Heartbreak Hotel

STILLWATER – What's it going to take for Oklahoma State to beat Texas? The Cowboys had blown leads over the Longhorns three of the last four years entering Saturday's showdown at Boone Pickens Stadium. But none of those three losses will compare with the heartbreak of losing a 21-point, fourth-quarter lead only to suffer a 38-35 loss on Ryan Bailey's 40-yard field goal as time expired.

The Cowboys, now 5-4 overall and 3-2 in Big 12 Conference play, must now win two of their final three games to secure a postseason bowl bid.

Texas scored 24 unanswered points and rolled up 306 total yards of offense in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns touched the ball four times in the final 15 minutes and scored all four times – on drives of 59, 99, 91 and 57 yards – as the Cowboy defense could not make the plays when it mattered most.

"You have to eliminate plays in the fourth quarter, and obviously we knew that and we were trying to stop them but they made the plays. So we have to come up with a way to get them stopped in those situations," OSU head coach Mike Gundy said. "The defense has to play better in the fourth quarter and not give up big plays but offensively we had chances to score, and we didn't make the big play in the end. They made the big plays in the fourth quarter and we didn't."

Oklahoma State took a 35-14 lead when it drove 94 yards on its first possession of the second half. Cowboy quarterback Zac Robinson, who set single game school records for most passing yards (430) and total offense (486), found a wide open Adarius Bowman for a 28-yard scoring play with 8:40 left in the third quarter.

OSU would have five more possessions in the game but would not score again. The Cowboys could have broken a 35-35 tie with less than 1:20 to play but Jason Ricks' 32-yard field goal attempt was wide right. The Longhorns then drove from their own 20 to the Cowboy 23 for the game-winning field goal on the game's final play.

"Our team is very upset, which they should be, and our staff is," Gundy said. "But there are two things that our football will do in times of adversity. One is we'll stay close. Any time you are in an adverse situation (as) a group of people, a team or any organization you have to become closer as a team, and we'll do that. And, (two) we'll find something that will benefit us down the road. As I said, these are very, very difficult situations because we put ourselves in a situation to win and we couldn't finish.

"The saving grace for us as a staff and a team is we get to go to work in the morning and get back at it and get ready to play a football team (Kansas) that's probably going to be ranked in the top five in the country."

Gundy compared the Cowboys' loss to what the Colorado Rockies experienced earlier in the week.

"It's like getting to the World Series and getting swept in four games. It rips your heart out but at least you got to the World Series," Gundy said. "As we progress as a program and as a football team, and we start to play for more, you can be in situations that are tough and difficult to take. But that's kinda the way life is.

"I like being in situations where there's something on the line – as a coach and as a player. Is it tough? You bet it's tough. But I like it better than losing 48-10. I like being in situations where I have a chance to win. Don't get me wrong, there's nobody whose heart has been ripped out more than myself. But there's only one way that I know to handle this and that's to keep our team close together and go back to work tomorrow morning."

GoPokes Top Stories