Oklahoma State's Rudolph shows National Football League form in rout of Pitt

MASON RUDOLPH

The ninth-ranked Cowboys eventually had mercy, pulling Rudolph in the third quarter of an eventual 59-21 victory. As the Cowboys played against Pitt on Saturday in a game that was nationally televised on ESPN, those watching were treated to the brilliant play of the senior quarterback.

The Cowboys marched 75 yards in seven plays on their first drive, scoring on a 20-yard run by Hill for a 7-0 lead over Pittsburgh just two minutes into the the game.

While Rudolph's eye-popping statistics will earn him plenty of media attention, the scouts attending this game - like Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman - were likely more impressed with his noticeably improved distribution of the ball and overall awareness of the defense. Rudolph has gone 185 passes without throwing an interception, the longest active streak in the FBS.

Oklahoma State scored touchdowns on each of its first six possessions, with the first Panthers defensive stop coming as the clock expired in the first half.

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Rudolph completed 23 of 32 passes for 497 yards with the five touchdowns and his first interception of the season. By that time, Rudolph will hopefully have gotten his due.

The Panthers were able to keep Biletnikoff Award candidate James Washington out of the end zone, but he ended up with 124 yards on five catches. But the Cowboys will return home to open Big 12 play against TCU on September 23. Oklahoma State converted all nine of its third downs in the opening half.

But back to that first half.

The Cowboy's 49 points in the first half were the most given up by Pitt since it allowed 52 in the first half of a 72-0 loss to Ohio State in 1996. Dillon Stoner had five catches for 100 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown. It's not a good look for a team that knocked off Clemson and Penn State just one season ago.

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