September 30, 2012

Cowboys come up short in conference opener

STILLWATER — It was a reversal of roles Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium between Texas, smash-mouth offense, and Oklahoma State, finesse passing attack.

It was the Longhorns that took to the air, while the Pokes pounded it out on the ground. In the end, it was Texas that was effective enough to come away with a 41-36 victory to keep OSU from beating the Longhorns in Stillwater for the first time since 1997.

Oklahoma State was in the position to claim victory, but a late drive that resulted in just a field goal left too much time for Texas to put together a game-winning drive that left OSU with just 29 seconds to rally.

"A team's ability to finish games is unique and sometimes you really don't know why," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "But I have no doubt this team will find a way to finish off successfully."

In his first collegiate start, OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh completed 18 of 27 pass attempts for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but with 29 seconds left in the game was unable to deliver a game-winning drive for the Cowboys. Walsh also had 57 yards rushing on eight carries.

Coming in, Texas was second in the Big 12 in rushing with 258.7 yards per game, but the Longhorns were held in check by the Cowboys with 131 rushing yards. Texas didn't break the 100-yard mark until the middle of the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the UT pass attack, which was seventh in the conference with 255.7 yards per game finished with 304 yards.

It appeared the game would be a shootout from the onset. On the second play from scrimmage, OSU running back Joseph Randle ripped off a 69-yard touchdown run, breaking several tackles in the process.

Texas bounced back with a 10-play, 75-yard drive — in which the Longhorns barely converted on three third down plays. The drive was capped with a 44-yard touchdown pass from David Ash to Jordan Shipley.

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