STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) – Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius has made an unexpected impression as a runner.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior looks like he’s lumbering his way down the field, but he’s tough and surprisingly agile and fast. Last Saturday, he rushed for 41 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cowboys knock off then-No. 17 Boise State 44-21.
“I think he’s comfortable when he’s running the ball, when he gets into the flow of the game,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “Like a three-point shooter in basketball — hits a couple threes, gets hot and you give it to him and he starts hitting a few more.”
Cornelius has been pretty good throwing the ball too — he has completed 65 percent of his passes for 971 yards and seven touchdowns in three games. Oklahoma State’s offense ranks sixth nationally as the 15th-ranked Cowboys (3-0) head into their conference opener Saturday against Texas Tech (2-1).
“A month ago, I said he was on the tee box or the driving range, and we didn’t know what he would do on the tee box on No. 1, but he’s done pretty well on the first two or three holes,” Gundy said. “He’s getting into a different part of the course now, and hopefully he’ll continue to play well. I think he’s developing into being a pretty good college quarterback.”
Cornelius will need to be at his best Saturday. Texas Tech enters Saturday’s game with the nation’s No. 1 offense. Alan Bowman threw for 605 yards and five touchdowns in his second career start, a 63-49 win over Houston. He broke former Texas Tech star Patrick Mahomes’ previous Big 12 record for yards passing by a freshman in a game and missed the NCAA freshman yardage record by 6. Since replacing the injured McLane Carter in the first quarter of the season opener, Bowman has passed for 1,160 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions.
“This league will be disappointed to see him for the next three or four years, or however long it’ll be,” Gundy said. “He seems to understand their system and looks like he gets it. They’re moving the ball and scoring lots of points.”
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