Cowboys Give It Away

The Oklahoma State Cowboys played their worst game of the season Saturday just one week after playing its best game to upset then 13th-ranked Texas Tech. Oklahoma State, hoping to keep its bowl hopes alive, turned the ball over eight times – yes, that's right the Cowboys had eight turnovers – and suffered a 44-34 loss to Baylor at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco.

The Cowboys, now 4-6 with only the Bedlam game remaining, were looking to become the first team in school history to go to a bowl game four years in a row. OSU finishes Mike Gundy's first season as head coach when the Cowboys travel next Saturday to Norman to face Oklahoma, which is 6-4 after a controversial 23-21 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock.

Oklahoma State turned the ball over five times in the first half (three interceptions and two fumbles) and Baylor took advantage of those miscues to score 38 unanswered points to take a 38-0 lead late in the first half.

"It was not a good day for us as a football team," Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy said. "We started the game flat and I'm a little puzzled why. The only concern I had about playing this game today was if we could get started on the road, and for whatever reason we didn't. I have to take part of the responsibility for this because we shouldn't start as flat as we did today."

The Cowboy defense was put in some difficult situations in the first half as the Bears took the commanding lead. Baylor's first half scoring drives covered 17 yards (TD), 38 yards (TD), 63 yards (TD), 2 yards (TD), no yards (an interception return for a TD), and 79 yards (field goal).

The good news – if there is any – is the Cowboys did not lay down after falling behind 38-0. As a matter of fact, Cowboy quarterback Al Pena's 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew with 21 seconds remaining in the game pulled OSU within 44-34. The Cowboys' two-point conversion attempt which would have made it a one possession game failed when Pena was tackled short of the goal line. The Cowboys, who had just recovered an onside kick seconds earlier to set up the Pena-to-Pettigrew touchdown pass, would have attempted another onside kick with hopes of recovering and scoring again to possibly tie the game.

"We just ran out of time," Pena said. "We were moving the ball well the whole second half."

OSU finally got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter when Pena, who replaced starter Bobby Reid midway through the second quarter, threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback John Johnson to pull within 38-7. Then the Cowboys drove for two scores in the third quarter – a 1-yard scoring run by Julius Crosslin and a 42-yard TD reception by D'Juan Woods from Pena – to make it 38-21.

Baylor's only points in the second half came via a pair of short field goals by Ryan Havens in the fourth quarter to make it 44-21.

But the Cowboys would not quit. Pena, who was 24-of-41 passing for 357 yards and four touchdowns and two interceptions, found D'Juan Woods on a 14-yard scoring pass with just one minute remaining. The Cowboys recovered the ensuing onside kick and a few plays later Pena connected with Pettigrew for the final TD.

D'Juan Woods was outstanding in the losing effort. The junior receiver had 10 catches for 186 yards and the two touchdowns.

OSU actually outgained Baylor, 486 yards to 320, and the Cowboys had 29 first downs compared to the Bears 17. But the turnovers were the difference – OSU gave it away eight times while Baylor had just one (a fumble).

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