By Matt Palmer
GP Staff Writer
Most Big 12 schools are aware of
However, OSU's defense and special
teams made big strides to catch up in Saturday's 38-34 win over
"If you look at offense, defense, special teams, all phases played awfully well against a well-coached team," said OSU coach Les Miles. "Coach (Bill) Snyder's a tremendous football coach. We honored their football program with our very best effort."
The Cowboy offense set the tone on its first drive, charging 80 yards for the touchdown.
The special teams and defense followed suit.
OSU's defensive linemen, for thae most part, forced Ell Roberson to stay in the pocket and run the ball up the middle. Roberson ended the game with 61 yards rushing, averaging 2.9 yards per carry.
our best to just corral him, and just keep him in the pocket,"
That philosophy worked for three quarters, frustrating Roberson for 174 yards and three interceptions.
Cornerback Darrent Williams caught two of those picks and returned one of them for a touchdown to give the Cowboys a 14-7 lead.
"I think the fullback was on the sidelines, and he was like broke down," Williams said of the 63-yard return. "So I gave him a move to the inside and he took it, and I just kept goin down the sidelines. Then I saw the whole team goin to the sidelines, so I knew there wasn't as many players on the other side of the field."
Williams' interception returned for a touchdown puts his career total to four, which puts him alone in first place in the Big 12.
The other interceptor for OSU was Robert Jones.
On the Wildcats' first drive of the second half, Roberson lobbed a deep pass to the OSU 26 that Jones was more than happy to snatch out of the air.
The special teams had the gamebreaker, though. With the game tied at 21, OSU lined up for what looked like a run-of-the-mill Luke Phillips field goal.
But coach Les Miles had some trickery up his sleeve. Holder Sky Rylant flipped the snap to Phillips and he scampered for an 11-yard run and the first down.
"I've never ran the ball officially in a game before, not even in high school," Phillips said.
That play opened up for two touchdowns by the Cowboys that all but put the game away, 35-21.
Phillips added a 50-yard field goal for a little more breathing room, 38-21.
The special teams also totaled 102 return yards, including two 30-plus kick returns by Jones.
But, as all good players do, Roberson managed to find his niche in the passing game for 158 and two scores in the fourth quarter.
OSU's pass defense broke down slightly, giving up two touchdown drives of 72 and 74.
"We gave up so many points, but we'll be
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