Cowboys Whip Bearkats

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State Cowboys and Zac Robinson got just what they needed Saturday night on the Cowboy quarterback's 21st birthday – a cupcake. Robinson threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns as Oklahoma State rolled to an easy 39-3 victory over Sam Houston State before a season-best crowd of 41,139 at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Oklahoma State, now 3-2 on the season, enjoyed the win over the Bearkats, a Bowl Championship Subdivision team (formerly Division I-AA) which was clearly overmatched, after spending the first month of the season playing the likes of No. 15 Georgia (4-1), at Troy (2-2), and Texas Tech (4-1).

The Cowboys, tied atop the Big 12 Conference's South Division standings with Texas A&M, will find out the next two weeks if they can be considered serious contenders for the division title. They travel to A&M next Saturday (Oct. 6) to face the Aggies, and then go to Nebraska on Oct. 13.

If the OSU offense can continue to put up the type of numbers they have the past two weeks – 586 yards of total offense against Sam Houston State a week after rolling up 610 yards against Texas Tech – then the Cowboys will have to be taken seriously.

"Offensively, I wasn't that fired up about the way we played," Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy said. "We had too many penalties. We overcame the penalties in the first two drives, in long yardage situations, but if you throw the ball to the other team, and put the ball on the ground ....

"As we move forward in league play, the competition is going to get greater and the margin of error smaller. We'll have to play much better than that," Gundy continued. "I'm not sure the offense didn't listen to how good everybody told them they were last week, because I wasn't real excited about the way they played. But overall it's a good win for us. A win's a win. We win by 36 points and I kinda felt like we won by 14. It just didn't seem we played that well overall."

OSU scored on three of its five possessions in the first half, and then scored 22 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a commanding lead. Perrish Cox's 49-yard punt return for a touchdown, Julius Crosslin's 2-yard scoring run and Kendall Hunter's 9-yard TD scamper led to the Cowboys outscoring the Bearkats 22-0 in the third quarter.

Robinson, making his third start since taking over for Bobby Reid, threw for a career-high 279 yards on 19-of-28 passing with two interceptions. He had a 29-yard touchdown pass to Adarius Bowman and an 18-yard screen pass that Dantrell Savage turned into a touchdown – both in the first quarter.

Bowman finished with eight catches for 141 yards, including three receptions of 25 yards or longer. Savage, who spent the first month of the season nursing an injury but returned to the lineup last week against the Red Raiders, rushed for more than 100 yards for the second consecutive game. He finished with 115 yards on 15 carries, and also caught the 18-yard screen pass for a touchdown.

The OSU defense also did the job. Bearkat quarterback Rhett Bomar, the former Oklahoma signal caller, accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense (270 passing yards on 22-of-49 passing and 33 rushing yards on 13 carries), but the Sam Houston State offense never got into the end zone. Sam Houston State's only points came on a Taylor Wilkins 29-yard field goal in the first quarter to pull the Bearkats within 7-3.

"Defensively we gave up quite a few yards but did a nice job in the red zone," Gundy said. "We had some concerns about Bomar during the week, and he played pretty good at times."

The Cowboy offense rolled up 310 yards of total offense in the first half, and the only reason they didn't score on every possession was because of their own mistakes. Robinson led OSU to points on three of its five first-half possessions, and the only time the Cowboys didn't score was because of a missed field goal and a fumble.

Robinson was 6-of-7 passing for 66 yards in leading OSU 67 yards in 10 plays on the Cowboys' first possession of the game. His 29-yard touchdown pass to Adarius Bowman put the Cowboys up 7-0 less than five minutes following the opening kickoff.

It took the Cowboys just five plays to go 64 yards the next time they touched the ball, following a Sam Houston State field goal which made it 7-3. Robinson was 4-of-5 passing on the drive, including an 18-yard screen pass to Dantrell Savage for the touchdown which made it 14-3.

The Cowboys appeared to be en route to their third TD in as many possessions but a holding penalty derailed the drive. It appeared they would still get some point but Jason Ricks' 48-yard field goal was wide left early in the second quarter.

OSU drove for its own 20-yard line to midfield following a Sam Houston State punt that resulted in a touchback. But freshman running back Kendall Hunter fumbled and Bearkat linebacker Nolan Bucek recovered.

After the Cowboy defense forced another Sam Houston State punt – the third of the first half – the offense marched the length of the field. The 10-play, 75-yard drive appeared to be good for seven points when Robinson's pass to Bowman in the corner of the end zone was caught but the OSU senior receiver came down out of bounds for an incomplete pass. Ricks kicked a 22-yard field goal a few plays later for the 17-3 halftime lead.

The Cowboys will travel to College Station, Texas, on Saturday with the Big 12 Conference's South Division lead on the line. OSU and Texas A&M are the only South Division's only unbeaten teams in Big 12 play following losses by Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor on Saturday.

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