Until freshman wide receiver Armanti Foreman streaked down the middle of the field and had a high, arcing 45-yard pass dropped right over his shoulder by sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, one of the best throws of his young career:
The catch provided the final 28-7 margin with 4:31 left in the game and put to rest any hopes of a furious last-second comeback by the Cowboys.
According to Ian Boyd of SB Nation/Inside Texas, perhaps the most impressive part of the play was the fact that Foreman appeared to run past a Tampa-2 defense because he was able to "hit another gear," as head coach Charlie Strong put it.
And though a two-deep safety alignment doesn't close the middle of the field where Foreman ran through, it's a defense designed to stop big passing plays. Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, the speed of the Texas City product was just too much.
A Semper Fi All-American and a consensus four-star prospect rated as the No. 16 wide receiver nationally and the No. 16 prospect in the state of Texas according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Foreman committed to Oklahoma early in the process before eventually opening up his recruitment.
He was high on Texas, but it wasn't until the Longhorns became one of the first major schools to offer his twin brother D'Onta that he once again ended his recruitment when both brothers pledged to the Horns. Rumors of a possible visit or two persisted before Signing Day, though the brothers eventually inked without visiting other schools.
Despite his lack of size, he was an impressive deep threat in high school, a skill that has already translated to college. Foreman was also an extremely important part of the class as the No. 3-ranked player overall in the 23-man signing class.
Swoopes and the staff have told Foreman to stay ready this season, even as he got limited reps behind more experienced players despite flashing on those reverses.
So when senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley went down in the first half against Oklahoma State with a hamstring injury, Foreman got his first chance to play extended snaps.
"It was great seeing young guys come in and step up," Swoopes said. "We've told them all season to stay ready because you just never know. So it was great seeing him come in and have a big part in the win."
Coming into the game, Foreman had four catches for 23 yards and two carries for 41 yards, including a 30-yard run against Kansas on his first collegiate carry. However, he hadn't gotten an opportunity on a reverse since the Baylor game.
Since Shipley should return for the TCU game and play in the bowl barring another injury, Foreman may not have many more chances on offense for the rest of this season, but Strong likes his speed on kickoff return. Following a return against North Texas in the opener, Foreman didn't have any chances for most of the season after fellow freshman wide receiver Roderick Bernard eventually took over the job, but the Sharpstown product suffered a torn ACL against Kansas State and Foreman has been back returning kicks.
In his five chances since the North Texas game, Foreman has yet to break a long return, but with his speed and moves, it may simply be a matter of getting the right blocking in front of him, an admittedly unlikely scenario given the season-long struggles in that department.
Regardless of whether it can show up in that phase, the talent of Foreman is just waiting to flash.
"The thing about him, once he gets in open, he can make people miss and outrun people," said Strong. "He's still a young receiver and is still learning. He's going to develop into a really good player, but he still has a lot to learn."
The area for growth is in his route running and getting on the same page with Swoopes on any option routes that he might run. Achieving a high proficiency in that area may take some time, but if play caller Shawn Watson can put him in the right situations running straight down the field, taking the ball on reverses, and maybe even catching some screen passes, he has home-run ability every time he touches the football.
In fact, even though he's only touched the ball a handful of times, his electricity and make-you-miss ability was present from the start, giving him a combination that Texas hasn't seen in a receiver besides junior Daje Johnson since Jordan Shipley.
Foreman is unlikely to ever challenge Shipley for overall reliability, but if he can even come close to maximizing his ability, he could have an incredible career on the 40 Acres.