Cowboys Come Close

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State Cowboys may not win the Big 12 South Division but they certainly proved they are one of the conference's best teams with their performance Saturday. The 20th-ranked Cowboys rallied from a 14-point deficit – not once but twice – against the No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Sooners and came within a 49-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining of sending the game into overtime.

Oklahoma, 8-0, secured a 38-35 victory when Jason Ricks' 49-yard field goal was wide left before a sold-out crowd of 48,837 at Boone Pickens Stadium.

"We felt good there," Miles said of sending Ricks out for the 49-yard field goal. "He has a strong leg. He can hit it from that distance.

"He came in this stadium and lined up to kick a long field. He didn't hit it today. He will hit it tomorrow."

The Cowboys, 6-2, almost didn't need the field goal attempt to tie the game. They came within inches of taking the lead in the final two minutes when quarterback Donovan Woods threw deep to Prentiss Elliott, who had beaten Sooner free safety Brodney Pool on a post route. But the ball just went off Elliott's fingertips at the 5-yard line.

On the next play Vernand Morency made a diving catch of a pass from Woods for 17 yards to the Sooners' 38. After an incompletion, Woods kept on back-to-back plays to the 32-yard line. Without a timeout remaining, the Cowboys rushed their field goal unit onto the field for a chance to tie the game.

The Sooners called back-to-back timeouts with 15 seconds remaining, and Ricks appeared to hit the ball good on his field goal attempt but it was wide left.

"I'm am awfully proud of my football team," Miles said. "I will take my football team and play anyone in this country.

"I like the fight in this ball club. I like the resolve. We are going to get better. We are going to keep coming. This is a setback. This is not what we wanted. This is not what we planned today. We look forward to the future. We expect it to be very bright."

Morency, who had 93 yards on 17 attempts, scored on a 4-yard option pitch from Donovan Woods with 10:34 remaining to pull within 38-35. The Cowboys' offense got the ball two more times in the final nine minutes but could not score again.

The Cowboys fell behind early and battled from behind. OU quarterback Jason White threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradley – the first of three times that pair would hook up on scoring pass and catches – late in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

Woods tied it up with his 3-yard scoring run on a bootleg with 7:57 left in the first half. On the Sooners' next possession, the OSU defense forced a three-and-out series. Facing fourth down from the Sooner 23, OU punter Blake Ferguson fumbled the snap and was hit by OSU's Grant Jones while trying to pick it up. The ball bounced into the end zone where Jones recovered it for a touchdown, giving the Cowboys a 14-7 lead.

The Sooners then tied the game 14-14 when White threw over the middle on a short crossing route to Bradley, who tipped the ball into the air several times before gaining possession, and racing 72 yards down the sideline for the touchdown.

White and Bradley teamed up again – this time for a 23-yard touchdown – with just 46 seconds left in the first half to give the Sooners a 21-14 halftime lead.

The Sooners and Cowboys exchanged punts to start the second half, but OU's Mark Clayton – subbing for the injured Antonio Perkins – caught the ball at midfield and raced 50 yards for a touchdown.

The Cowboys, however, did not quit. They drove 80 yards in just four plays – Woods hit his brother D'Juan Woods for 46 yards on the first play of the drive and then found Elliott on the 39-yard TD pass – to pull within 28-21.

But it didn't stay that way long as Sooner freshman tailback Adrian Peterson (who would finish with a career high 249 rushing yards on 33 carries) went 80 yards off tackle to go back up by 14 points with 8:33 still to play in the third quarter.

Donovan Woods and Co. weren't finished, though. Woods and the Cowboys took the ensuing kickoff and drove 87 yards in 10 plays to pull within 35-28. The big plays on the drive included Woods connecting with Elliott for 10 yards, a 15-yard pass interference call on the Sooners, Morency's 16-yard run and Woods-to-Woods for 32 yards to get the Cowboys a first down on the Sooners' 3-yard line. Two plays later Morency scored from 2 yards out to make it 35-28 with 2:53 still left in the third quarter.

The Sooners increased the lead to 38-28 on Trey DiCarlo's 27-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys drove 80 yards in seven plays, capped by Morency's second touchdown run of the day, to pull within 38-35 with 10:34 remaining.

After seeing 38 points – 21 by the Cowboys and 17 by the Sooners -- scored in the first 20 minutes of the second half it didn't seem possible that the last 10 and a half minutes would be scoreless. But that's the way it ended.

Donovan Woods was 8 of 20 passing for a career high 207 yards and has now thrown for a touchdown in seven consecutive games. Four of those completions were to D'Juan Woods, who set a career high with 128 receiving yards.

Morency (93 yards) failed to rush for 100 yards for the first time this season and for the first time in the last 10 regular season games (dating back to 2003).

The Cowboys return to action next Saturday when they travel to Texas to face the Longhorns. Kickoff will be 6 p.m. in Austin.

Oklahoma………… 7 14 14 3 -- 38
Oklahoma State……0 14 14 7 -- 35

OU----Mark Bradley 4 pass from Jason White (Trey DiCarlo kick)
OSU—Donovan Woods 3 run (Jason Ricks kick)
OSU---Grant Jones fumble recovery in end zone (Ricks kick)
OU----Bradley 72 pass from White (DiCarlo kick)
OU----Bradley 23 pass from White (DiCarlo kick)
OU----Mark Clayton 50 punt return (DiCarlo kick)
OSU—Prentiss Elliott 39 pass from Donovan Woods (Ricks kick)
OU----Adrian Peterson 80 run (DiCarlo kick)
OSU—Vernand Morency 2 run (Ricks kick)
OU----DiCarlo 27 field goal
OSU—Morency 4 run (Ricks kick)

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