Cowboys Take Care Of Business

STILLWATER – So much for the Sports Illustrated jinx. Oklahoma State took the field Saturday night for the first time since Sports Illustrated began its five-part series "The Dirty Game," which alleged improprieties in the football program from 2001 to 2011. But the Cowboys focused on the task at hand in defeating Lamar 59-3 before the largest crowd to ever see a game at Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Cowboys didn't let the series, which alleged wrongdoing ranging from paying players, academic fraud, illegal drug use by former players and the use of sex to entice recruits to OSU, affect their preparation throughout the week.

At least it sure didn't seem to distract them from the performance on the field Saturday night in front of a record-setting crowd of 59,061, surpassing the previous stadium record of 58,895 (vs. Kansas State in 2011). The 56-point margin of victory was the second largest in Mike Gundy's 105 games as head coach of the Cowboys.

"I thought our guys played OK. We were a little sluggish, and maybe even sloppy at times," said head coach Mike Gundy. "Offensively, we were pretty average. The defense got going after the first drive (by Lamar).

"It was tough for our players and getting them motivated at halftime. They did OK. I was proud of them. It was a good win for us," he said.

Oklahoma State scored on five of seven first-half possessions to take a commanding 31-3 halftime lead. Senior running back Jeremy Smith's three short touchdown runs, Desmond Roland 2-yard scoring run and freshman Ben Grogan's first collegiate field led to the halftime advantage.

The Cowboys scored the first three times they touched the ball in the second half, including Josh Stewart's 67-yard punt return.

By the time the fourth quarter began the crowd of more than 59,000 that came to show their support following a trying week for everyone associated with Oklahoma State had dwindled to about half of that number, and the second- and third-teamers finished the game.

The Cowboys went about their business in workman-like fashion, taking control of the game early and never giving the Cardinals an opportunity to think they had a chance.

Lamar took the opening kickoff but was forced to punt after just seven plays. J.W. Walsh and the offense wasted little time in going 57 yards in 10 plays to take the lead on Roland's 2-yard touchdown run.

The Cowboys marched 64 yards on nine plays the next time they touched the ball with Jeremy Smith capping the drive with a 4-yard scoring run. Then the third time Walsh and the offense took the field they went 69 yards in 11 plays to score again, with Smith scoring on a 1-yard run.

OSU led 21-0 by the end of the first quarter and there was no doubt what would transpire over the course of the next three periods.

Grogan's first career field goal and Smith's third touchdown of the first half – another 1-yard run in the second quarter – increased the lead to 31-0 before Lamar got on the scoreboard with Justin Stout's 44-yard field goal just before halftime.

The Cowboys have a week off before opening Big 12 play on Sept. 28 against West Virginia.

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