Sports

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

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

Rudolph proved it with a record-setting first-half performance against Pitt at Heinz Field Saturday. Washington's 29 receiving touchdowns are the most among active players in the FBS.

The Cowboys have scored on their first five series, led by great playmaking from running back Justice Hill and quarterback Mason Rudolph, to lead 42-7 in the second quarter.

Jalen McCleskey caught seven passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns.

"He made some big plays today at crucial times and you see the importance of having a quarterback that can make plays", Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. He did throw his first interception of the season, ending a streak of 216 consecutive passes without a pick dating back to last season. By that time, Rudolph will hopefully have gotten his due. Washington had three catches for 68 yards.

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Rudolph has had his way with the Panthers defense, throwing for a 423 yards (breaking his own single-half school record) and five touchdowns through the first two quarters. His first TD was a 54-yarder to Dillon Stoner, which capped a 96-yard drive and pushed the Oklahoma State lead to 14-0. But the Cowboys will return home to open Big 12 play against TCU on September 23. The Cowboys did whatever they wanted whenever they wanted during a first half in which they rolled up 516 yards.

- They had 523 total yards and could've had more had Pitt not turned in a 13-play scoring drive at the end of the half.

He showed his strength, mobility and downfield vision on another near-sack in the first quarter, fighting off defenders on a third-and-11 at his 31-yard line before unleashing a deep ball down the left sideline to an open Ateman, who shrugged off a would-be tackle before running away for a 69-yard touchdown. It's not a good look for a team that knocked off Clemson and Penn State just one season ago.