Cowboys Stun Tigers To Go To 6-0

The last time Oklahoma State – or should I say Oklahoma A&M – began a football season with seven consecutive wins was ... well, let's just say it was a long time ago. Harry S. Truman would succeed Franklin D. Roosevelt as president of the United States, the cost for a first-class stamp was three cents, and Henry Iba's Oklahoma A&M basketball squad won the NCAA basketball championship in 1945.

The Cowboys could become just the second 7-0 team in school history against Baylor following Saturday's night's historic road win over the third-ranked Missouri Tigers.

Oklahoma State, now 6-0 for just the third time in the 107 years that the school has sponsored football, defeated Missouri, 28-23, in a nationally televised showdown between two of the nation's highest-scoring offenses. But the Cowboy defense made the plays when it mattered most, including linebacker Patrick Lavine's interception of a Chase Daniel pass in the final two minutes.

"That's as big a win as we've ever had," said Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy, whose record against Top 25 opponents improves to 4-7 with the upset of the Tigers.

The Cowboys have been 6-0 only three other times -- in 1945 when head coach Jim Lookabaugh's Aggies went 8-0 in the regular season before defeating St. Mary's (Calif.) in the Sugar Bowl to finish 9-0, and under Bob Simmons in 1997 when they won their first six before losing in double overtime to Missouri.

The Cowboy victory was the first over a top-three team since Nov. 30, 2002, when OSU defeated No. 3 Oklahoma, 38-28, in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State's defense came up with big play after big play on the night against the Tigers and Chase Daniel. The senior quarterback had been phenomenal in MU's first five games, leading them to 48 consecutive possessions without a three-and-out while throwing but one interception and being sacked just twice. The Cowboy defense forced the Tigers' first three-and-out of the season in the first quarter, intercepted Daniel three times (by Ricky Price, Andre Sexton and Lavine), and sacked him twice while pressuring him several other times.

"The plan that Tim Beckman and the defensive staff instilled in our players, and the way they carried it out, was as special as anything I've seen in 19 years of coaching," Gundy said. "To come up here in a really good environment and to compete against an offense that has had as much success as they've had, they basically had their backs against the wall before we started ... they just played their hearts out.

"As a coach, you get more satisfaction out of that, seeing your players lay it on the line and do it for the guy next to him than you do anything. And that's why our staff and myself, being a little selfish, are in this business, for games like tonight," Gundy continued.

The Cowboys trailed 10-7 at halftime – scoring its lone first-half points on quarterback Zac Robinson's 6-yard keeper to cap a 14-play, 71-yard drive the first time the offense touched the ball in the game – but took the lead on the second play of the second half.

Running back Kendall Hunter took a pitch from Robinson and raced 68 yards for the go-ahead TD. The Tigers retook the lead late in the third quarter when Daniel drove his Tigers 95 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-14.

But Robinson and the Cowboys answered. The OSU quarterback found Bo Bowling for eight yards, Hunter rushed for three more, and Robinson connected with tight end Jamal Mosley for 12 yards to the Tiger 40. He then found wide receiver Damian Davis all alone behind the Tiger secondary for a 40-yard touchdown pass that gave the Cowboys the lead.

The Robinson-to-Davis combination hooked up again midway through the fourth quarter for a 31-yard TD, which would end up being the winning points.

Daniel had the Tigers on the move into OSU territory when he dropped back to pass and hurried a throw when pressured by linebacker Donald Booker. Cowboy safety Andre Sexton made the interception and returned it 40 yards, and a Tiger personal foul penalty after the play gave OSU an additional 15 yards to the Missouri 29-yard line. Three plays later Robinson hooked up with Davis, who finished with three catches for 76 yards and the first two TD receptions of his college career.

But Missouri didn't quit. Daniel drove the Tigers to a touchdown with 4:27 remaining to make it 28-23 after the two-point conversion pass was intercepted by Ugo Chinasa. The Tigers got the ball back after Matt Fodge's 11-yard punt, and Daniel had driven his team to the Cowboy 37 when he attempted to squeeze a pass in to Jeremy Maclin. Lavine made the diving interception.

"These players are very, very excited," Gundy said. "I'm just really proud of the team and where we're at right now.

"This was a tremendous effort as a team. There were mistakes that were made on special teams and offensively we made some mistakes and had some turnovers, but good football teams find a way to score points and good football teams find a way to win games. This team is learning how to find a way to win. Nobody expected the score to be the way it was tonight.

"It's a really good night for a lot of people, not just the players and the staff. The commitment has been made from the fans and administration, and all the support we've had with the donations. People talk about Mr. Pickens a lot but everybody else has got on board. There's strong support there and we're trying to do something special here with Oklahoma State football that's never been done, and we're looking forward to building our program to a level where we can be competitive each week no matter who we play."

The Cowboys will attempt to go to 7-0 – for the first time since 1945 – when they host Baylor in a Homecoming game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. Baylor, 3-3, defeated Iowa State 38-10 on Saturday to end a 13-game conference losing streak.

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