Falling apart

Oklahoma State may want to up their gatorade intake. The Cowboys crumbled against Texas after leading 16-7. The Longhorns managed 48 unanswered points, leaving OSU without a leg to stand on.

Jumping on top of teams early is what Oklahoma State does best. It's finishing that the Cowboys seem to forget.


Coming into Saturday's 55-16 massacre at the hands of Texas, OSU had outscored opponents in the first half 204-68, crumbling in the fourth quarter to the blood-curdling desparation scream of 79-48.


It cost them dearly once again.


After scoring on four of its first six drives, OSU let the 16-7 lead go, along with its pride.


"We played well until a point," OSU coach Les Miles said. "the defense came out and did good things to start."


The Cowboys just lacked a finish.


Starting with a 67-yard pass from quarterback Vince Young to Biletnikoff Award candidate Roy Williams late in the second quarter, Texas scored 48 unanswered points.


The Longhorns trailed only 16-14 at the half to the Cowboys thanks to that pass.
Then Texas drove 80 yards and 79 yards on their first two possessions of the second half, scoring touchdowns on each to take a 27-16 lead.


Cedric Benson and Young came alive for 182 combined rushing yards in the last 30 minutes. Benson bruised the OSU defense for 182 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

 
Meanwhile Young netted 97 rushing yards and went nine for 13 for 195 yards and a score.


"To me, Young is just so athletic and dangerous and can move and can move and can duck and dodge," Miles said. "He was just as we had suspected."


Further exploiting an already damaged OSU defensive psyche, running back Will Matthews carried only four times, but had three touchdowns.

And if the meltdown on defense for OSU wasn't enough, the breakdown in protection for quarterback Josh Fields iced the rout.


Fields threw two interceptions, both ended in touchdowns. UT cornerback Nathan Vasher jumped a route in the first quarter and ran it back to the OSU 19, setting up Matthews first touchdown.


But the one that really hurt was when safety Michael Huff jumped a similar route on the same side of the field and took it in for the score that snapped the Cowboys' spirit and chances like a thin, frail twig. The lead moved to 18.

 
The Cowboys had no chance after that.


"When you throw a pick for a touchdown, you start pressing to make plays instead of working the ball down the field in a gradual and methodical way," Miles said. "When you get behind a team that is as talented as they are ... it becomes a very tough position to be in."


The Cowboys added injury to their insult, much in the manner they did against Oklahoma.


Against the Sooners, OSU lost linebackers Pagitte McGee and Victor DeGrate and cornerback Darrent Williams for much of the second half.


This week, OSU had defensive end Antonio Smith, running backs Tatum Bell and Seymore Shaw and offensive lineman Corey Hilliard sidelined for the remainder.


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