Dec 31, 2017

Oklahoma State defeats Virginia Tech 30-21 in 2017 Camping World Bowl

Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill ran for 120 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 351 yards and two scores as the No. 19 Cowboys held off No. 22 Virginia Tech 30-21 Thursday night in the Camping World Bowl.

The nation’s leading passer coming into the game, Rudolph completed 21 of 32 attempts on the night and earned game MVP honors for his effort. Rudolph’s first touchdown came on a 17-yard strike to Dillon Stoner early in the third quarter before following it up later in the frame with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Biletnikoff Award-winner James Washington.

Washington, a senior and the nation’s leading receiver, finished the game with five catches for 126 yards, while Marcell Ateman had five catches for 107 yards on the night.

“It’s pretty easy when you’ve got a guy who is a gazelle out there,” Rudolph said of his post route connection with Washington, which put the Cowboys up 27-14 with 5:37 left in the third. “He eats up all the space between the corner, he breaks him off, the guy turns his back, and it’s over. So I’ve seen that a few times throughout my career, and it’s always a good sight.”

Considered one of the nation’s best defensive teams, the Hokies held Oklahoma State 76 yards and 15 points under its season average. In addition, Virginia Tech outgained Oklahoma State 518-492 for the game, topping its own season average by more than 100 yards thanks to a career-high 124 rushing yards from Deshawn McClease and two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Josh Jackson.

However, Virginia Tech came up empty on back-to-back trips inside the Oklahoma State 30-yard line in the second half, and Cowboys kicker Matt Ammendola’s 38-yard field goal with 2:34 to play effectively sealed the game.

“I don’t really remember Oklahoma State making very many, if any mistakes, and we made a handful, just enough to kind of keep us from pulling the thing off,” Hokies head coach Justin Fuente said. “And that’s not to say that Oklahoma State doesn’t deserve credit for winning the game. They do. They have a fine football team. They’re well coached and did a good job.”

With the victory, Oklahoma State has now won 10 games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in program history.

“There are a lot of people that work hard year round for that,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said. “All wins are difficult. Extremely difficult to get in double digit wins. If not, just go back over the last five years and look at traditional to 20 teams in the country that have not been able to accomplish that. So there’s a lot of credit to go around in the success that this group of young men, in what they’ve accomplished.

“And we, as a staff, are very proud of them,” Gundy continued. “We talk about being resilient. We talk about finding a way to accomplish and build on success, and we talk about being problem solvers. And if there’s issues, find a solution and fix it, and that’s what these guys have done. So we’re very proud.”

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