Toston Is The Cowboys' Can Opener

STILLWATER - I had a feeling before the game that the Cowboys Keith Toston might be the back to best match up with the Baylor Bears. The Bears are tough up the middle with linebacker Joe Pawelek and free safety Jordan Lake, and also having some decent speed outside to make it tough sledding for the slippery Kendall Hunter.

The first series on offense we didn't really get to see with two passes and a Zac Robinson run. Second series and Hunter has a fumble. The third series Hunter got it going with some decent carries, but then in came Keith Toston and two power carries including a four-yard touchdown through Baylor tacklers.

The next series Toston opened and had runs of six and nine yards leading to a touchdown pass from Robinson to Dez Bryant. Toston proved to be "kind of" the can opener for the Cowboy offense.

"Yeah, because I am more sort of a power running back and they like to stack the box in and that means breaking a couple of more tackles," said the Cowboy junior back. "I understand why you could say that."

"He did, and he is a nice change up for us," echoed head coach Mike Gundy on the can opener idea. "He is mature and has had a lot of reps now and he gives us a different running style. It is really good to have those guys and then you can mix in the throwing game and it is nice to have Brandon Pettigrew back."

Yes, and speaking of Pettigrew, he is the running backs best friend and on his first play in over a month he contributed not to his passing stats but to the running game by driving a Baylor defensive end seven yards down field.

"Yes I did, and it felt good," said Pettigrew. "I didn't forget how to block. It (ankle) is feeling pretty good and it didn't bother me as much as I thought it might."

Back to Toston, he did bother the Bears with two touchdowns and 56 yards on 12 carries. He got the job done and averaged a team best 4.7 yards a carry rushing.

"Just really trying to make a play and they gave me the ball a couple of times in a row and gave me a chance to get rolling," said Toston. "I just tried to do what they brought me in to the game for."

Part of that was to either ignore or deal with the big hits that the Baylor defense was delivering early. Baylor free safety Jordan Lake was doing his usual head hunting. Toston kind of does some of that on his own as a runner.

"I could say I am a physical runner and I actually saw number 21 (Jordan Lake) make a couple of plays early, one on Spud (Kendall Hunter) and one on Dez (Bryant). I just ran like I normally do and take the blows as they came."

Just like all the Cowboys Toston is excited about the possibilities, but is keeping as grounded as his contributions to the offense.

"7-0 is big, now we need to go 8-0 so it's one more week," added the Angleton, Texas product.

It's on to Texas and while carrying all of the usual offensive weapons like Zac Robinson, Dez Bryant, Kendall Hunter, and the recently returned tight end Brandon Pettigrew along with that offensive line they need to make sure they carry along the can opener in Keith Toston.

GoPokes Top Stories