Anyiam Catches On For Cowboys

STILLWATER – Rashaun Woods. Hart Lee Dykes. Adarius Bowman. Dez Bryant. And, Hubert Anyiam. The sophomore from Garland, Texas joined selected company – Oklahoma State receivers with 10 or more pass catches in a game – in helping the 16th-ranked Cowboys to a 33-17 victory over Missouri on Saturday night in front of a national television audience (ESPN2) and 55,752 fans at Boone Pickens Stadium.

The 6-foot, 198-pound Anyiam entered Saturday night's homecoming contest with nine catches during his 17-game career as a Cowboy. But by the time the game ended at 11:46 p.m. – thanks to the 8:15 p.m. kickoff – Anyiam had caught 10 passes for 119 yards, including a game-changing 8-yard touchdown reception just two seconds before halftime to give the Cowboys a 24-17 lead.

Only six players in the history of Oklahoma State football have ever caught more passes in one game – Alex Lloyd (16), Bryant (13), Bowman (13), Woods (13), Hermann Eben (12) and Dykes (11).

Of course, anyone and everyone knows that Anyiam got more opportunities in recent weeks following the suspension of All-American wide receiver Dez Bryant, who watched from the sidelines in street clothes.

Bryant, if he ever gets reinstated by the NCAA, will be Robinson's favorite target as long as he is wearing the No. 1 jersey for the Cowboys. But if Anyiam continues to make catches like he did Saturday night, he could easily change his jersey from No. 84 to No. 1A.

"Hubert's done a nice job for us stepping in for Dez," OSU head coach Mike Gundy said. "Our coaching staff and myself learn a good lesson in the fact that you never know what a young man will do when presented the opportunity.

"When you have players who aren't available to you on a Saturday, whether it's because they're not available or you have somebody injured, it's an oppportunity for another player to step up and make some plays. We've had a number of guys do that the last three or four weeks.

"The question got brought up last week, 'Are you surprised?' I wouldn't say that we're surprised but very pleased with how some of these guys have stepped up and made plays, with Hubert being one of them."

The teams were tied 17-17 when the Cowboys took over on their own 46-yard line with 1:51 left in the first half. Eight plays later they were on the Missouri 8 facing a third-and-7 with just seven seconds on the clock after using their last timeout of the half. Head coach Mike Gundy elected to roll the dice, gambling that the Cowboys would still have enough time for a go-ahead field goal if Robinson's pass fell incomplete.

Anyiam ran a slant route in front of Missouri's Jasper Simmons and Robinson drilled the pass to him around the 2-yard line. He fell into the end zone for the touchdown – although it was reviewed by the replay official – with just two seconds on the clock to put the Cowboys ahead for good at 24-17.

Oklahoma State was able to score just nine points in the second half – all on Dan Bailey field goals – but that was nine more than Missouri as the Cowboy defense forced two of its four turnovers.

Bailey connected on second-half field goals of 26, 51 and 36 yards, after drilling a 39-yarder in the first half.

The Cowboys scored on their first possession of the game to take a 7-3 lead after Missouri drove 78 yards in 16 plays to open the game only to settle for Grant Ressel's 21-yard field goal. OSU then went 79 yards – with Robinson and Anyiam connecting for gains of 6, 5 and 24 yards – with Keith Toston scoring the touchdown on an 11-yard run.

Missouri took a 10-7 lead on Derrick Washington's 1-yard scoring run early in the second quarter but the Cowboy defense made the big play a few series later. Tiger quarterback Blaine Gabbert's passed bounced off the hands of Jerrell Jackson and Cowboy safety Lucien Antoine was there for the interception, returning it 26 yards for the touchdown.

Gabbert answered with a 48-yard pass and run by Danario Alexander to give the Tigers a 17-14 lead. But Bailey's 39-yard field goal tied the game 17-17, and then the Robinson-to-Anyiam connection paid off right before halftime.

The Cowboys, 5-1, will go on the road next Saturday to face Baylor, which saw its record fall to 3-3 with a 24-10 loss at Iowa State.

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