Two Unsung Heroes For Cowboys

They are two unsung heroes on Saturday as both fullback Teddy Johnson and punter/kickoff specialist Kip Smith were outstanding in the 34-10 homecoming loss to West Virginia. The game in its totality was not something to celebrate, but these two young men, along with cornerback Kevin Peterson, who shut down the nation's hottest receiver in Kevin White, were well worth celebrating.

Johnson scored his first career touchdown and it was his first career catch when the fifth-year walk-on who is now on scholarship caught the eight-yard pass from quarterback Daxx Garman and rolled untouched into the end zone.

Johnson really deserved that opportunity as on the previous play, which helped set up how open Johnson was to the right, receiver Brandon Sheperd had gone 51 yards with a reverse. Johnson came across from his fullback position with Sheperd coming from right to left and Johnson made the seal block that gave Sheperd the edge and ability to turn the corner.

Then Johnson, who is not usually as fast as Sheperd, picked up his pace and escorted his teammate downfield making two more blocks to keep Sheperd up and going along the boundary.

"It is every fullbacks dream to be in the game when that play is called," Johnson said of the touchdown catch "It was really an incredible feeling scoring a touchdown, (with) me being a fifth-year senior and all. I was really excited about it."

It's easy to see why Mike Yurcich went right to it on his call sheet. Anybody that had seen his effort on the previous play would want to see Johnson get a chance to finish the drive.

Meanwhile, Kip Smith was in a battle that he and his counterpart with West Virginia may have been the only one aware and intentionally keeping score of.

Smith, another former Oklahoma State walk-on who is now on scholarship, punted five times for a 52.6 yard average, including a big bouncing 71-yard punt in the first half. Nick O'Toole of the Mountaineers was the preseason All-Big 12 punter and he punted seven times for a 41.1 yards average. The net punt on the day was 52.8 yards for the Cowboys and 40.4 yards for West Virginia.

"Going into this I had it in my mind that I wanted to win this duel with him (O'Toole)," Smith explained. "It was one of the games where I really wanted to be better than my counterpart. I want to do it every time. but this one was one I had circled."

Smith's kickoffs went for 59.7 yards on average and Michael Molinari averaged 65.4 yards on seven kickoffs. The net was virtually even with 44.9 yards for West Virginia and 44.3 yards for the Cowboys.



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