HOUSTON — Trotting around on the Oklahoma State sideline at TDECU Stadium in Houston was Hart Lee Dykes.
Wearing a camo shirt and bright orange sneakers, Dykes joined his alma mater for their Saturday afternoon against the Houston Cougars.
Dykes was Mike Gundy’s go-to receiver back in the 1980s. Standing by his former QB, Dykes watching OSU receiver Brennan Presley achieve something Dykes never did during his tenure with the program.
Presley caught 15 passes, the most by an OSU player in a single game in program history. Presley surpassed Alex Loyd, who caught 14 passes against Kansas on Oct. 22, 1949.
That’s a record that stood for more than 74 years. Neither Justin Blackmon, Rashaun Woods, Josh Stewart, Dez Bryant, Adarius Bowman nor Dykes ever pulled in more than 13 catches in a game.
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“I wasn’t necessarily thinking about it,” Presley said. “I knew I was getting the ball a lot. How much, I didn’t really know.”
Presley established an early connection with quarterback Alan Bowman, with Bowman targeting his senior receiver three times in the first four plays. By halftime, Presley had already set a season high in receiving yards (103) and tied his high in receptions with nine, previously set against West Virginia.
It took one drive out of the half to set a career-high in receptions and yards, catching three passes for 47 yards to set up running back Ollie Gordon for a touchdown.
Even with the massive performance, Presley was unable to find the end zone, the third consecutive game he hasn’t scored in.
“I said, ‘Hey, listen you gotta get in the end zone, that’s a rough day if you don’t score,'” offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said. “Just had to bust him up a little bit because he played his ass off.”
Presley was a crucial piece to OSU’s offensive game plan this week, finding success by setting the senior receiver in motion. Moving Presley around has helped in recent weeks after a slow start to the season.
In Presley’s first four games of the season, he recorded 15 receptions for 98 yards. It took him four quarters against the Cougars’ defense to match his catches and nearly double his yards.
“As I’ve shared with you before,” Gundy said. “It’s difficult to always get a ball to a wideout … It’s not always easy to get it to a wideout if the defense doesn’t want you to get into it.”
But the 15 receptions aren’t just a highlight of the season, but a highlight in the program’s history. When asked how you shutdown a receiver like Presley, OSU cornerback Cam Smith struggled to find the answer.
“I feel like … I don’t know,” he said. “Like with BP, you want to say double him, but then that means you’re taking somebody else out the box. Then with someone like Ollie Gordon that’s just going to run it, it’s just tough.”