Oklahoma State's comeback Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame 'biggest' in school history, Mike Gundy says

The Cowboys got big lift from Spencer Sanders and Tay Martin in the second half

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Oklahoma State outscored Notre Dame 23-7 in the second half of the Fiesta Bowl Saturday to complete a comeback and cap the 2021 season with a 37-35 win. 

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy called the win the biggest in program history.

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Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy hoists the Fiesta Bowl Champions Trophy after the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma State won 37-35.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy hoists the Fiesta Bowl Champions Trophy after the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma State won 37-35. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

"This is clearly the biggest win in the history of the school. You're in a New Year's Day bowl. You're playing Notre Dame. Biggest comeback in the school history. ... The biggest win in the history of the school," Gundy said, via ESPN.

The Cowboys were down as many as 21 points in the game. It’s the second time the Cowboys have finished a season with 12 wins. The Cowboys ranked as high as No. 5 in the AP polls during the season and are poised to finish near the top once final rankings are released.

Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) points upward during the final seconds of the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma State won 37-35.

Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) points upward during the final seconds of the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma State won 37-35. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders amassed 496 total yards and four touchdowns, including three TD passes to Tay Martin.

"Us going down and scoring quickly just before the half, that gave us hope," Gundy added. "That gave us a chance as coaches to say, ‘Guys, we’re fine.’"

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Sanders finished with 371 passing yards and 125 rushing yards. He’s the second player in FBS history with 350 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and four passing touchdowns in a bowl game, joining Clemson’s Tajh Boyd from the 2014 Orange Bowl.

Martin and Brennan Presley had 10 catches each. Martin finished with 104 yards, Presley with 137.

Notre Dame’s Jack Coan was 38-for-68 for 509 passing yards, five touchdowns and an interception. His passing yardage set a Fiesta Bowl record.

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws as Oklahoma State defensive end Brock Martin (9) pursues during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz.

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws as Oklahoma State defensive end Brock Martin (9) pursues during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

"In the first half, we scored 28 points, we're moving the ball, we're protecting the quarterback, and obviously things didn't go that way in the second half," Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman said. "We have to go back a see what the defense did schematically to give us some issues and try to find a way to make sure that never happens again."

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Freeman was making his head coaching debut after former Irish coach Brian Kelly left for LSU.

Oklahoma State wraps its season 12-2 while Notre Dame finishes 11-2.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.