John Holcomb: Resilient Cowboys' Comeback Against Cougars A 'Culture Win'

John Holcomb is sharing his thoughts after Oklahoma State beat Houston on Saturday.

Sunday, November 19th 2023, 11:44 am


The Cowboys aren’t the most talented team, but they might be one of the most resilient squads in college football this season.

OSU fans know how it felt after the loss at home to South Alabama and the defeat at Iowa State. They’ve also seen the dramatic turnaround through October and through Bedlam.

The past two games have provided another rollercoaster experience, and Saturday in Houston was one in itself.

Mike Gundy called the Cowboys’ 43-30 comeback over the Cougars a “culture win,” and it keeps alive OSU hopes for a berth in the Big 12 title game. Without consistent, positive player leadership, they wouldn’t be in this position.

In winning 6 of their last 7, the Cowboys have proven to be a strong second-half team. They shut down Houston’s Donovan Smith for the most part while wearing down the Cougar defense behind the combination of Ollie Gordon on the ground and the Alan Bowman to Brennan Presley connection through the air.

A handful of Presley’s career-high 15 catches came in traffic, the senior from Bixby hanging on despite taking some big hits. OSU is lining him up all over the place now to try and get him the ball, and his effectiveness helped Gordon get back to his recent form with three second-half touchdowns and 164 yards rushing for the game.

OSU’s rally from down 23-9 is the 17th time under Mike Gundy since Bedlam in 2014 that the Cowboys have rallied to win from a double-digit deficit. 

Now, only BYU stands between OSU and a possible conference title game appearance.

You have to like the Cowboys’ chances, but marking it down as a win right now would be ignoring the road that’s led them to this point.

Another raucous Boone Pickens Stadium crowd will help.


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