Stewart Shines In Lubbock

There were several Cowboys who stood out in Oklahoma State's historic 66-6 thrashing of Texas Tech on Saturday but one might have come as a bit of a surprise in the form of true freshman wide receiver Josh Stewart.

Denton (Guyer), Texas, product had three of the Cowboys' nine touchdowns in the romp. They marked the first three scores of his young Cowboy career.

"Josh played well. He's had a couple close ones where he's almost gotten in the end zone and he's such a competitive little guy that he wanted to find the end zone," said quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was responsible for two of the scores. "He got three and I went up to him after the game and told him how happy I was for him."

His first came on a wheel route where the boundary corner focused on an inside slant by Justin Blackmon with no safety help over the top. Stewart ran uncontested up the right side and snagged a Weeden pass for a 27-yard score.

Stewart waited a little more than nine games to reach the end zone but no such streak was to follow.

Just a little more than three minutes of game time later, Stewart pounced on the still baffling double-muffed kick return by Tech in the end zone to extend the Cowboy lead to 35-0.

But he still wasn't quite done.

With 3:53 remaining in the third quarter, Stewart hauled in the final touchdown of the day on the longest play of the day, snaring another Weeden dart in stride for a 66-yard score.

Stewart had two receptions for 93 yards (a 46.5 average) and two scores, not to mention stellar play on special teams, where he earned his third score with the fumble recovery on his way to positive reviews from his head coach.

"Josh made some plays and did a nice job in the kicking game for us," coach Mike Gundy said. "He recovered a fumble for a touchdown and was running down the field with great effort and was making plays out there. He made a few catches and did a nice job with the ball after he caught it. He continues to progress; he's a nice prospect. We liked him early in camp and fortunately we were right in our evaluation. He has a chance to be a really nice player."

Obviously, media cannot speak with first-year players in the football program but his teammates certainly had plenty to say.

"He had a big breakout game," fellow receiver Isaiah Anderson said. "To have one on a kickoff, that's the first time I've ever seen someone on a kickoff score like that. He's getting his feel for the offense and he's getting comfortable. It's good to see because he's going to be an asset for us next season."

"He was messing with me (a few weeks ago) asking if he could borrow one of my touchdowns and I'd trade him for yards but he's kinda passed or is right up there with me now so it's been fun messing around with him a little bit."

For the season, Stewart has 17 receptions for 281 yards and Saturday's two receiving scores before adding on the fumble recovery.

He also has nine kick returns for 176 yards. His number of returns and average yards trail only Justin Gilbert, who is among the national leaders in both categories, showing positive signs of the bright future the little 5-foot-10, 170-pound burner.

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken echoed Gundy's remarks about Stewart coming along well after a standout fall camp and said getting reps when Josh Cooper was injured has quickened his growth.

"With (Josh) Cooper being hurt, Josh (Stewart) got more reps and Josh has been maturing. I think it takes time. Josh prefers to have fun … he needed more reps," Monken said. "Nobody gets better without practicing but Coop had the majority of the reps. He's always had it in him and you can rewind film of me talking and Mike talking and we'd be saying the same things about him."

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