Cowboy Rally Falls Short

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State coaching staff is hoping that Bobby Reid will some day play a game like Missouri quarterback Brad Smith did Saturday when he almost single-handedly led the Tigers to a 38-31 victory over Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Oklahoma State offense, which had scored just 58 points in the first four games, came to life against the Big 12 Conference's worst defense, and rallied from a 31-9 third quarter deficit but it wasn't enough Saturday against the Tigers. That's because the Cowboy defense had trouble slowing down Smith, the NCAA's active career leader in total offense. Smith rushed for 184 yards on 18 carries and completed 21 of 27 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown.

OSU head coach Mike Gundy is hoping that's what Reid, the redshirt freshman who was making just his third career start, will do one day for the Cowboys. But OSU had to make part of its comeback without the services of Reid, who went out early in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Reid limped off the field but was taken to the locker room on a cart. He returned to the Cowboy sideline to watch the final moments with a protective boot on his right ankle. Reid was 11-of-20 passing for 155 yards but finished with minus 26 yards on 12 carries.

"It was a quite a game," Gundy said. "Obviously, I hate the way it turned out. I really felt like at the end of the game we had their defensive line somewhat fatigued and we're moving the ball on them. We were in good shape and making plays and they weren't making plays. When you're down by two scores and had some tough times on offense it's tough to come back, but I was proud of them."

Backup quarterback Al Pena came off the bench with nine minutes remaining and the Cowboys trailing 38-24. But Pena drove the Cowboys 70 yards in nine plays, and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to D'Juan Woods on a fourth-and-4 play to make it a 38-31 game.

Smith and the Tigers took over with 6:31 remaining and drove from their own 20 to the Cowboy 6-yard line. But on fourth-and-1 with just 1:36 left in the game the Tigers Adam Crossett missed wide with a 23-yard field goal that would have clinched the victory.

Pena and the Cowboys had to go 80 yards without any timeouts for the game-tying touchdown. He scrambled out of the pocket and found Michael Hamilton for 12 yards to the 32. He then was forced to run for an 8-yard gain and then threw to Hamilton again for 5 yards to give OSU a first down on its own 45. But the Tigers again brought the pressure and forced Pena to scramble about 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He attempted to throw the ball away but Tiger strong safety David Overstreet intercepted the pass right in front of the Cowboy bench.

"I think Al was just trying to throw it away," Gundy said. "He's a smart guy and he knows he has to get it back to the line of scrimmage, and he just didn't get it far enough out of bounds."

The Cowboys appeared down and out when the Tigers scored twice early in the third quarter to go up 31-9. Smith led Missouri on a 69-yard drive to open the second half which culminated with Crossett's 30-yard field goal. A few minutes later, Marcus Woods returned a Cowboy punt 76 yards to the 10. Jimmy Jackson scored on a 10-yard run on the very next play to give the Tigers what appeared to be an insurmountable 31-9 lead – especially considering the OSU defense had gone six consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown.

But the Cowboys – thanks to a pair of 15-yard penalties against the Tigers – cut the lead to 31-16 on Julius Crosslin's 1-yard touchdown run. Reid and the OSU offense went 61 yards in nine plays the next time they touched the ball to score again – on Crosslin's 2-yard scoring run. Reid's pass to D'Juan Woods on the two-point conversion made it 31-24 with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.

Reid and the Cowboys had a chance to tie the game up early in the fourth quarter after taking over on their own 5-yard line. Reid and D'Juan Woods teamed up for a 44-yard completion. A few plays later, facing a third-and-6 play from midfield, Reid was sacked by Tiger defensive end Brian Smith for a two-yard loss. That play was double jeopardy for the Cowboys as Reid went down with the injury and they were forced to punt it back to the Tigers.

Smith made sure the Tigers didn't come up short this time – leading his team 78 yards in just four plays for what would be the game-winning touchdown. Smith carried for four yards on first down and then had a 59-yard keeper that would have been a touchdown if not for Daniel McLemore pushing him out on the 15. However, it was just two plays later when wide receiver Brad Ekwerekwu scored on a 13-yard reverse.

The Cowboys would have won the game if they would have converted their many scoring opportunities in the first half. But they had to settle for Bruce Redden field goals of 48, 28 and 52 yards and trailed 21-9 at halftime. The Cowboy drives stalled at Missouri's 31-yard line, 11-yard line and 35-yard line.

"We all knew Brad Smith was a good football player and he proved that today," said Gundy of the Tiger quarterback who accounted for 377 of his team's 549 yards of total offense. "But defensively we gave up too many plays between 6 and 10 yards. We have to be able to wrap up and make plays against a good quarterback like that."

The Cowboys, now 3-2, will be on the road the next two weeks after playing four of their first five games this season at Boone Pickens Stadium. OSU travels to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M next Saturday, and then goes on the road Oct. 22 at Iowa State.

Missouri … 7 14 14 7 - 38
Oklahoma State… 6 3 15 7 - 31

OSU – Bruce Redden 48-yard field goal
MU – Marcus Woods 12-yard run (Adam Crossett kick)
OSU – Bruce Redden 28-yard field goal
MU – Marcus Woods 18-yard pass from Brad Smith (Adam Crossett kick)
OSU – Bruce Redden 52-yard field goal
MU – Sean Coffey 30-yard pass from Brad Ekwerekwu (Adam Crossett kick)
MU – Adam Crossett 30-yard field goal
MU – Jimmy Jackson 10-yard run (Adam Crossett kick)
OSU – Julius Crosslin 1-yard run (Bruce Redden kick)
OSU – Julius Crosslin 2-yard run (D'Juan Woods pass from Bobby Reid)br> MU – Brad Ekwerekwu 13-yard run (Adam Crossett kick)
OSU – D'Juan Woods 5-yard pass from Al Pena (Bruce Redden kick)

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