Tulsa (1-2).
The Golden Hurricane felt they wasted an opportunity.
"With the score 21-20 at the half, no one was surprised and we thought we could win the game," Tulsa safety Manny Bunch said. "We played hard enough to win the game, but we just left a couple plays out there that decided the score."
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys learned that Hubbard can carry the team and that they can win without a dominant performance by Wallace. It was Hubbard's second game this season with at least 200 yards rushing — he had 227 yards against Oregon State in the opener.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane were overpowered in the second half and finally lost track of Wallace for the backbreaking touchdown in the third quarter. But the Golden Hurricane stood toe-to-toe for most of the game with a solid Power Five team that was receiving Top 25 votes.
Oklahoma State held Tulsa scoreless after halftime. The Golden Hurricane mustered only 138 yards of offense after the break. Tulsa had 21 rushes for 32 yards in the second half, with Brooks netting just 16 yards on 11 carries.
"We changed our alignments, got another guy up closer to the ball, and essentially, another guy got up in the box," Gundy said. "For the most part, we took another guy out of coverage and put him up in the box to give us another gap. They had a nice little scheme, so we got another guy up there."
The only two longer Oklahoma State pass plays than the connection between Sanders and Wallace were a 95-yarder from Zac Robinson to Jeremy Broadway in 2008 and a 91-yarder from Mason Rudolph to James Washington in 2016. The play left Wallace with 1,999 career yards receiving.
Wallace was targeted eight times. He had five catches and drew pass interference calls against Tulsa on the other three. He also was interfered with on the long touchdown.
ELITE TD CLUB
Tulsa's Brooks scored the 20th rushing touchdown of his career, tying him for 10th place in school history with Ken Lacy. D'Angelo Brewer is in ninth place with 23.
It was Oklahoma State's seventh straight win over Tulsa, and all of them have been by double digits. The closest during that span was a 36-26 win at Tulsa in 2000.
Oklahoma State will play at Texas on Saturday.
Tulsa will host Wyoming on Saturday.
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