Toston Leads The Way

Keith Toston entered Saturday trailing Big 12 rushing leader Alexander Robinson of Iowa State by 137 yards. But it was Toston who ran wild, and thanks to the Cowboy defense shutting down the vaunted Cyclone running game, the Oklahoma State senior is now among the conference's top rushers after running for a career-high 206 yards in the 18th-ranked Cowboys 34-8 victory in Ames, Iowa.

The Cowboys finished with 473 total yards, including a season-best 331 rushing yards. Toston was outstanding with a 25-carry, 206-yard, three-touchdown performance.

"Keith has been really good for us. I'd prefer that he not get 25 carries a game but he wants to be in there," said OSU head coach Mike Gundy. "He wanted to go in at the end of the game."

Meanwhile, the OSU defense did its job on the Cyclones' Robinson, who ran for just 51 yards on 16 attempts after entering the game averaging 101.6 rushing yards a game. The Cyclones, who were averaging better than 200 rushing yards a game, were held to a season-low 54 rushing yards (the previous low was 137 against Nebraska).

"When you hold the leading rusher in the league to under 50 yards ... playing against a team that's hungry (and going for its bowl-eligible sixth win) was a concern. I was really proud of our coaching staff for staying focused, and I was really proud of our team," Gundy said.

"You can't say enough about what we did on defense, and then offensively being able to run the football. "

"It was a really good win. We talk about playing on the road, and the players kind of rallied after having the final blow with Dez (Bryant) ... it was a little bit of a shock to them. I was really proud of the way they played up here," Gundy added.

Toston's 206 yards overshadowed the return of junior running back Kendall Hunter, who rushed for 47 yards in his first extensive duty after missing the last six games with an ankle injury. The senior from Angleton, Texas also tied his career best with three touchdowns (on runs of 2, 17 and 1 yard), and his 69-yard run midway through the fourth quarter was the longest of his Cowboy playing career.

"It was probably one of the biggest games in my career," said Toston, who now has 2,389 career rushing yards to pass Worley Taylor (2,217) and Bob Fenimore (2,299) an move up to 11th on OSU's all-time career rushing list.

OSU took control of the game from the very beginning, as the defense forced a punt after six plays. Cowboy quarterback Zac Robinson led the offense to scores on their first three possessions – a 42-yard Dan Bailey field goal, a 48-yard field goal by Bailey, and an impressive 14-play, 98-yard drive that culminated with Robinson throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tracy Moore – for a 13-0 halftime lead.

Robinson, Toston and the Cowboy offense eliminated any thought of the Cyclones getting back in the game when they took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 80 yards in 10 plays with Toston scoring the first of his three touchdowns to make it 20-0.

The Cowboys would go up 27-0 – on Toston's 17-yard scoring run midway through the third period – before allowing Iowa State to get on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. But Toston and OSU answered with a 1-yard touchdown run to sew up the victory.

Robinson finished 19-of-24 passing for 142 yards and the touchdown pass to Tracy Moore, and rushed for 34 yards on nine carries. His 11-yard scoring pass to Moore in the second quarter broke Gundy's school record for passing yards, and Robinson now has 8,065 career passing yards.

The Cowboys, now 7-2, return to action next Saturday when they host Texas Tech, 6-3, at Boone Pickens Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., but earlier in the day head coach Travis Ford's men's basketball team opens the season at 1:30 p.m. against Seattle at Gallagher-Iba Arena

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