Cowboys comeback and take 26-24 victory over UCLA

Each year we normally do a prediction story on the season and it appears in the Football Preview issue of the O-State Sports Report. In the past we've asked various members of our staff to look into their crystal ball and come up with predictions. Sometimes, we've taken a compulation of predictions from the staff. We've also asked outside media members to predict the games. This year we went for something completely different.

Zach Allen, son of Executive Editor Robert Allen, played each of the Cowboys' games on NCAA Football 2004 on a Play Station.

To gain the best accuracy possible, Zach went in and loaded the lineups with the players that are listed on the depth chart for the upcoming season for both the Cowboys and the opposition. Games with freshman Robert Reid starting at quarterback were replayed following news of his shoulder surgery. The names and abilities of the players are as accurate as possible. Zach played for Oklahoma State with the computer on All-American level calling plays and handling the control of the opposition. Here are the results.

Oh, and for Cowboy coaches and players who have any complaints, send those to Zach Allen, not to Robert.

Sept. 4, 2004
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Oklahoma State at UCLA
An unproven and inexperienced Cowboy offense rolled into Pasadena with fans waiting in anticipation as to how it would fare without Josh Fields, Tatum Belll and Rashaun Woods. The Pokes started shaky as redshirt freshman quarterback Donovan Woods and the cast of other young players struggled, until a brilliant fourth-quarter comeback.

The Cowboys had their backs to the wall most of the ball game as they found themselves down 24-13 with under three minutes to go. Woods finally showed off his arm as Kenny Williams broke through the UCLA secondary for a 65-yard catch and scamper to bring the Cowboys within 24-20. The ensuing onside kick was executed to perfection as Tommy Devereaux came down with the ball to give the Cowboy faithful a ray of hope. With the game in the balance, the Woods brothers teamed up for the winning touchdown on a fourth down play to give Oklahoma State the 26-24 victory on the road.

The OSU defense shook off most of the first game jitters early as Darrent Williams picked off an early Drew Olson pass and took it 45 yards for a touchdown, and Luke Roberts' first ever collegiate extra point gave the Cowboys a 7-0 lead. The Bruins came right back with a five-play, 82-yard drive highlighted by a 72-yard pass and catch by Olson to Jacques Lazarus to even to score. A UCLA field goal and some empty drives by the Cowboy offense made it time to turn to the running game and pre-season All-Big 12 tailback Vernand Morency. His number was called eight times in a row as he set up a 37-yard field goal by Roberts sent the Pokes to the dressing room knotted up at 10-10.

The offense needed something positive to go its way on the first drive of the second half. It did not happen, Woods was sacked on a fourth-and-two play and gave the Bruins the momentum out of the locker room. UCLA running back Ebell went over the century mark as he ran the ball 42 yards for a score and gave the Bruins the lead.

The Bruins headed in to the fourth quarter with all the momentum, but the Pokes were not out of it yet as Woods finally got his arm going hitting Williams and D'Juan Woods to set up yet another field goal by Roberts. On the next drive the Cowboys' defense clamped down as Victor DeGrate picked off an Olson heave. But once again any momentum OSU gained was quickly shattered as Spencer Havner intercepted a Woods pass and sent a tired Cowboy defense back on the field. Drew Olson made the Cowboys pay again as a jump ball was thrown when Pagitte McGee plowed into Olson and junior wide receiver Craig Bragg came down with the ball and a 24-13 lead, for what looked like the final dagger in the heart.

With the fourth quarter heroics the Cowboys gained some much needed confidence. As the Cowboys head back to Boone Pickens Stadium for the home opener they know their goal of going through the nonconference season unbeaten is still intact.

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