Comeback Cowboys

Donovan Woods won the battle of the multi-dimensional quarterbacks Saturday. It may be Brad Smith of Missouri who was selected as the All-Big 12 quarterback in the preseason, but it was the Oklahoma State redshirt freshman quarterback who stole the show on Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

Woods led the Cowboys as they rallied from a 17-0 deficit to capture a 20-17 victory over the Tigers in front of a sold-out homecoming crowd of 66,133 at Faurot Field.

Freshman kicker Jason Ricks' 28-yard field goal with 55 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner for the 21st-ranked Cowboys, who swept all three of their North Division opponents (Colorado, Iowa State and Missouri) for the first time since the Big 12 was formed in 1996.

The 17-point comeback was the largest for an Oklahoma State football team in 25 years – since OSU rallied from a 20-0 deficit for a 21-20 victory over Colorado in 1979 with Jimmy Johnson as the Cowboys head coach.

Oklahoma State (6-1) now begins preparing for next Saturday's showdown with No. 2-ranked Oklahoma (7-0) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Woods, who accounted for 181 yards of total offense and two touchdowns (one passing and one running), directed the Cowboys on an impressive 15-play, 78-yard drive in the final seven minutes for the victory. OSU took over on its own 11-yard line with 7:05 remaining but moved down the field behind the running of Vernand Morency and Seymore Shaw to set up the winning field goal by Ricks.

On the game winning drive, Woods completed a pass to his brother D'Juan Woods for 27 yards on a crucial 3rd-and-four play from the Cowboys 42. Shaw gained 18 yards on the next play to put the ball on the Missouri 13. Three Missouri timeouts later, and after a holding play which nullified what would have been a Morency 11-yard touchdown run, Ricks was called upon and he didn't disappoint – drilling the kick between the goal posts.

But it wasn't over until Smith's "Hail Mary" pass from the 50-yard line on the game's final play fell incomplete.

The Cowboys dominated the second half – outgaining the Tigers 276-87 during the final 30 minutes of play. That was a total reversal from the first half when Missouri was in complete control. During the first 29 minutes, the Tigers ran 49 plays (scoring 17 unanswered points) while the Cowboys only ran 17 plays (and had been limited to just one first down).

But instead of going in at halftime down 17-0 the Cowboys struck in the final 54 seconds to score a touchdown that changed the entire complexion of the game.

Woods capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive by throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to D'Juan with just four seconds left in the half. The Woods brothers had connected on a 27-yard gain on the previous play to set up the touchdown pass.

"There's a big difference between going in (to the lockerroom) scoreless and getting some points on the board," said D'Juan Woods, who had three catches for 67 yards. "It gave us a whole lot more confidence."

Oklahoma State cut the lead to 17-10 midway through the third quarter on a 27-yard field goal from Ricks. The Cowboys appeared to be on their way to a game-tying touchdown on their next drive, which began at their own 11 following Prentiss Elliott's fair catch of a Missouri punt.

Woods directed the drive, connecting with tight end Billy Bajema for 19 yards and carrying for a 35-yard gain down to the Tiger 25. Two plays later it appeared the Cowboys would tie it up when Donovan threw a perfect pass to a wide-open D'Juan Woods in the end zone. But D'Juan Woods, looking back into the sun, dropped the pass. A couple plays later Ricks' 42-yard field goal was blocked, and it appeared the Tigers had regained the momentum.

But the OSU defense answered the call, forcing Smith into a pair of incompletions and the Tigers into a three-and-out series. Donovan Woods tied the game 17-17 just five plays after the Cowboys took over after the Missouri punt. Woods, behind a big block by tight end Charlie Johnson on a counter play, went untouched 34 yards for the game-tying touchdown with 11:36 left in the fourth quarter.

Missouri got a couple first down on its next drive but the Cowboy defense forced the Tigers to punt with just more than seven minutes to play. Missouri didn't get the ball back again until only 47 seconds remained, as Donovan Woods directed the Cowboys 78 yards to the game-winning field goal by Ricks.

Morency carried eight times for 45 yards on the final drive. The OSU tailback finished with 173 yards on 31 carries.

Donovan Woods, who was intercepted and lost a fumble on the Cowboys' first nine offensive plays, was 7 of 14 passing for 110 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 71 yards on 10 carries.

In comparison, MU's Brad Smith was 18 of 29 passing for 97 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 57 yards on 17 attempts.

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